Four years ago I made a color wheel with the primary pigments I use most often (alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and lemon yellow) as a reference for some painting I was working on. It came in handy this weekend when I needed to create an illustration that celebrates seed catalogs and the beautiful variety of vegetables available. I’m a big fan of purple potatoes, and those beets that are red on the outside with a gorgeous magenta and white pattern inside.

All the colors you see in the veggie color wheel are mixed with just these three pigments!

How I created the veggie color wheel

First i did some sketching and researched seed catalogs online. In Photoshop I started with the scanned image of the watercolor wheel. Black outlines were drawn with a custom brush that has a varying width, kind of like a brush-tip ink pen. The white spaces between the color patches on the wheel were filled in with adjacent colors using the clone stamp. So the color on the original wheel wasn’t altered much. Then the area between the veggies was converted to a white background with layer masks. Pretty easy, just time consuming. The challenge was in the design – which veggies to draw and how to fit them together over the existing color.