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Quickie Color Wheel in Photoshop

Color Wheel
Color Wheel
It’s easy to make a color wheel in Photoshop with a few simple tools.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Create a new file that is the same height and width. I went with 450px by 450px.
  2. We need to place some guidelines halfway across and down in order to find the center of our document. Make the rulers visible by pressing Ctrl+R.
  3. Click+drag a guide from the horizontal ruler down to the half-way mark. It should snap into place (in my case, at the 225px mark.) Do the same from the vertical ruler to place a vertical guide.
Place guides halfway across and down
Place guides halfway across and down
  1. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Tools panel. We’re going to make a circle for the color wheel to fill.
  2. Draw a circle in the image window. Give it a bit of space around it so it is not right up to the edges of the image window. Hold down the Shift key to get a perfect circle.
Circle selection
Circle selection
  1. Select a Spectrum angle gradient:
    1. Click on the Gradient tool in the Tools panel. It may be hiding under the Paint Bucket tool.
    2. Click on the Angle Gradient icon in the Control panel.
    3. Click on the large gradient swatch to open the Gradient Editor.
Open the Gradient Editor
Open the Gradient Editor
  1. In the Gradient Editor, click on the Spectrum gradient, as shown below (it is one of the default gradients installed with Photoshop). Click OK.
Spectrum gradient
Spectrum gradient
  1. Decide where you want the red part of the color wheel to be. Let’s say we want it on the right.
  2. Position your Gradient tool at the center of the image window, where the two guides intersect.
  3. Click+drag from the center to the edge of the circle. Here we want red on the right, so drag to the right.
  4. Hold the Shift key down while you drag to keep your angle at 90 degrees.
Drag the gradient
Drag the gradient
Gradient filled circle
Gradient filled circle
  1. Press Ctrl+H (Mac: Cmd+H) to hide the guides
  2. Press Ctrl+D (Mac: Cmd+D) to deselect

That’s it!

Finished color wheel
Finished color wheel

 

If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Done

4 replies on “Quickie Color Wheel in Photoshop”

OMG…I was trying to figure out how to do this so I could add it to my AutoCAD compass (degrees chart).

Wow, I learned how to apply the gradient tools and a few other tools I didn’t quite learn in my Art Institute classes….THANK YOU!

I have a file to create a Celtic Knot design in AutoCAD…I could share that with you.

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