What are the six tertiary colors
Itten color wheel
Johannes Itten, painter and art teacher, developed the basics of his color theory and the corresponding color wheel during his teaching activities at the Bauhaus Weimar from 1919 to 1923. Another focus of Itten's work is the study of color contrasts.
Itten's color theory
These twelve colors are arranged on Itten's color wheel as follows:
- Yellow is at the top of the color wheel, the other primary colors red and blue each offset by 120 °
- exactly in between, i.e. at 60 °, 180 ° and 300 °, are the corresponding secondary colors
- the tertiary colors lie between the respective primary and secondary colors
- the sequence is thus analogous to the spectrum and closes with red to purple
In Itten's color wheel, complementary colors are diametrically opposed. According to Itten, two complementary colors mixed together result in gray.
Notes on the terms
Itten understands by:
- Secondary colors: arise from the mixture of the three basic colors
- Tertiary colors: are created by mixing a secondary color with a basic color
In more modern subtractive color models and color ordering systems, one understands by:
Küpper's criticism of Itten's color theory
According to Küppers, the three primary colors known by Itten, yellow, red and blue, which form a triangle in the color wheel, are not primary colors at all. Itten's red, blue and yellow are secondary colors. The Itten blue is a mixture of the basic colors cyan and violet blue, the Itten red is a mixture of the basic colors orange-red and the Itten yellow comes close to the basic color yellow, but is a mixture of the basic color yellow, which is somewhat of the basic color orange-red is mixed in.
Itten's complementary colors do not give gray when mixed, but bright tertiary colors.
Furthermore, white and black are missing. They are not non-colors, but are equivalent to the bright colors.
For these reasons, Küppers accuses Itten of not having tried his mixtures himself.
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