Easy Art Class – The Color Wheel

Minimum Requirements for this Easy Art Lesson:

One of the most fundamental lessons to teach your children in art is color. This is an easy art class because you can teach it in about 30 minutes and only need paper towels, pencil, straight edge, heavy paper, paint brushes, water, and three paint colors- Red, Blue, and Yellow. For best results use acrylic paints. You will teach your child to make all colors: Secondary and Tertiary with the Primary Colors.

Vocabulary for this Easy Art Lesson:

  • Primary Colors– any of a group of colors from which all other colors can be obtained by mixing.
  • Secondary Colors a color, as orange, green, or violet, produced by mixing two primary colors.
  • Tertiary Colors -1 : a color, as blue-violet, produced by an equal mixture of a primary color with a secondary color adjacent to it on the color wheel. or 2 : a color, as brown, produced by mixing two secondary colors.

Instruction for Teaching an Easy Art Lesson

In this easy art lesson, the goal is to mix tertiary colors as in definition 1. Provide your child with water only used to clean their brush between mixing (not to dilute paint) and a paper towel to blot or wipe dry the brush before reloading. It important for you to let your child experiment freely. The more results they get the more they will learn how to achieve the desired mix. If you prefer, allow your child scratch paper to first practice mixing. Then once mastered, they can create their wheel.

Easy steps to an easy art lesson…

  1. Assist your child in making an equilateral triangle (or close to it). Discuss that there are 3 primary colors- red, yellow and blue and that all colors can be made from those three colors. Starting with red and going clockwise, have your child make a dot of each color at each triangle point. Continue with yellow next and then blue.
  2. Next draw another equilteral triangle pointing the opposite direction. Have your child mix read and yellow to make orange and add to the orange to the triangle point between red and yellow. If your child has trouble achieving the desired color, add more red to darken and more yellow to lighten to achieve the desired hue. Continue in the same manner to create green with yellow and blue and purple with blue and red.
  3. To create tertiary colors combine the two closest secondary colors on the wheel. For example, make Blue-Green by mixing green blue. When naming tertiary colors, it is most proper to name the primary color fist and then the secondary color.

About the author

Stephanie Harrington

Stephanie was a military spouse for 20 years and has homeschooled for more than 17 years. She and her husband of 25 years retired from the military and settled in their native state of Iowa where they continue to homeschool their youngest child. Her homeschool style is eclectic with Charlotte Mason and classical influences. She continues to encourage and support homeschoolers through her writings and curriculum development.
When she isn't teaching or writing she enjoys sightseeing, gardening, and cooking.


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