Here are 3 fun activities to make a color wheel and then use it to help understand how artists use color. At the end you’ll see a funny photo of Molly in a French beret!
Activity 1. Making a Color Wheel
- crayons, markers, or tempera or watercolor paints
- compass or plate to help draw a circle
Step 2. Color or paint a blob each of the primary colors, red, blue and yellow around the outside of your circle, one color one each X. (see how they are evenly spaced around the circle in the picture) Primary colors can’t be made from any other color
Step 3. Next add orange, green, and violet (purple) to your wheel. But WAIT! Don’t just put them anywhere. These secondary colors are made by mixing 2 primaries. So we place them on the outer circle between the 2 colors they’re made from.Follow the picture to see what to do.
Jazz up your color wheel by drawing your circle as a wavy or jagged line. You can also draw and color rockets or dogs, etc. instead of making blobs.
My wavy circle reminded me of a sand dollar, so I chose fish that are blowing colored bubbles at each other! (I drew and cut out one fish and traced around this pattern so my fish looked the same, but you don’t have to do that. Try drawing something different for each color)
Activity 2. Using Your Color Wheel to Learn More about Color.
This is a painting called A Young Girl Reading, by Jean-Honore Fragonard, a French artist who lived in the 1700s. Notice that the ribbons and parts of the cushion are violet, and her dress is yellow.
Where are yellow and violet on your color wheel? Right, they are opposite each other.
We call colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel complementary colors. When they are next to each other, as in this painting, the resulting high contrast is eye-catching.
Red/green and blue/orange are the other complementary pairs. When you look at other paintings, notice how often artists use these complementary colors to get your attention.
But God thought of it first!! He used complementary colors when He created flowers because that shimmery high contrast attracts insects and birds to help cross pollination. Look at pictures of flowers or the real thing if you can, to see how many flowers with complementary colors you can find. (violet and yellow pansies and blue crocuses with orange centers are two)
Activity 3 Using your knowledge of color
Write out or (print with a fancy font on your computer) Matthew 6:28-30, where Jesus says that God has clothed the lilies of the field with more splendor than Solomon’s robes. Leave space between lines and decorate the words with flowers that God robes in complementary colors!
Molly hopes you have fun doing these activities and that you’ll come back next week for some drawing lessons. While you wait she wanted you to see a funny photo of her in a French beret. See you soon!