Since all of my students come from different grade schools, I have no idea what kind of art background they have. I think that a basic understanding of color is really important so I always dedicate a good chunk of my Intro to Art class to making color wheels. I know that some students have done this before so I always try to approach the color wheel in a different way. I usually do it as a printmaking project but this semester I gave this fun painted wheel a whirl!
This project took about three weeks. We started out with a basic introduction to color mixing by doing a cookie wheel on the first day of school. After that we took some notes and talked about how even though red and yellow will always make orange, different reds mixed with different yellows will make different oranges. The students took some time to practice mixing all of the available primary colors to create a color chart and find the green, orange, and purple that they wanted to use on their wheel.
After some color mixing, I showed an example and explained the basics of the project. The students had to choose what silhouette they wanted to use. I took pictures of some kids so they could make a wheel of themselves and the others printed out a picture of their choice. I encourage them to use people but I didn’t totally restrict it. I laminated all of the pictures and the students cut them out.
Then, I demonstrated how to draw a circle and divided it into twelve equal sections. The students took their silhouette and outlined it once on each line. Finally, the painting fun begins! They use their color charts to choose their primary colors and painted those silhouettes first. I also had them label each one with the color they needed to use so that they didn’t get mixed up.
This is an awesome time to really hammer in clean up process and other classroom policies! After they finished they cut the wheels into a big circle and outlined the silhouettes with sharpie. They generally did a pretty good job painting but the sharpie just makes every thing pop.
I’ll definitely try this project again next year, it was a bit tedious but the kids learn so much in this one. See the finished results here!