Color Wheel

The Color Wheel

This is our first lesson in our unit “Cultural Discovery through Art; The Colors of Costa Rica”


  • Primary Colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue.  All other colors can be mixed using a combination of these three colors
  • Secondary Colors: Orange, Purple, Green.  These colors are mixed using the Primary Colors
  • Tertiary Colors: Red Orange, Yellow Orange, Yellow Green, Blue Green, Red Purple, Blue Purple.  These colors are mixed by adding more of a primary color to a secondary color.


The color wheel is an important tool for artists. Each student will receive a handout of a blank color wheel. You can download the handout here.

Each circle is labeled with a color. The trick here is to use only Red, Yellow, and Blue to mix each color.  Red, Yellow, and Blue are called Primary colors.  It helps to fill in the Primary Colors first, then the Secondary colors, and lastly the Tertiary colors.  Experiment mixing the colors using different amounts of Red, Yellow, and Blue.

Next, each student will receive another blank color wheel.  This is the exact format of your color quiz for next class! Practice filling in the colors again and labeling them “primary,” “secondary,” and “tertiary.” You can download the practice quiz here.

Have fun color mixing!


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