Construct a Color Wheel in Photoshop

Excerpted from Photoshop for Designers: Color on

In this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll transform a simple circle filled with RGB into a complete color wheel that includes tints and shades of all twelve colors.

Begin this how-to by clicking the image below to download a Photoshop file that contains the simple shape:

Once you’ve opened the file (called “20120213_pie.psd”) in Photoshop, watch the video below. You can follow along as I duplicate and rotate the image. I’ll then use the Lighten blend mode the image to give the wheel 12 colors. Finally, I’ll apply a radial gradient overlay to change saturation and brightness. The end result will be a color wheel with tints and shades of the colors.

For more in the Photoshop for Designers series, visit Nigel French’s author page on


Posted on: February 13, 2012

Nigel French

Nigel French is a graphic designer, photographer, author, and teacher living in Lewes, UK. He is the author of InDesign Type and Photoshop Unmasked, both from Adobe Press, as well as several titles in the online training library, including InDesign Typography.

4 Comments on Construct a Color Wheel in Photoshop

  1. Please click on the following link to download the sample file again:
    /wp-content/uploads/sites/default/files/story_images/20120213_pie.psd .

    Now try the tutorial again and everything should be good.

    Terri Stone
    Editor in Chief,

  2. Where is the video below? I cannot locate it.


  3. We were having a few problems with videos; sorry. Try clicking on the video at the end of the article again.

  4. Hi, I used this tutorial and it’s great, thank you so much for doing this, but what I’m wondering is, if you have a downloadable psd image for CMYK/Pantone (I also want a wheel with 16 colors) as well?

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