This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



Using the left hand again to hold colors, the principal hues remain unchanged on the knuckles, but in the hollows between them are placed intermediate hues, so that the circle now reads: red, yellow-red, yellow, green-yellow, green, blue-green, blue, purple-blue, purple, and red-purple, back to the red with which we started. This circuit is easily memorized, so that the child may begin with any color point, and repeat the series clock wise (that is, from left to right) or in reverse order.

(59) Each principal hue has thus made two close neighbors by mixing with the nearest principal hue on either hand. The neighbors of red are a yellow-red on one side and a purple-red on the other. The neighbors of green are a green-yellow on one hand and a blue-green on the other. It is evident that a still closer neighbor could be made by again mixing each consecutive pair in this circle of ten hues; and, if the process were continued long enough, the color steps would become so fine that the eye could see only a circuit of hues melting imperceptibly one into another.

(60) But it is better for the child to gain a fixed idea of red, yellow, green, blue, and purple, with their intermediates, before attempting to mix pigments, and these ten steps are sufficient for primary education.

(61) Next comes the question of opposites in this circle. A line drawn from red, through the centre, finds its opposite, blue- green.[1] If these colors are mixed, they unite to form gray. Indeed, the centre of the circle stands for a middle gray, not only because it is the centre of the neutral axis between black and white, but also because any pair of opposites will unite to form gray.

  1. Green is often wrongly assigned as the opposite of red. See Appendix, on False Color Balance.