Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Secondary Colors


Are you ready for our fourth lesson on color theory, class? I trust you are seeing color in a whole new way!

So far we’ve covered the Gallon/Quart/Pint rule, Complementary Colors, and Primary Colors. And tomorrow, we’ll be back with one more lesson on creating Monochromatic designs. Make sure to download the My Favorite Things Summer School Session Two Study Guide to keep as a reference guide when choosing colors stumps you. You can find the link toward the end of this post.

Today we’re delving into the wonderful world of secondary colors. As Stephanie mentioned yesterday, the primary colors work together to create different colors, so let’s look into that a little more closely.

Lesson #9 – Color Theory: Secondary Colors

PrintSecondary Colors are the direct counterparts of the primary colors — red, yellow, and blue. Orange (a combination of red and yellow), green (a combination of blue and yellow), and purple (a combination of red and blue) are the secondary colors. You can find them in between their primary colors on the color wheel.

Let’s take a look at two cards by Jodi Collins and Kay Miller that use different variations of the secondary colors.

Handmade card from Jodi Collins featuring Modern Blooms stamp set and Die-namics.

Jodi used only orange and green on this pretty card. They just POP off that black background!

KayM-Day1WingthingsHandmade card fromKay Miller featuring Miss Tiina's Things with Wings.

Kay used a large dose of orange and some green on this saturated card, and the one bird is a purply-pink. Don’t feel like you HAVE to use all three on one card — just experiment and see what you like!

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Kay Miller. Let’s see how she approached her card using the three secondary colors.

There are many different hues and shades of the three secondary colors. You can have a red orange or an orange more towards the yellow end. You can have a very bluish purple (Kay’s favorite) or a pinkish purple. And there are many different variations of green from yellow green to a more teal or bluish green, but they all fall into the secondary colors category.

Kay scoured her collection of inks in the secondary colors and gathered:


Kay started with a piece of watercolor paper. Normally she would wet the whole piece and then add the colors letting them blend into each other, but she didn’t do that this time. If you blend these three colors together the result will be a muddy mess! She simply smooshed her ink pads onto an acrylic block, wet her brush, dipped it in the ink, and painted some small sections of each color on the water color paper. She tried not to blend the colors too much but let them touch to even it out a bit. Once dry, she flicked the panel with water and blotted it and added some flicked paint speckles using each of the different colors of ink.


Next she stamped and cut several flowers and leaves from Modern Blooms using the secondary color scheme. How GORGEOUS does that look?

KayM-Day1WingthingsHandmade card fromKay Miller featuring Modern Blooms.

With the help of several layers of foam tape, her beautiful bouquet of flowers took shape on her lovely watercolored background. The triple stacked die-cut sentiment enhances the design perfectly. And did you notice? Kay sponged just a little bit of purple ink on the hello to make it stand out on the white. Simply magnificent.

To aid in your learning, we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Session Two Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link below. Master the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on July 28th. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

Secondary Colors Rule of Design.

All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on July 24th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, July 28.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to use the color theory of using Secondary Colors in your projects.


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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.