Color Wheel Mandala: Part I | Chris Carter | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Drawing the Mandala


    • 3.

      Primary Colors


    • 4.

      Secondary Colors


    • 5.

      Tertiary Colors


    • 6.

      Two Variations


    • 7.

      What's Next?


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About This Class

Create a Star Mandala that doubles as a Color Wheel.  This is the first in the four-part Color Wheel Mandala Series.  Each course first guides you through the process of creating a mandala with compass and straightedge. Then, you enter the magnificent world of color mixing.  By using a limited palette of one yellow, one red and one blue, you learn the characteristics of your pigments and discover that when your palette is limited and you combine only two pigments at a time, your colors ALWAYS look gorgeous together.

Please post your project. You may add additional projects to your project page. Every time you add a new project in any of my classes, you earn an entry into the current month's contest.  I draw the name of the winner on the first day of every month LIVE on Instagram.  I will post the drawing time on an Instagram post on the morning of the drawing.  The time will change due to my frequent travel and lack of cell or internet service. The winner will receive a free month of membership to The Artist's Journey.

Materials needed to create your own Color Wheel Mandala are the following:

1. Quality Cold Press Watercolor paper  at least 140 lb. (or Rives BFK printmaking paper).

2. Pencil

3. Compass

4. Straightedge

5. Permanent fine-tip marker or Fountain Pen filled with permanent ink (I suggest either Noodler's Bulletproof Black or Platinum Carbon Ink)

6. Watercolor brush or brushes

7. Watercolor pigments: One yellow; one blue; one red (See the list below to determine whether your pigments are considered to be warm or cool.)

8. Mixing palette (I suggest one with multiple wells.  I use circular palettes to reinforce where the colors are located on a color wheel.)

8. Water containers

9. Paper towel or rag

In Parts II, III and IV (separate classes) you will learn to create other mandala designs and will be using six pigments, two of each primary color: yellow; blue; red.


Cool Yellows: Cadmium Lemon, Hansa Yellows, Bismuth Yellow, Lemon Yellows, Nickel Titanate, Aureolin

Warm Yellows: Cadmium Yellows, Hansa Yellow Deep, Gamboge, Nickel Dioxine, Yellow Ochre

Cool Blues: Cobalt Teal, Cobalt Turquoise, Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Blue, Manganese Blue, Joe’s Blue

Warm Blues: Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrone Blue

Cool Reds: Magenta, Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Carmine, Quinacridone Rose, Quinacridone Crimson

Warm Reds: Cadmium Reds, Vermillion, Pyrrole Red, Cadmium Scarlet, Pyrrole Scarlet

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Carter

artist, illustrator and explorer


Welcome to Skillshare. I'm Chris Carter.

I love exploring the world with pen and brush whether it be by land, sea or air! Here on Skillshare, in tiny bites, I present tips and techniques I've learned over a lifetime of sketching, drawing and painting. My classes are designed with two purposes in mind: to present tips and techniques that help you learn new skills and master current skills; and as quick reference for those of you who have attended one of my live workshops.

I create large, abstract watercolors and oil paintings in my studio. When traveling, which I do for more than half the year, I work realistically, mostly in sketchbooks. I sketch from reality daily to keep my eye, hand and brain coordination well-honed.

