How to Make a Basic Color Wheel and Primary Art Lesson Homeschool


How to Make a Color Wheel Homeschool Art Lesson.

If you're following Jake's Journey in Art this homeschool art lesson isn't from 3rd grade art. We've been combining lessons and working on everything together to make it more like a classroom and easier for the teacher (me). This is the 1st grade Primary Color Lessons for homeschoolers, but we added a science component and more to make it more interesting for the older elementary kids too. Enjoy!

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links for your convenience.

Sesame Street teaches Primary Colors.

Henri Matisse loves primary colors.

cute primary color wheel for preschooler or early elementary
Mayhem's second attempt (First Grade).
Preschool Color Wheel Ideas
Mayhem's first attempt: a color wheel cat.
He has all the colors just not in the right position.
He got the letters but not the wheel.  The smudges are  two
primary marker colors blended to create the secondary  colors.

So, what is a technically correct color wheel?

Colorwheel Art Lesson

The colors of the RAINBOW or those that appear in a prism. Here is a fun scientific lesson in PDF form from Stargazers and NASA.

We studied the use of primary colors by the Masters like the Matisse pictured above, and then we chose a farm animal to trace with pencil and paint with only the primary and secondary colors.

Jake's bunny with primary and secondary color complements.

Jake was a champ when it came to the technical aspect of art. He reminded me of the cheat to remember the primary and secondary colors. Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, Indigo, and Violet better known as ROY G. BIV.  He also knew prisms reflect the light from the sun and radiate these colors. Although, he knew about the color wheel he didn't have a good grasp of the concept of contrasting or complementary colors.

We're going to explore this concept. Math and Science are everywhere in ART. So, my little genius, art critic is going to learn about the golden rule sooner than later. Funny how people tend to be one or the other, left or right brained. I'm taking on the challenge to prove it doesn't have to be either or.

Paint a Primary and Complementary Color Bunny Elementary Art
Mayhem's bunny. They both traced the bunny from an original drawn by me. Yep, she's 6, loves art and hates math.

Click the thumbnails below to catch up on our 
Homeschool Art Journey
 or start here with LESSON ONE.
From Wikipedia:
Complementary colors are pairs of colors that are of “opposite” hue in some color model. The exact hue “complementary” to a given hue depends on the model in question, and perceptually uniformadditive, and subtractive color models, for example, have differing complements for any given color.

The complement of each primary color (red, blue, or yellow) is roughly the color made by mixing the other two in a subtractive system:
  • red complements (blue + yellow) = green
  • blue complements (red + yellow) = orange
  • yellow complements (red + blue) = violet

Recommended Reading:


Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.