Color Painting Exercises


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 both a technical and creative grade for these exercises.

Exercise 1: Color Wheel:
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 unique 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
H. Please neatly include the following terms and definitions:
a. Hue = name of a color
b. Value = the lightness or darkness of a hue
c. Intensity = the brightness of a hue

Exercise 2: Color Tints and Lowering Intensity / Neutralizing the Hue
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 and third scales you should choose a primary color and its complement (for instance, blue and orange). Place your primary color at the top 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 at the bottom of the scale. Start the next scale with the complement at the top and add the primary in even jumps to it to get to the neutral at the bottom.
C. You should label this page at the tops of each column:
a. First column: Tints
b. Below the First column answer this question with a complete sentence: What do you need to produce a tint of a hue?
c. Over the Second & Third columns: Hue Intensity
d. Below the Second & third columns answer this question with a complete sentence: How do you lower the intensity of a given hue?