Graphic designer, illustrator and painter. Been working in the design field for quite a while and have amassed a boatload of information on colour, its characteristics, and bad habits in both CMYK and RGB colour spheres.


20 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi. I am the father of a toddler and I’d like to ask some advice, if you have a moment.

    I am shocked daily by the facility with which my two year-old daughter learns. I am trying to give her opportunities for learning that I did not have. An education in music and in art are priorities to me and philosophically, I’m troubled by the simple color names I know and how I’m heaping so many together when my daughter certainly has the ability to distinguish more.

    Could you recommend a set of durable cards — perhaps fifty or fewer — with all of the basic colors and more? This way I can teach her from the start about the names — and thus, the concepts — of different hues. If they are large enough and durable enough, I can place them on the floor, as I do with other flash cards, and she has a lot of fun retrieving the requested ones. I find is has really helped her education.

    Thanks for giving my request some thought. I look forward to your response.

    Nick G.
    New York City

    • Hello Nick,
      I’d suggest that you make the cards yourself. It’s pretty easy to get card cut to flash card size. And purchasing a cheap box of tempera is fairly easy. I’d make them myself if i were you because i could make whatever and how ever many I wanted. For durability, take them to a photocopier house with laminating services. All in all, Id do it myself rather than trying to find specific cards and paying ridiculously high prices for something that is relatively cheap to make yourself.

      Hope this helps.

  2. It does help, Daxxter, thanks. It is a good suggestion. Not being smart about color, though, I feel I would benefit from some guidance, both as to how to prioritize the shading and what to call the colors when I make them (these difficulties are why I was looking for something someone else made).

    I have no idea how to begin. She already knows the primary and secondary colors and I find myself lumping all of orange into “orange” for lack of more distinguishing vocabulary. I assumed there must be some kind of color chip set for art students or interior designers that would be a good beginning. If not, so be it.

    Well, thanks for responding but I’ll check back if you’d be good enough to help me out a little more.



    • Hi Nick,
      Here is some more advice on teaching a child color.

      The first thing I would do is stick to basic color names…
      white, yellow, orange, red, magenta, violet (and purple), blue, cyan, green, yellow, brown, gray, black

      Then I would teach her mixed colors…
      yellow-orange, red-orange, pink (fuscia), red-violet, red-blue, blue-green, yellow-green

      And finally, I would teach her earth tones…
      rust, copper, silver, gold, bronze, wood, tan, beige, sienna, dark brown.
      But I wouldn’t go beyond that.

      The trick to this is to stick to names that tell you what’s in the color itself. DO NOT under any circumstance get caught up in teaching her colors like lime-green, chocolate brown, banana yellow… these color names are strictly fashionable and will change over time. You are far better off teaching her colors that are named by what’s in them as above.

      One thing I can suggest is to go to a paint store and pick up a swatch book… a whole book of colours and cut out the ones that match your list. Use those as your flash cards. Swatch books come with color chips of all kinds of sizes… so its a good idea to look around. Do not tell the paint people what your are doing… instead, just let them think you are doing this HUGE paint project and you will probably be back to buy lots of paint.

      Hope this helps

      Later on, when she’s older and she understands the basic concept of mixing two primaries to get a secondary and can name the colors listed above, teach her more complicated mixtures such as those listed here…

  3. Now that’s good advice.

    I agree about the ephemeral quality of comparison-names, and the longevity of working from the ingredient list, though I don’t think I would have considered that myself. Thank you.

    I had thought to go to a paint store but I thought all the colors would be named in frivolous, proprietary ways. For someone adept at color, perhaps you would easily find representations of the principal colors you mentioned, but I will be stabbing at it less acutely. Still, I think that would be a good way to start learning about color myself.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to think about my problem, and for your good advice.


    • They WILL be named in “frivolous, proprietary ways”. You won’t be able to get around that. I strongly suggest you ignore the names altogether. For your purposes the names are irrelevant. Use the list below to match up the closest swatch and rename it. If you are unsure of what the color SHOULD look like… go to Google, click on images and search the image database for a visual reference of the color. If your colours are a little off, that’s okay. Your little girl won’t be able to tell.

      You could also ask anyone working at the paint store to help you. Ask him/her to point out in the swatch book or even simply label with a sticky, the purest of primary colors. They should be quite happy to help you.

      Remember, you’re trying to teach her about colors, how they work, how to mix them to get secondaries and just the basic of principles here. Getting her to understand just those things will put her far and away beyond everyone else.

      To help her understand about how colors can mix together to create secondary colors, you may want to invest in a cheap set of poster paints at a craft store. You can get them in just the basic of primaries… yellow, red, blue, plus white, black, brown… most will probably not have cyan or magenta but because they are so cheap, you can probably buy them as separate pans… As long as she can see you mix two colors together, and you teach her which colors this works with; she should be able to grasp the concept.

