The color wheel is a fundamental concept that is introduced in Grade 1 and then further discussed in later grades. So I am always interested in developing projects to help teach Color Theory.
Now Color Theory can get quite complex but we'll start with the basics.
For this project the kids make a color wheel that becomes the basis for a fun interactive painting.
With a turn of the wheel........
......and the gecko changes color.
So let's get started and once you know the technique you can adapt this project in numerous ways.
- tempera or watercolor paint
- 2 sheets of watercolor paper
- fine sharpie
- template, (use mine or better yet come up with your own)
- scissors, pencil, eraser
- paper fastener
- glue, tape
- transparency (optional)
Take one sheet of watercolor paper and trace out the largest circle you can. I used a plate.
Cut it out and save your scraps.
Mark in pencil the center of that wheel on both the cut circle and where it would lay on that other paper. Now hold the paper up to a bright window and make this center mark on the back as well.
This helps out a lot later.
If you are using the template or a pattern that you have made yourself, lay this on the marked out circle on the paper. It's hard to see in this photo so I'm leaving the wheel in place to show you.
You want the gecko to be inside that circle and you also don't want to cover up the that center pencil mark. You'll have to fiddle with your image to get it in the right place.
Trace out that pattern or just free draw in your image.
Now you want to create your window so you need to cut away that image.
Instead of fussing with exacto blades or tears from trying to make these difficult cuts I just get the kids to cut their paper in half thru the drawing.
They then can easily cut out both sides of the drawing.
We then turn the 2 sides over to the back, fit together and tape into place. Much easier and safer.
Now let's start painting. Get the kids to paint in the primary colors leaving white space between them.
Then start mixing the primaries together. It's best to mix these together on a separate palette or plate and then add onto your color wheel.
Add a little water on the edges of each color so they mix a little rather than having such definite stripes.
Now paint in your top sheet.
If you are pressed for time with this project you can also just use black paper, draw in some background lines with white pencil crayon and then you can skip this painting step.
Outline your painting if you want with sharpie or black pencil crayon. You can also outline the cut out section (older kids).
Now I like to hide the paper fastener. In order to do this you need a scrap piece of wc paper. (remember those scraps from cutting out our wheel).
Cut a circle, square, what ever will fit. You'll understand in a minute. Punch a hole through it with an awl, scissors, or knitting needle and put the fastener in hole.
Now glue or tape this onto the back of your cutout sheet. (Prongs sticking up at you)
You want it to be approximately where that center mark is that you marked out. You don't want any of the scrap paper showing thru the window so sometimes you have to cut it to fit.
Now you could just stop at this point but if you want details on your gecko take a transparency sheet.
Lay it on the back, you'll have to poke a hole to let the fastener get thru.
Now you don't have to use a full sheet, I know transparencies can be quite expensive. You just want to cover up that cutout.
Tape into place.
Put Color wheel face down on fastener and fold back prongs, a little loose for easy turning.
Now you can add details in sharpie right on to the transparency.
Here is a smaller one I made that does not have the transparency.
I added googly eyes.
You can also make these in your journals and I hope to show you those next time with more color theory.