Colour Wheel (Watercolour)

This is a review of how to paint a three colour colour wheel – that is, a colour wheel that starts with the three primary colours (yellow, red, and blue). You will create twelve new colours!

If you get your materials ready, you can paint along with me, step by step in this video.

Here are the materials needed:

Watercolour paints (cake or tube), 3 brushes, watercolour paper, water, pencil, eraser, ruler, something round like a yogurt container, kleenex, scrap paper (to try out colours) and a palette (which could be a plate, or the top of a yogurt container).

Below is a little extra help in drawing the outline of your colour wheel.

Once you have finished painting your colour wheel, here are some other things you can do.

First, label your colour wheel.  You have already labelled your three primary colours. Label the secondary colours – purple, green, and orange. Secondary colours are made from mixing two primary colours together. The colours in between the secondary colours are called tertiary colours. Also important is to find the complementary colours. These are the colours opposite of each other on the colour wheel. Red is opposite green. Yellow is opposite purple. Blue is opposite orange. There is a special magic with complementary colours. If you want something to look really green, put some red next to it. Your green will pop out. If you mix green and red, you will get a brown or gray. If your red is to bright and you need to dull it down a bit, add some green. This magic applies to yellow and purple as well as blue and orange.

Second, get to know the colours you have. You can make a chart like the one below showing all the watercolours you have. I know the names of these because they come from tubes. If you use cake pans, the colours are  probably not labelled. Maybe you can name them. In my cake pan  I have two reds – one I name tomato red, the other I name marischino cherry red.Third, using a slightly different red, blue and yellow, you can create a totally different colour wheel. Even if you just change one of the colours, it will change your entire colour wheel. This is a wonderful way to play, and also a great way to get to know your colours and what they are capable of. Some examples are below.