      Basic Primary and Secondary
      violet (also known as purple)

      Mixed colors
      Pink (fuscia)

      Earth tones
      Dark brown

      Again, hope this helps.

  4. Dear Daxxter,

    I took your penultimate advice and went to the paint store and made my own flashcards, before I returned to post a picture and saw your kind gesture of providing the link to the printable cards.


    Despite the fact that I like the cards I made a lot, I will also make the ones you provided. Where can I print them where there is some guarantee they will turn out with the correct shading, saturation etc? I’ll go right ahead and do it.

    By the way, my daughter learned the colors really quickly with the cards. To any parent reading, cards that depict colors along with animals or textures, in my opinion, confuse the learning process if what you are trying to teach is color. Better to sequester the object you wish to teach, I think. I am grateful to you, Daxxter, for helping me educate myself about color and seek to learn the proper terminology.

    • Nick,
      I wouldn’t worry too much about colour accuracy if your daughter is just learning the names. Take them to a copier place and have the pdf printed there. You can have them printed on a s slightly heavier card stock of you want. And I would mention it to the clerks working there that you want the cards to be printed as accurately as possible. Do not tell them what you are using them for. They dont have to know that.
      When you get them printed, check the only the primary colour cards… yellow, red, magenta, purple, blue, cyan, and green. If these are very close to what they should be, then you’re good to go. If these ones are good, then the rest will be too. I’ve built the colours as accurately as my computer and software will allow me to but if there is a colour shift, it will happen in the printing. As long as your primaries are pretty good at this point, I wouldn’t fret too much about accuracy.

      Oh I totally agree with that… why confuse kids when they are learning. It should be straightforward. I believe that happens due to adults who either aren’t sure of themselves when it comes to colour, or don’t know enough. You’re very welcome Nick. I was only too happy to help.

  5. Daxxter,

    My wife and I went to Staples and had color laser prints made of the pdf you provided. To save money, we printed two pages on each sheet of card stock, and made two of each so the cards could be double-sided. In my opinion, the red turned out somewhat light, although blue and yellow were what I expected. The red being light led to a very faded orange, and probably accounts for a very light sienna and a bright magenta but the cards are a great start anyway. We laminated them and cut the sharp corners off and now she’s got a great opportunity to learn more than your average toddler does about color terms, and eventually, color theory.

    Thanks again for your help.


  6. Youre very welcome Nick. I was only happy help.

    The red being faded, comes down to two things… 1) the colors get shifted to RGB when converted to a pdf. That’s Adobe doing that.
    and 2) if your printer is using devices that are not calibrated properly, that will only expand problem #1.

    Not only is your daughter now ahead of the game… so are you.


  7. Daxx,
    I’m an art teacher and I love your color wheels in the harmony section that show tints and shades . . . but I’m trying to find a wheel without the harmony details. What software did you use to produce these wheels?

    Thanks for a great site,

  8. Hello Daxx,

    I want to use some of your color schemes to my review about colors, where I combine some articles and make my own opinion for school project, but I need your permission to use content from your article.

    Your article:

    Can you please write me here or better an e-mail and give me permission to use parts of contents from your article?
    My mail is: blascak.milos@gmail.com

    Thanks a lot for your answer

  9. I Will have to visit again when my course load lets up – nevertheless I am getting your Rss feed so i can read your internet site offline. Cheers.

  10. Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Appreciate it!

    • Thanks. Depending on what your focus is in regards to writing, you can go in many different directions. It would be a help to know where you would hope to go with it.
      I would definitely recommend a free platform rather than a paid option. I would also recommend one with possibly a simplified list of features. Your writing should be the most important, rather than the bells and whistles with which you wish to showcase it. That gives you time to gain functionality experience without interfering with your writing.
      I would also consider joining some writing communities, some of which are also free such as writerscafe.org, scribophile.com, writersdigest.com. If you’re just in the process of figuring everything out, you should not be paying for anything until you are sure. Many communities can help with constructive criticism which every writer needs to grow. Use it as a tool and learn to recognize when it’s helping you.
      I hope this helps.

  11. I think the article is the most comprehensive and enlightening article on the subject of color I have seen. I would like to use two of your illustrations in a book about garden design and flowers. Do I need your permission? If so, would you be so kind as to let me know how I can receive a written approval? Thank you.

  12. Thank you for your prompt response. It is for a book entitled “Public Gardens: An Illustrated Management Handbook.” The two are color wheels: Munsells’ color wheel with eight color circles and the other with numbered colors; from the top 10y , 5gy, 10GY 5G 10G etc. I can no longer locate the latter wheel on your site, but it is one that makes sense. Either or both can be replaced if you have better suggestions.

    Your written permission is greatly appreciated and citation reference to your site is already included in the manuscript.

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