You can follow me on Instagram. Additional ... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Welcome to my color. Real Mondal. A course on skill share. I'm Chris Carter. This is the first of a four part series of color wheelman dollars in the first part in this class, we will be creating this mandala and we will be creating three versions of it. The design is the same. The only difference is the color palette. I've chosen three different color palettes. Each color palette has one yellow, one red and one blue. Now, just to give you a little glimpse at what will be in part two, part three and part four, this will be the Mondal A that would create in part to this will be the $1 we create in part three. On this will be the mom dollar we create. The way that these classes will go is that I will begin with a lesson on how to create the design for the model. And then you can do that. Repeat that as many times as you wish You can change. You can add circles and add lines. You can totally alter it if you wish, but I'm showing a very, very basic mandala in case you haven't made one before and there is no limit to the variety of mandalas you can make as I'll show you in a minute. I'll show you some samples of other month dollars following the lesson on creating your model. It design will be lessons that guide you through my decision making. As I was choosing where to place the colors in my Montali, I would like to share with you what started me on this. I was watching the Winter Olympics and I created this dollar. Andi, this is not a color wheel dollar, really? But it gave me the idea that 12345 secs ahead of yellow, green, blue, violet, red, orange so that this is so much more fun than creating color wheels. And I have been creating color wheels nonstop for two years because I was re teaching myself color. I wanted to be a master of color and color was one of my weaknesses. So that huh I'm gonna make color with us. And that's what I started doing. I made my way around the color wheel yellow, green, blue, violet, red, orange, yellow on the outside, yellow to green to blue to violet, red orange, yellow, yellow to green to boot to violet, orange to yellow. And then then I would switch my pigments, and I kept learning more more about color. Having an awful lot of fun making these delightful Mangala's, I started adding in drawing Okay, plants all kinds of so you can see that these air not color wheelman dollars, but it was totally hooked on learning more about design patterns, values and color schemes. This started my coast, so there was really no end to it. It's It's only limited by your imagination. That's it. You'll need the following materials to make your dollar. I use Reeves B F K Printmaking paper. You'll need a compass. You'll need a pencil. You'll need a permanent fine tip marker or a fountain pen filled with permanent ink. I use platinum carbon ink just a word of caution regarding the thank you used to fill your fountain pen. Please don't ever use Indian ink. India ink has shellac in it, and it will harden and will destroy your fountain pen. You'll need three pigments. You'll need a yellow, a blue and a red, and I refer to them as a cool or a warm of each primary. You'll see in the resource materials a list of pigments that indicates whether it's considered to be a cool pigment or warm pigment. You will need a watercolor brush and you will need a straight. We don't really need it to be a ruler, just something that you can draw a straight line with. 2. Drawing the Mandala: first draws circles size. You want your Mondal A to B next, Going to mark the top and the bottom of that circle and make sure that the line that connects the two passes through the center of the circle using the same setting you're going to mark off six equal segments of the circumference of the circle. I do this by marking it from the bottom point and from the top point you're setting is the same on the compass. It is the size of the radius. The radius is 1/2 the diameter of the circle. Next you're going to connect point A and point B and then point B and point C and then point C back 2.8 made a triangle equal lateral triangle in the center of your circle. And in this little clip, I'm going in the reverse order. It doesn't really matter how you do it. What order You connect those points. Just connect those three points so that you have a triangle touching the edge, the circumference of your circle. Now you're going to make a second circle connect, point, D and E than E and F and last F and D. Now you have two triangles making a six pointed star. The tips of the star are touching the circumference of your circle. Now you're going to adjust your compass down just a little bit to make about a a little less than 1/4 of an inch border going around your circle, carefully avoiding the points of the triangles. Next, we divide the center hexagon of our star. You also want to divide the curved sections on the outer rim of your circle. Do that in all three directions. I'm showing you each step twice, Once as a still and once in motion, some people learn one way. Some people learn another way, so I'm giving you both options. Repeating it twice also helps to reinforce the method, and there you have it. Now we can start painting in the mandala 3. Primary Colors: I like the star to have a point at the top and a point at the bottom of my circle. Choose between a warm and cool yellow and a warm and cool blue and a warm and cool red one of each. For this first mandala, I've chosen a cool yellow, a warm blue and a cool read. My warm blue is ultra marine blue. I'm not mentioning the names of the pigments of my yellows and reds because it's important to me that you begin to notice the personality, the characteristics, the quality of warm and cool pigments. The reason that I mentioned the Blue is because there's such controversy over blues and whether ultra marine blue is the warmest blue possible or the coolest blue possible. I think of it as the warmest blue possible because it is the blue that is closest to read on the color wheel. I like to be consistent when I'm working with color wheels. By that I mean that I start with the yellow at the top. My blue is to the right and my red is to the left. I work in a clockwise direction and this way my brain is always visualize ing the color wheel in the same way I know that other artists will have the color wheel working in a counterclockwise direction where the blue will be counterclockwise to the left of the yellow. My blue is clockwise to the right of my yellow notice, too, that I've painted in the two segments that are directly opposite the trying on the outside border in the next lesson will paint in our secondary colors. 