When I sit down and color, I find it to be very relaxing, and I can get lost for hours in one coloring page. Unfortunately, I don’t sit down to color very often. Susan and Sarah color all of the time, but I have a problem that prevents me from getting started.

The problem is that the simple act of choosing colors for a coloring page stresses me out. Instead of coloring being stress-free and fun, it ends up causing me even more stress. So, I usually end up deciding not to color and choosing to do something else instead.

Maybe you feel the same way.

Maybe you get stressed out trying to choose colors for your coloring page.

Maybe you finish coloring and are not satisfied with your results because of your color choices.

Maybe you just want to be happy with your finished project.  

This post will help you by looking at how we can use basic color theory to help choose the right color combinations to make your coloring live up to your expectations.

What is Color Theory?

Color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual effects of a specific color combination.”

The basic principles of color theory first appeared in the writings of Leone Battista Alberti in 1435, and Leonardo da Vinci in 1490. The science of color theory became popular in the 18th century, with the introduction of Isaac Newton’s theory of color.

Since then, color theory has become a complex subject, with many books have been written on it. Fortunately, a basic understanding of color theory is all that you will need to be more satisfied with the results of your coloring.

At a basic level, color theory is a the study of mixing colors to create the visual effect that you are looking for. It is focused on creating various combinations of colors based on the color wheel,  color values, and color schemes.

In this post, we will focus on the color wheel. In future posts, we will go into more detail on color values and coloring schemes.

Basic Color Wheel

The color wheel is an easy way to illustrate the color spectrum by bending it into a circle. It was designed with each color having a designated position on the wheel which results in several defined color relationships.

Many people use a printed color wheel to learn about the locations and relationships of the different colors; I thought that it would be fun to create our own color wheel.

The colors on the color wheel are designated based on their location within the color spectrum and the manner in which they are made by mixing.

Primary Colors

Color Wheel Primary Colors


Primary colors cannot be created by mixing, but they are used to mix all of the other colors on the color wheel. These colors are red, yellow, and blue.

(We used Prismacolor Premier Pencils and a Prismacolor Accessory Pack for this)




Secondary Colors

Color Wheel Secondary Colors


Secondary colors are made by mixing equal parts of two primary colors.

These colors are orange, green, and purple. Blue and yellow are combined to create green.

Blue and red are combined to create purple, and red and yellow are mixed to create orange.



Tertiary Colors


Color Wheel All Colors


Tertiary colors are made by mixing equal parts of a primary color, and it’s adjacent secondary color.

These colors are red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple.



Your Turn

That’s it, you now have a basic understanding of color theory and know how to create a basic color wheel using the tools that you usually use to color.

When you finished, go ahead and share it in our Facebook Group.

Question: How do you select the colors for your coloring pages?