Test Your Knowledge of COLOR Theory

tube of oil paintTest your knowledge of color theory as it applies to fine art. Take this simple test by writing your answers on paper, then check your answers at the end of the quiz. Don’t peek!

1. Color is  _______.

A.    a design principle
B.    an element of art
C.    a value
D.    none of the above

2. What color can not be made by mixing any other color?

A.    Yellow
B.    Green
C.    Purple
D.    Gray

3. What are the primary colors?

A.    Red-orange, red-purple, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-purple
B.    Green, orange, and purple
C.    White, black, gray, and brown
D.    Red, blue, and yellow

4. The choice of colors used in a design plan is called a _______.

A.    color spectrum
B.    color wheel
C.    color scheme
D.    color mix


Holy Lands wall art“Sea of Galilee at Capernaum”
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
20″ x 16″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


5. A circular chart used to show color relationships is called a _______.

A.    color ray
B.    color wheel
C.    color circle
D.    color scheme

6. Secondary colors are created by mixing two _______.

A.    neutral colors
B.    complementary colors
C.    primary colors
D.    intermediate or Tertiary colors

7. Colors that are different in lightness and darkness are said to be _______.

A.    contrasting
B.    light in value
C.    dark in value
D.    bright and intense

8. What are the secondary colors?

A.    Red-orange, red-purple, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-purple
B.    Green, orange, and purple
C.    White, black, gray, and brown
D.    Red, blue, and yellow

9. Which of the following are examples of cool colors?

A.    Orange, green and purple (or violet)
B.    Blue, green and violet (or purple)
C.    Yellow, blue and red
D.    White, black and brown

10.  Which of the following are examples of warm colors?

A.    Yellow, red, and orange
B.    Yellow, red and blue
C.    Yellow, green and blue
D.    Orange, purple and green

11. Yellow-orange, red-orange, and yellow-green are examples of _______ colors.

A.    intermediate or tertiary
B.    secondary
C.    primary
D.    triadic

12. _______ is another word for brightness of a color.

A.    Value
B.    Intensity
C.    Hue
D.    Complementary

13. What are the tertiary colors?

A.    Red-orange, red-purple, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and blue-purple
B.    Green, orange, and purple
C.    White, black, gray, and brown
D.    Red, blue, and yellow

14. Monochromatic colors are all the colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue.

True | False

15. Complimentary colors are side by side on the color wheel.

True | False

16. To make a shade you would add _______ to a color.

A.    black
B.    white
C.    brown
D.    yellow

17. What words are used to describe color temperature?

A.    Light and Dark
B.    Hot and Cold
C.    Black and White
D.    Warm and Cool

18. Which colors will give you the greatest contrast?

A.    Red and blue
B.    Blue and green
C.    Red and green
D.    Green and yellow

19. How many colors are on the basic color wheel?

A.    Three primary and three secondary colors
B.    Three cool and three warm colors
C.    Three pairs of complementary colors
D.    All of the above

20. Analogous colors is another term for complementary colors.

True | False

21. Red and green are examples of complementary colors.

True | False

22. The color plan of red, yellow and blue is an example of a triad color scheme.

True | False

23. A related color scheme would be colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

True | False

24. Tints of colors may be created by adding white. Pink is a tint of red.

True | False

25. Intensity refers to the purity of a hue.

True | False


western canvas art“Texas Flag Barn”
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
20″ x 16″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

>> More info


26. Blue and orange are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary

27. Red, yellow, and blue are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary

28. Yellow, yellow-orange, orange are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary

29. Red and green are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.   complementary

30. Orange, green and violet (or purple) are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary

31. Purple, blue, and red-violet are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary

32. Colors that are across from each other on the color wheel are called ________ .

A.    intermediate or tertiary colors
B.    analogous colors
C.    color triad
D.   complementary colors

33. Three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel are called ________ .

A.    intermediate or tertiary colors
B.    analogous colors
C.    color triad
D.    complementary colors

34. Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel are called  ________ .

A.    intermediate or tertiary colors
B.    analogous colors
C.    color triad
D.    complementary colors

35. ________ are obtained by mixing secondary colors and primary colors.

A.    Intermediate or Tertiary colors
B.    Analogous colors
C.    Color triad
D.    Complementary colors

36. ________  are obtained by adding white to a hue.

A.    Neutrals
B.    Tints
C.    Secondary colors
D.    Shades

37. ________ are obtained by mixing two primary colors.

A.    Neutrals
B.    Tints
C.    Secondary colors
D.    Shades

38. ________ are obtained by adding black to a hue.

A.    Neutrals
B.    Tints
C.    Secondary colors
D.    Shades

39. Colors that go with all color plans — white, black, gray and brown — are called _______ .

A.    Neutrals
B.    Tints
C.    Secondary colors
D.    Shades

40. Blue, green and purple are cool colors.

True | False

41. All colors are made from red, blue, and yellow.

True | False

42. Yellow, red, and orange are cool colors.

True | False

43. Purple is an example of a primary color.

True | False

44. The lightness or darkness of a color is referred to as the _______ .

A.    shape
B.    value
C.    intensity
D.   texture

45. The brightness or dullness of a color is referred to as the _______ .

A.    shape
B.    value
C.    intensity
D.   texture

46. The pure hue is at its brightest _______ right from the bottle.

A.    shape
B.    value
C.    intensity
D.   texture

47. What color is the result of mixing red + yellow?

A.    Violet (Purple)
B.    Orange
C.    Brown
D.    Green

48. What color is the result of mixing red + blue?

A.    Violet (Purple)
B.    Orange
C.    Brown
D.    Green

49. What color is the result of mixing yellow + blue?

A.    Violet (Purple)
B.    Orange
C.    Brown
D.    Green

50. What color is the result of mixing red + yellow + blue?

A.    Violet (Purple)
B.    Orange
C.    Brown
D.    Green

For more on color see blog article titled “Basic Art Element — Color” .


