Creating A Colour Wheel

Hi there 🙂

I wanted to share a really cool lesson I’ve learned from an Art course through Udemy on “Art Therapy, Drawing, and Self-Exploration.” Not only was I excited to learn more concepts for myself but also to be able to have various practices to do with clients.

Here is something really cool pieced together throughout the lesson. Check it out, try it out, and let me know how you do!
Creating a Colour wheel


You will need:

1) The three primary colours: red, yellow, and blue as well as white

2) Painting surface (oil painting paper, canvas, etc)
3) Cup of water

4) Paint cloth

5) Paint brush(es)

6) paint pallet

7) Pallet knife
8) Pencil

9) Compass


To begin:

1) Create a large circle with compass

2) Create a smaller circle in the center (~15cm smaller)
3) Divide large circle into 12 equal parts 30 degrees spacing between each (just like the face of a clock) keeping the smaller circle clear.
Begin adding primary colours to the colour wheel

  • At 12:00 paint area yellow
  • Area #4 red
  • Area # 8 blue

Next: create and add secondary colours (green, purple, and orange)

Secondary colours are also called Complimentary colours and the placement being created in the circle places the complimentary colours across from one another.

  • A) Mix equal amounts of yellow and red to create orange
  1. B) Add orange to segment #2


  • A) Mix equal amounts of blue and red to create purple
  1. B) Add purple to segment #6

3     A) Mix equal amounts of blue and yellow to create green

  1. B) Add green to segment #10


You will see now that

1) Purple compliments yellow

2) Green compliments red

3) Orange compliments blue

Tertiary Colours: Now we will create tertiary colours by mixing the secondary (complimentary colours) with the primary colours and add these colours to the wheel

  • Mix yellow and orange to create yellow-orange and add this to segment #1
  • Mix red and orange to create red-orange and add this to segment #3
  • Mix red and purple to create red-purple and add this to segment #5
  • Mix purple and blue to create blue-purple and add this to segment #7
  • Mix green and blue to create blue-green and add this to segment # 9
  • Mix green and yellow to create yellow-green and add this to segment #11

There is your colour wheel J

1) To create brown a) mix yellow + blue to create green

  1. b) mix green + a little bit of red until you create your desired shade
  2. c) If you need/want to lighten this- add more yellow

2) Grey a) mix blue + red to make purple

  1. b) add yellow to get to the colour of purple you would like
  2. c) to lighten, add white

3) Black: there are a few options

  1. a) brown + blue = blue black
  2. b) orange + blue = black
  3. c) green + red = black

4) Adding white to colours can tint/lighten

5) Adding grey can lighten/tone down colours

6) To make shades darker- add black

End tip: Practice mixing on paint pallets and adding to paper to play and get used to mixing and colour combinations. This will begin to become easy for you to recognize and create various shades which can then be carried over to many projects and creations 🙂


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