Thursday, January 5, 2017

Color Wheel

The color wheel consists of 12 colors (3 primary, 3 secondary and 6 tertiary) Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Secondary (purple, green, orange) colors are made when you mix two primaries.  Tertiaries come from mixing a primary with a secondary. Making a color wheel teaches children how to mix paint, and better understand the relationships between colors. It is very difficult for children to make a well crafted color wheel, however, since one one blob of paint can ruin the whole thing.

I have found that the trick to a really good color wheel is to paint each color on a separate piece of paper, Even 3 X 5 cards work as long as it's the side without lines. I start by having students paint each of the primary colors on separate cards. Then they pick two of the primaries to make a secondary:  yellow and blue make green. The green should be a perfect blend of the two colors, not more blue than yellow, nor visa-versa. The green is added to yellow to make a yellow green and blue is added to the medium green to make the blue green. The same thing is done  red and blue making purples, and yellow and red making oranges.

The tertiary color names are easy, they are just a list of the two other colors that were used to make it. The trick is to always put the primary name first and the tertiary second, yellow-orange for example. You'd never have an orange-yellow, because once a primary color is contaminated with anything other than itself, it is no longer the primary. It may be a very yellow orange, but it is still an orange.

If they lay out their colors in order, they should be able to tell if their colors progress in even steps. If there is a sudden jump, students try to mix a color that would be a better blend of the 2 colors it falls between. 

Once the cards are dry, students come up with a template of their own shape: hearts, triangles, circles, arrows, starts, etc Then make 2 marks on a piece of paper in a circle, as though it is the hour marks on a clock, so that each piece will be glued in the right position.

All of these steps make for a more professional looking color wheel, that can be used not only to teach primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, but later be used to refer to to teach complimentary, triadic and analogous color schemes. (P.S. I don't exempt my blind students from this project. Although I help in mixing the colors, they are responsible for telling me which colors to mix to make the desired color. They paint (sometimes braille) and glue the cards themselves. 

1 comment:

  1. I've also loved the color triangle instead of wheel I tried to find a sample online but I'll have to take a picture of it. I have one that I use. Although I haven't used it yet this year