Answers: 1B 2A 3D 4C 5B 6C 7A 8B 9B 10A 11A 12B 13A 14T 15F 16A 17D 18C 19D 20F 21T 22T 23T 24T 25T 26D 27A 28B 29D 30C 31B 32D 33C 34B 35A 36B 37C 38D 39A 40T 41T 42F 43F 44B 45C 46C 47B 48A 49D 50C

Test Your Knowledge of Fine Art: Elements and Principles of Design

an introduction to the principles of good design.Test your knowledge of the elements and principles of good design. Take this simple test by writing your answers on paper, then check your answers at the end of the test. Don’t peek!

1. The principles of good design are _______.

A.    color, depth, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value
B.    balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, proportion, repetition, simplicity, space, and unity
C.    all of the above
D.    none of the above

2. The elements of design are _______.

A.    color, depth, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value
B.    balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, proportion, repetition, simplicity, space, and unity
C.    all of the above
D.    none of the above


Jerusalem painting“The Garden Tomb at Sunset”
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
12″ x 9″
Oils on stretched canvas

>> More info


3. A type of balance in which both sides of a composition are balanced yet different is called _______.

A.    asymmetrical
B.    radial
C.    symmetrical
D.    geometric

4. Formal balance is another word for _______ balance.

A.    asymmetrical
B.    radial
C.    symmetrical
D.    geometric

5. Another word for “center of interest” is _______.

A.    focal point
B.    emphasis
C.    dominance
D.    all of the above

6. The choice of colors used in a design plan is called a _______.

A.    color spectrum
B.    color wheel
C.    color scheme
D.    color mix

7. A circular chart used to show color relationships is called a _______.

A.    color scheme
B.    color wheel
C.    color ray
D.    color circle

8. Colors that are different in lightness and darkness are said to be _______.

A.    contrasting
B.    light in value
C.    dark in value
D.    bright and intense

9. Which of the following can be used to create contrast in a composition?

A.    Smooth and rough textures
B.    Large and small shapes
C.    Plain areas against areas of patterns
D.   All of the above

10. _______ is another word for the brightness of a color.

A.    Value
B.    Intensity
C.    Hue
D.    Complementary

11. _______ is an element of art that refers to the sense of touch.

A.    Value
B.    Pattern
C.    Texture
D.    Shape

12. Negative space is the background or area surrounding an object in a composition.

True | False

13. Rhythm is created when various visual elements are repeated.

True | False

14. Variation is the use of the same lines, shapes, textures, and colors within an artwork.

True | False

15. Unity is obtained when all parts of a design are working together as a team.

True | False

16. Blue and orange are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous
C.    secondary
D.    complementary


church painting“Van Gogh’s Church at Auvers, France”
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
20″ x 24″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

>> More info


17. Red, yellow, and blue are _______ colors.

A.    primary
B.    related or analogous colors
C.    secondary colors
D.    complementary colors

18. Visual _______ is achieved when all parts of a composition have equal weight and appear to be stable.

A.    focal point
B.    unity
C.    balance
D.    pattern

19. _______ is a three-dimensional geometrical figure showing height, width and depth.

A.    Space
B.    Form
C.    Balance
D.    Line

20. Various art elements, like lines, colors, or shapes, that are repeated over and over in a planned way creates a _______.

A.    focal point
B.    unity
C.    balance
D.    pattern

21. The lightness or darkness of a color is referred to as the _______.

A.    shape
B.    value
C.    intensity
D.   texture

22. _______ may be geometric or organic.

A.    Shape
B.    Value
C.    Intensity
D.   Texture

23. _______ is the suggestion of action or direction, the path our eyes follow when we look at a work of art.

A.    Proportion
B.    Simplicity or visual economy
C.    Rhythm
D.    Movement

24. _______ is the relation of two things in size, number, amount, or degree within a design.

A.    Proportion
B.    Simplicity or visual economy
C.    Rhythm
D.    Movement

25. _______ is the elimination of all non-essential elements or details to reveal the essence of a form.

A.    Proportion
B.    Simplicity or visual economy
C.    Rhythm
D.    Movement

26. Symmetry, asymmetry and radial are all types of _______.

A.    Texture
B.    Balance
C.    Patterns
D.    Form

27. Creating a sense of visual oneness in a work of art is called _______.

A.    Form
B.    Value
C.    Unity
D.    Texture

28. _______ is a mark with greater length than width. They can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, sraight, curved, thick, or thin.

A.    Color
B.    Shape
C.    Texture
D.    Line

29. Shapes and/or forms similar to those found in nature are _______.

A.    geometric
B.    pattern
C.    organic
D.    texture

30. The element of art referring to the emptiness or area between, around, above, below or within objects:

A.    color
B.    shape
C.    form
D.    space

31. Space is the element of art that helps create the illusion of a foreground, middle ground and background.

True | False

Additional Reading

For more information on this subject see:


Answers: 1B 2A 3A 4C 5D 6C 7B 8A 9D 10B 11C 12T 13T 14F 15T 16D 17A 18C 19B 20D 21B 22A 23D 24A 25B 26B 27C 28D 29C 30D 31T