I love colors! The variations, textures, hue (depth or color pureness) and saturation (lightness), but did you know that all colors can be made using three basic colors – red, blue and yellow? These three primary colors cannot be made by mixing any other colors together. Red, blue and yellow give you the color, white and black change how dark or light a color appears.
Thinking all the way back to grade school, I remember that if I mix red and blue, I get purple.
If I mix blue with yellow, I get green
And if I mix red with yellow, I get orange
From there if becomes a numbers game. Remember all those times you practiced math wondering when would you ever need it? Well here it is! Creating color now becomes about simple ratios (with a little chemistry and physics thrown in!) For example, to make turquoise I can mix 1 part green with 1 part blue (and adjust to my preferred saturation using white and black – though I recommend gray as a safer alternative!) 1 part green is actually 1 part yellow and 1 part blue, so turquoise is technically 2 parts blue and 1 part yellow, with a little artistic license to create your signature hue.
Here’s a color wheel I created using nail polishes created with just red, blue and yellow to show just how easy and fun it is to create your own signature color.
Here's a cheat sheet on to create your signature POLISH Artisan Nails color.
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These subtractive color principles apply to other liquids such as food colorings, paints, inks etc. Light works on a different principle, additive. With light, if you add all colors together you get white not black.
Here’s a great tool to help you visualize the relationships between colors. It’s designed for kids though I like that it user friendly and works on colors instead of the more technical hex/RBG/CMYK codes.