Color Wheel

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Color is everywhere. But what is color? Color is created by nerves in our eyes being able to sense the length of light reflected on an object.

We see colors starting with red, blue and yellow, which are called primary colors. When mixed together, the primary colors create secondary colors: red + blue = violet. When primary and secondary colors are mixed, they create tertiary colors.

A color wheel can help you see the relationships between colors. Most color wheels use three primary colors, three secondary colors and six tertiary colors, for a total of 12 main divisions.

*A couple of paper plates

*Three colors of paint: red, blue and yellow

*A paintbrush, ice pop stick or old plastic knife

*Scraps of construction or tissue paper, magazine cutouts or old photographs

1. Paint or dab a swatch of yellow at the top of your plate. Rinse your brush/knife/stick between each step.

2. Add a red swatch on the bottom left side and a blue swatch on the bottom right side.

3. Start to mix the colors.

4. To make the secondary colors (orange, green and violet), mix two primary colors into each other on a separate plate, then transfer the color to your color wheel (see photo).

5. For each intermediate color, mix some of the primary color with the secondary color next to it on the separate plate and transfer to your color wheel.

Instead of paint, use scraps of tissue or construction paper, or even magazine cutouts or photographs. How does this expand your creative options?

Do a bit more research. What are complementary colors? What are analogous colors? Colors can also be warm and cool. As you look out the window, what colors do you see that are warm and cool?

Share: What colors were the easiest to incorporate into your color wheel?

Reflect: Do you find yourself noticing colors around you more now that you have made a color wheel? What ways do you find yourself drawn to certain colors and not others?

Apply: Think about colors when decorating your room or house. What colors do you have? What colors would you like to use? Create a dream color wheel for your own space.