Sunday, September 22, 2013

Colour Wheel Trees

I'm starting a new residency tomorrow and this is a project I'll be doing with Grade 1-2.

Similar to all those Kandinsky tree projects out there only focusing on the colour wheel.


- substrate (base), you could use paper, canvas, poster board.  I'm using 1/8" MDF
- acrylic paint in yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green, and whatever background colour you want
- sandpaper
- paper for painting
- assorted card stock, scraps of scrapbooking paper
- white glue
- printed text of colour words
- kraft paper
- brown acrylic paint
- homemade Glimmer mist (how to make)
- Mod podge for sealing


I cut my MDF boards to be 1'x1'.  I purchased them at Home Depot at $2.95 for a 2'x4' piece.  That works out to 37 cents each when cut!

If your MDF has a shiny finish rough it up a bit with some sandpaper, just a little scrub is all that is needed.

Paint with your base colour, because I'm sealing these with podge I'm using acrylic.  If you are not sealing then you could use tempera.

I made up a paper in Word that has colour words all over it.  I cut this into strips.

Mix up a glue/water solution (1 to1). Take a piece of kraft paper about the same size as your board and start covering with the strips.  Dip each strip into the glue mixture and then apply to paper randomly.

Set aside to dry

Take 6 pieces of paper and paint in your colour wheel colours.  On each one I added an extra layer of texture, stripes, dots, sponge, bubble wrap, plastic wrap.

Let dry.

When my text covered paper was dry I painted it with some diluted brown paint.

I sprayed on some glimmer mist in white and black.  To find out how to make your own on the cheap check out this post (scroll down).

Let dry.

Turn over to the back, trace out tree shape.  You need 6 main branches for the 6 colours on the wheel.

Cut out.  With the Grade1-2's I'll have some templates if needed.

Glue onto your background.

Cut circles out of your painted papers.  Each branch represents a colour on the wheel.

For green, orange and purple I added a leaf that has the 2 primary colours and then the resulting secondary.

Glue into place.

Add a coat of Modge podge to seal.

That's it.

Looking forward to tomorrow!


  1. Beautiful!! I like tree and i like your creativity

  2. Nice! How many classes do you plan for this?

    1. Hi Jane,
      I have 3 classes scheduled in for this, my other 3 Grade 1-2 classes are working on self portraits.

  3. Beautiful! Really! :) How old are kids?

    1. They are 6 and 7. Started today so far everything is going great. Hope to update with pictures of student work.

  4. Do you have the template somewhere?

    1. I'll be making tree templates for school in a few days. I will update this post with one then.

    2. Great thanks! I'm exctited to try this :)

    3. Is the tree template available?

  5. Love this! Can you post your tree template?