Denise Walter

Watercolor Artist



Basics of Color Theory

Class Outline

Basic Color Wheel;  Physical Demo;  3 minutes;  Analogous and complementary colors

Variations in Value; Physical Demo; 2 minutes; Compare Grayscale and Color Value Scale

Variations in Intensity; Physical Demo; 2 minutes; Review Intensity scales of 2 colors

Color Grids - Outline; Talking Head; 3 minutes; Introduce project, describe layout for project

Completing Color Grids; Physical Demo; 2 minutes; Demonstrate completing one of the color grids

Reflection on Color Grids; Talking Head; 3 minutes; Review completed color grids and common sticking points

Conclusion; Talking Head; 1 minute; Thank you for taking class, have fun with the project

Class Project:

  1. Draw 6 squares on a large sheet of paper.  Each square should be at least 3x3 inches, with space between the squares.
  2. Divide the squares into three sections vertically and three sections horizontally so that there are nine sections in total.
  3. Label the Horizontal axis of your first square "Value", with a scale of light to dark, with light on the left and dark on the right.
  4. Label the vertical axis as "Intensity", with a scale of vibrant at the top, and neutral at the bottom.
  5. Label each square with a primary or secondary color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple).
  6. Begin filling in your grids, doing your best to have noticeable increments between each column and row. 
  7. Review the grids you have created.   Each section within a column should have a similar value to the squares above and below. Likewise, the intensity in each row should line up, with the top row colors all being the brightest, and the bottom row all being the most neutral.  If you see that the values or intensities do not vary the way you intended, try to adjust the colors so that they vary appropriately (this will be more possible in some media, such as acrylics, than it will be in others, such as watercolors).
  8. Post your project in the project gallery.

View my first take on an intro video here:


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