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Is yellow opposite of green?


No, yellow is not directly opposite green on the color wheel. However, yellow and green are complementary colors, meaning they are opposite each other on the color wheel. When mixed together, they create a neutral gray color.

Primary Colors

The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. These are the main colors that all other colors are created from. When mixed together, primary colors make secondary colors:

Red + Blue Makes Purple
Red + Yellow Makes Orange
Blue + Yellow Makes Green

As you can see, the secondary color green is made by mixing blue and yellow.

Color Wheel

The color wheel is a visual representation of color relationships. The primary colors are placed equidistant around the wheel. Secondary colors are created by mixing adjacent primary colors.

Primary Colors: Red, Yellow, Blue
Secondary Colors: Orange, Green, Purple

The tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary and secondary color next to each other on the wheel. For example, red mixed with orange makes red-orange.

Looking at the color wheel, we can see that yellow and green are located opposite from one another. However, yellow’s direct opposite is actually purple.

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are any two colors opposite each other on the color wheel. They create maximum contrast and reinforce each other when placed side-by-side.

The complementary pairs are:

Red & Green
Yellow & Purple
Blue & Orange

So while yellow and green are not direct opposites, they are complementary colors. When mixed together, they neutralize each other to make a gray or brown color. Complementary colors are vibrant contrasts that play off each other.

Color Properties

To understand why green and yellow are complementary pairs, we need to look at their properties:

Color Properties
Yellow Warm, bright, energetic
Green Cool, calming, relaxed

Yellow is a warm, energetic hue associated with sunshine, happiness, and optimism. Green has cooling properties and is associated with nature, growth, and renewal. They provide contrasting color experiences.

When placed together, these opposites balance each other out. This makes them ideal complementary colors for creating vibrant, balanced color schemes.

Color Psychology

Color psychology examines how colors affect emotion and behavior. Complementary colors influence us in opposing ways:

Color Psychology
Yellow Uplifts mood, boosts optimism
Green Relaxes, reduces anxiety

Yellow stimulates mental activity and boosts self-esteem. Green is mentally soothing and encourages balance. Their contrasting effects create overall harmony.

This balance of warm and cool, stimulating and calming, explains why green and yellow complement each other.

Color Harmony

Complementary colors are a basic principle of color harmony. Combining complements creates a vibrant scheme with maximum color contrast.

Some examples of harmonious yellow and green color schemes:

Scheme Description
Complementary Direct complements yellow and green
Split Complementary Yellow, green, and the color between them (green-yellow)
Triadic Yellow, green, and their mutual complement (purple)

These schemes balance the warm and cool contrast of complements. The third color acts as a bridge to ensure visual harmony.

Color Mixing

We can see complementary color relationships through mixing. When complementary colors are combined, they cancel each other out by reflecting light wavelengths the other absorbs.

Green and yellow pigments mixed together make a neutral gray or brown. This demonstrates how they contain opposite hues that balance each other.

The same is true for light. Mixing green and yellow light makes white or grey light. Computer screens and TVs mix green, yellow, and blue light to display other colors.

Design Applications

Complementary color schemes are commonly used in design, marketing, and advertising:

Industry Examples
Graphic design Magazine layouts, posters, signage
Interior design Walls, furniture, decor
Landscaping Plants, garden structures
Apparel Clothing, shoes, accessories
Branding Logos, packaging, marketing

Green and yellow complement each other in natural and manufactured products. Their balanced contrast provides visual interest.


In summary, yellow and green are complementary colors rather than direct opposites. While they are on opposite sides of the color wheel, yellow’s true opposite is purple. However, yellow and green complement each other due to their contrasting properties and effects. When combined, they cancel each other out and create color harmony. Complementary color schemes are widely used in design and applied in many industries. So while they may not be exact opposites, yellow and green are ideal complementary pairs.