Color Wheel Creativity

To learn about color, I had my Art&Design class create their own color wheels out of only three colors of paint: Magenta (a bright pink), Cyan (bright light blue), and Yellow.

We used 12 colors in each composition.

They chose a shape to repeat around the wheel.

I also challenged them to use the complementary color in the shape. (Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. Orange and blue are complements.)

Things students learn while doing this project: some colors are a lot stronger than others...mixing half blue and half yellow doesn't give you the perfect green. It creates a greenish blue, or it may not look green at all. Blue is really powerful. So mixing is a delicate art. You have to know which colors are stronger than the other and add tiny amounts at a time. This is what makes this project so hard. A good color wheel looks as if it is scientifically equal steps from one color to the next, but that doesn't translate at all into amounts of colors mixed to make what you see. It can be difficult to mix just the right shades between your primary colors. (Oh, and we didn't start with primary colors, so they had to mix those too! Bah ah ah aha...mean art teacher, huh?)

Another thing students will learn is that I gave them transparent colors. So, you can't paint one color over another color without changing both colors. (I'll get out white and gesso in another project after they've struggled with this a little while. I hid it this week. He he he.)

In this composition, above, the big toe is the complementary color of the foot.

Below, this composition was inspired by pizza...

The leaves were changing in brilliant colors while we were working on this project and that inspired this student's work:

This student used watercolors and a fern shape in hers:

One student made his color wheel a tribute to his friend, Josh. Joshed missed class because he got a bad burn while on a backpacking trip. He ended up in the UNC Burn Center where they covered the wound with pig skin. He really appreciated the pigs in this color wheel!