A color wheel is the most important tool used by painters to put together a color scheme. Painters can use it to find colors that compliment one another creating an overall feeling in a painting such as pleasure or unease. Your child can create his very own color wheel tool, in a way that will help him remember colors and how each works in relation to all other colors.
What You Do:
- Show your child a color wheel on the Internet and discuss how artists use it in art. You can discuss primary, secondary and tertiary colors. (See explanation under Helpful Tips below.)
- Have him draw a circle with the compass using pencil on the black paper. The circumference of the circle should be as large as possible to fill the paper without the drawing falling off the edges.
- Use a ruler to divide the circle into 12 equal parts so it looks like a cut pie.
- Inside each piece of the “pie” have him lightly write the first initial for each color in the color wheel to avoid confusion as he works.
- Have him tearup magazine pages separating colors from each other and grouping monochromatic colors together. It's okay for each color in his color wheel to consist of varying shades or tints. For example: blue can be made of light or dark blues.
- Finally, ask him to glue down his shredded paper in the assigned color wheel sections so they don't overlap into neighboring spaces. Don't worry about white edges on the torn pieces they'ill make the paper collage more interesting.
This is a great exercise to keep handy on the cover of an art sketchbook or inside a notebook!
A color wheel starts with the primary colors set equal distance apart from each other (red, blue, yellow). Next, secondary colors, which are created by mixing equal amounts of the primary colors, are placed mid-way between primaries. An equal amount of red and blue make violet, so violet goes in the middle of red and blue. Orange is halfway between red and yellow and the mid-point of yellow and blue is green. Secondary colors will form a triangle.
The last six spaces are filled with tertiary colors. When equal amounts of one primary and one secondary color are mixed, it results in the colors in-between. Sitting in the middle of red and orange, you will see red-orange, between yellow and orange will be yellow-orange, and continued with yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet.
Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.