|Each of the 12 hues is altered by the|
addition of white, grey or black
A very good exercise to develop your understanding of how colors are derived is to contstuct your own color wheel using watercolor paints. You will need the three primary colors - red, blue and yellow - and also black, white and grey ( black and white mixed).
Make a circle with white card and divide it into twelve segments; then make three circles dividing each segment into four sections to allow for the hue, tint, tone and shade of each color. Mix the paints to give the correct colors in each segment.
Once the color wheel is constructed, individual cut-outs can be made for each color harmony and when the cut-out is placed over the wheel a color harmony is instantly recognised.
Neutral colors are often take on the surrounding color. White is a classic example. If a selection of white flowers is made, it will be seen that there are many shades of white, as most white flowers have a very pale tint of color in them. It may be thought that the white of an arum lily is a pure white, but when put against a white fabric it appears slightly green. A white rose set against a bright white satin will appear to be cream but against a red background it will look slightly pink.
This takes us on to juxtaposition, which comes from the word "juxtapose", to put things side by side: colors as seen by the human eye alter depending on what colors are beside them.
Colors set against mid grey is always seen at its truest because it does not absorb any other color and this is why flowers look so well in a grey container or against grey drape or backcloth. When red is set against grey, the grey appears to take on a greenish hue, the red appearing purer and less orange. When orange and grey are placed side by side, the grey appears to become more blue and orange is less yellow. If a rose-pink flowers is used with purple, it looks lavender-pink, but when placed next to cream the pink stands out and is more intense.