Color Painting Exercises

Kinetic Color Wheel by Maine-artist Kim Bernard

As we begin a study of color and how and why artists apply/use it, we will be painting a series of color exercises. Each exercise will have you experimenting with paint handling while dealing with concepts of color. Each exercise should be done with concern for craftsmanship, meaning cutting and gluing are done carefully, pencil lines are gone over neatly with black pen, and all pencil lines are erased. You will be getting a technical grade for these exercises.

external image empty.png color wheel labels.odt

Exercise 1: Color Wheel:
  • 12 colors, placed correctly and each hue accurately and VERY NEATLY labeled
  • Label Primary Colors
  • Label Secondary Colors
  • Label Complementary Colors
  • Label Tertiary Colors
  • Label Cool Colors
  • Label Warm Colors

A. On a 12 x 18 paper please paint the three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), the three secondary colors (orange, green, violet), and six tertiary colors (yellow-orange, red-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, red-violet, blue-violet).
B. Use a compass or trace a circle to draw a 7.5 - 8” circle on a 9 x 12 sheet of paper. Using a pencil, mark off the locations of the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.
C. Choose a simple shape that you will use to show each colors placement on the color wheel. Cut that shape out of each color on your painted sheet and glue neatly onto the color wheel.
D. Determine how you might clearly show the following relationships: primary colors, secondary colors, tertiary colors, and complementary colors. One way to do this is with a solid line, dotted line, and double line. As there are many tertiary colors, you might choose to simplify the middle of your color wheel by putting a dot or other small symbol by those colors.
E. Please draw a neat “Key” to explain your choices of lines for each color relationship.
F. Please neatly label this page as: Color Wheel
G. Please neatly label each hue with its name

Exercise 2: Color Tints and Lowering Intensity / Neutralizing the Hue
  • Neatly cut and with six even jumps (including the base hue),
  • Tint Scale, with definition of how to make a tint
  • Intensity Scales, with definition of how to change intensity

A. In the next set of exercises, you are to make three color scales. On the first you should choose a hue, then make five even jumps to as close to white as you can get with still having a bit of the original hue. You might want to have a piece of scrap paper nearby to test your value jumps before you paint them on the scale. If you realize you have made too great or too small of a jump you should let that one dry, then paint over it.
B. On the second scale you should choose a primary color and its complement (for instance, blue and orange). Place your primary color in the first square of the middle scale. Mix a good amount of its secondary complement and gradually add it to make even jumps to a neutral (gray) color in the last square of the scale.
C. You should label this page at the tops of each column:
a. First column: Tints
b. Over the Second: Hue Intensity

To get full credit for these exercises you must follow all directions!