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What are Tertiary Colors? Here's an Explanation With Pictures

What Do You Mean by Tertiary Colors
What are tertiary colors? If you know what are primary and secondary colors, understanding tertiary colors is going to be real easy for you! But don't worry, because if you don't know we'll tell you that too!
Christina Andrew
Last Updated: Mar 4, 2018
Did you know?
All the possible colors can be made out of just three colors! Red, yellow and blue!
Colors are fun! Look around you, you'll see colors everywhere! We live in a colorful world, and make it more colorful by painting our blank white sheets and turning them into beautiful artworks. You surely know the names of the basic colors that you use, but there are so many more that you can create by mixing some of them! You know the trick with the color white: Mix white with a color and make a lighter shade. Red and white makes pink, black and white makes gray, blue and white make light blue, etc., and the trick with the black color? Just a touch of black to any color makes it a shade darker. But leaving white and black aside, a color into a color makes a new color!
There are basically three colors which can make all possible colors - red, yellow and blue, also known as the traditional or primary colors.

red + yellow = orange
red + blue = purple
yellow + blue = green

So now, orange, purple and green become your secondary colors, since they are made by mixing the primary colors.
What are tertiary colors?
Tertiary colors are those that are made by mixing either primary colors with secondary colors, or two secondary colors, or a full saturation of primary color and a half saturation of another primary color.
Let's take a look at the color wheel. This gives you an understanding of primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

From this wheel you also get an idea, how the different shades of tertiary colors are created using primary and secondary.
Color Wheel
Color Wheel
Want to learn how to make these tertiary colors? Let us show you what happens when we mix a primary and a secondary color! These colors belong to the RYB (red, yellow, blue) color wheel -

red + orange = vermilion
Vermilion color
red + purple = magenta
Magenta color
blue + purple = violet
Violet color
blue + green = teal
Teal color
yellow + green = chartreuse
Chartreuse color
yellow + orange = amber
Amber color
Colors are all about experimenting! Just keep mixing some random colors and painting. If you want to learn to make a color combination, you can't just mug it up! You must try it out! When you paint your sheet next time, don't forget to try out some new combinations. Tertiary colors, like any other color, look amazing on paintings.
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