Primary colours

The primary colours theory establishes that there is a limited set of colours that can be combined to create a wider range of secondary and tertiary colours. The immediate benefits of using primary colours are economic (there is less need to buy several paints when few are enough) and aesthetic (eg to improve harmony).

What constitute a primary colour have changed along art history, thus making any selection of primary colours a rather arbitrary, albeit practical, choice. At present, advances in colour research has settled for a limited range of three to four colours as primary colours, depending on whether the colour mixing process is done additively or subtractively.