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color wheel painting

mixing colors

by JuliannaKunstler.com

color wheel

Painting a color wheel is a great way to learn how to mix colors. In addition to that - you will also create a perfect reference that you can use as a color guide.

The assignment has two parts:

  • Color wheel with shades, hues, tones, and tints of primary, secondary, and intermediate (tertiary) colors
  • Color value scale (tints, hues, and shades) of primary and secondary colors, plus brown scale and grey scale.

Part of the grade is your craftsmanship and painting inside the lines. Take your time!


color wheel

color wheel

color value scale

color values


step 1 - grid


Cut out the two templates from here: worksheet

Position them on a 10"x15" illustration board.

The circle is 5" in diameter.

The rectangle is 7"x4"

tracingTrace the two shapes.

Transfer the grid marks around the perimeter as shown.

color wheel grid

Connect the marks.

color wheel grid

Divide the circle's radius into 4 parts.

color wheel and values

Draw three circles to complete the grid.

step 2 - painting hues


primary colors

There are 4 rings in your color wheel:

  • color shades (hue + Black)
  • hues
  • color tones (hue + Grey)
  • color tints (hue + White)

Paint three sections of the "hues" ring with primary colors. Make sure they are spaced evenly - having three sections in between.

There are 8 rows in the color value scale:

  • 3 primary + 3 secondary colors
  • Grey
  • Brown

Paint the middle column of rows 1, 3, and 6 with primary colors.


secondary colors

In plastic cups mix 3 secondary colors: orange, purple, and green

Fill in the "hue" sections between the corresponding primary colors.

mix red and yellowmix red and bluemix yellow and blue

Always start with the lightest color, then add darker color (a little at a time):

  • To mix orange - start with yellow, add a little bit of red.
  • To mix purple - add blue into red.
  • To mix green - add blue into yellow



In plastic cups mix 6 intermediate colors. These are the colors that you get by mixing a primary and a secondary colors.

For example:

  • red-orange = red + orange
  • red-violet = red + purple
  • yellow-orange = yellow + orange
  • yellow-green = yellow + green
  • blue-green = blue + green
  • blue-violet = blue + purple
intermediate colorsintermediate colorsintermediate colorsintermediate colorsintermediate colorsintermediate colors



To mix Grey - add a little Black into White.


primary colors

To get Brown - you need to mix 2 colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel (complementary color scheme).

In other words, you get Brown when you mix all 3 primary colors together. You just need to mix them in the right proportion.

mix brownmix brownmix brown

step 3 - color values



dark blue

To create a shade - add a little of Black to your color.

red values

Colors have values.

Create 3 shades of each color by adding more black to your color

color shades

Complete the dark values (shades).


color wheelblue tone

To create a tone - mix your color with Grey


color wheelblue tint

To create a tint - add your color to White.

Create 3 tints of each color by using more white paint.

red values
color value scale