4. Secondary Colors: now for adding our secondary colors, remember to use the exact same three primaries that you used in the first part of this mandala. After you have your three primaries painted in your yellow, your blue and your red, you'll move on to your secondaries, your green you're violet and your orange, and you could do those in any order you wish. I will start with my violet and to make violent. I will mix the blue and the red that I've chosen to use. Just a reminder. You're only using the three pigments you chose originally when creating any of my color wheel mandalas, I mixed only two pigments at a time. I never mix in 1/3 pigment, depending on which read and which blew You've chosen. You're violet may appear to be more brown than violet or more grey than Violet. This is normal, and this is important to observe. And then to understand why change your water between each mix and make sure that your brushes very clean. Otherwise, you're contaminating your mixture with a bit of a different color. When mixing my green, I'm trying to achieve a green that doesn't look to me like a yellow green and doesn't look to me like a blue green. I'm going for a green that somewhere in the middle, also with my orange. I'm looking for something that's not a yellow orange and is not a red orange. We now have both our primary colors and are secondary colors, attitude or mandala. In the next lesson, we're going to mix those beautiful colors that are between our primary and lower secondary colors. 5. Tertiary Colors: In this lesson, you'll be mixing tertiary colors. The tertiary colors are the colors that lie between the primary and the secondary color. For example, between the yellow and the green is what we call yellow green. Between the green and the blue is what we call blue, green, yellow, green and blue green. Our tertiary colors. Remember that we're not making an ordinary color wheel. We're creating a mandala and using it as a color wheel. That means that I'm going to switch things out a little bit. I'm not going to put the yellow green between the other one green. I'm going to put it on the other side of the color wheel. The outside border of the color wheel will help you to remember what colors to mix and where to put them. Once again, you will only be using two of the primary colors to make your tertiary. To make a yellow green, you'll use more yellow than you will blue To make a blue green, you'll use more blue than you do yellow. I say it that way without referring to a measurement like a certain amount of yellow and a certain amount of blue yellow we know gets tinted very quickly When you're mixing your green, you discovered that just a tiny bit of blue added to your yellow, turned it green instantly. It's not a matter of quantity. It's a matter of saturation and intensity and the power of the pigment. In the center of the Mont Ala. I've painted in dilutions of the mixtures of the points that there next to, in other words, the orange on the outside. I've diluted a bit and painted that on the inside triangle. This gives you great practice in matching that color. If you don't still have some of that on your palate. In the next lesson, I will show you the same mom dollar made with two different color palettes. 6. Two Variations: using the same format for the mandala. You can change out the pigments you're using and learn a lot more about color and have fun doing it. Our first variation will be using a warm yellow, a cool blue and a warm red in Mondal, a number one we used a cool yellow ah cool red and a warm blue for Mondal. A number two. We're going to switch the cool yellow for a warm yellow. We'll switch the cool rid for a warm red, and we'll switch the warm blue for a cool blue. So we will be changing all three primary colors for Mondal, a number two. I suggest you stop the video for a minute and really take a look at the differences between the two pallets that were using. See if you can discern how the yellows air different, how the reds air different and how the blues air different. Here are the two mandalas with the primary colors painted in the next step after painting in the primaries, it's to mix my yellow and my blue and paint in my green. Remember that you want to mix a green that you wouldn't call a yellow green, and you wouldn't call a blue green. You want that in between green. Move on to your orange, mixing your warm yellow and your warm red for the last secondary color. We mix our warm red and are cool blue, and we try to get a violet. But it's virtually impossible. Notice that the cool red and the warm blue are closer to each other on this small color wheel. The cool blue and the warm red are further away. The reason you can't get a good violet with warm red and the cool blue is because both of those are reflecting a little bit of yellow. Notice that they're closer to the yellow than the cool red and the warm blue are here's comparison of Mondal, a one and Mondal a to with both the primaries and the secondary colors painted in. Next, mix your tertiary colors for Mondal, a number to remember to only use two pigments at a time. Don't mix any of the third pigment into your mixes. Here's a comparison of Mondal, a one and Mondal a to with the primary secondary and the tertiary colors. The last step is to paint in the inner hexagon in the same manner that you painted it in. In Mondal, a number one here, the completed mandalas Mondal, a number one is on the left. Mondello number two is on the right, pause the video and carefully observed the differences between the two. For Mondal, a number three, I've chosen three pigments that are already neutralized in their pure state. That means that they're reflecting light that we perceive as red, yellow and blue. And when you have all three primaries being reflected back, the cancel portions of one another out and you get a diminished color, which is what a neutral is, it doesn't mean it's not a gorgeous color. It just means that it's neutralized. It contains all three primary colors. This is a comparison of Mondal, a 12 and three with just primaries painted in. Here is a comparison of just the color swatches. When you begin with a neutral yellow in a neutral blue, you, of course, end up with a neutralized green. Whenever you mix to neutralized primary colors, you end up with the neutralised secondary color. Here's a comparison of all three month dollars with their primary and secondary colors painted in. Now go ahead and mix the tertiary colors. Here's a comparison of all three month dollars with their primary secondary and tertiary colors painted it. And here we have the final Mondal, a number three. The inner hexagon is painted in the same manner that I painted in the center in Mondal a one and Mondal A. To now we can compare all three month dollars. Their design is the same. The difference is the primary palette that I chose. 7. What's Next?: Now that you've completed part one of color Real Mondal is Let's take a look at what you did and what's coming up in part one. I presented three variations on a star Mondal a this one this one and this one. I used the same design, the same pattern. But I switched out my palate and H palette. I only used one yellow, one red and one blue. That was part one. That's what you just completed. This is a Mondal a will work on in part two. This is a mandala that I will show you how to create in part three. And this is the mandala in part for I hope you've enjoyed this class. I hope it's inspired you to create your own designs of Mondal is and I hope that you will create them and post them in the project section of this class. I'll see you in part two of color. Real Mondo, This is Chris Carter. Still share