Color Theory Week 1: Color Vocabulary

Welcome to our Color Theory unit!

For the next couple of weeks, we are going to explore the many ways that Illustrator allows you to enhance your artwork with color. We are also going to explore color theory and the different meanings colors have for different groups. With this knowledge, you will be able to more effectively communicate your desired message to everyone who looks at your artwork.


Students will be able to identify and explain the concepts of Color Theory and Color Harmonies by using web resources to determine the meanings of color theory vocabulary terms so that they can gain expertise in communicating using correct color theory terminology.


Sensational Color: Color Theory

Sensational Color: Getting to Know the Color Wheel

Sensational Color: Color Harmonies

Sensational Color: Color Terminology Glossary

Topics Discussed:

  • Color Theory
  • Color Harmonies
  • Color Wheel
  • Primary Colors
  • Secondary Colors
  • Tertiary Colors
  • Triad
  • Complementary
  • Split Complementary
  • Analogous
  • Monochromatic
  • Shade
  • Tint
  • Swatches Panel


Use the information linked below from Color Expert Kate Smith’s outstanding Sensational Color website to read about Color Theory concepts and terminology:

Sensational Color – Color Theory Explained:

Sensational Color – The Color Wheel and Color Relationships:

Sensational Color – Color Harmonies:

Sensational Color – Color Terminology Glossary:

After you have visited the websites, create a new Illustrator Web document with four default-sized artboards, on the first (upper left) artboard, use a headline and a subhead (large font, then smaller font) to write the following vocabulary words along with their definitions:

  1. Color Harmony
  2. Hue
  3. Primary Colors (Hues)
  4. Secondary Colors (Hues)
  5. Tertiary Colors (Hues)
  6. Warm Colors
  7. Cool Colors
  8. Triad
  9. Primary Triad
  10. Secondary Triad
  11. Tetrad
  12. Complementary
  13. Split Complementary
  14. Analogous
  15. Monochromatic
  16. Tint
  17. Tone
  18. Shade

When you have found and written all your definitions, save your document. We will continue to work with this document tomorrow.

Assigned: February 4th, 2020
Due Date: February 5th, 2020