By: Francesca Fiori
You probably have a favorite color that you like to use when you are making arts and crafts projects or even choosing what you'll wear in the morning. People can see colors thanks to the retinas in their eyes, which sense different colors of light using special cells. Colors allow you to describe things in the world around you. In the color wheel, three colors are called primary colors. These colors are red, yellow, and blue. Every other color in the color wheel is made by mixing different combinations of the primary colors.
Learning about color theory can be exciting because you can use your understanding of colors to create beautiful arts and crafts projects. You can also apply color theory to works of art to understand more about how and why the artists used the colors they used. Everything about color theory starts with the primary colors. Primary colors in the color wheel can't be made by mixing other colors together. When you mix the primary colors together, you get secondary colors. Examples of secondary colors include green, purple, and orange. Colors on the color wheel can also be divided by whether they are warm or cool. Warm colors include the primary colors red and yellow and the secondary color orange. Warm colors are often associated with feelings of excitement or even anger. Cool colors include the primary color blue and secondary colors green and purple. Cool colors are associated with feelings of calm or even sadness.
You can explore color theory by mixing together different colors to see what you get. Mixing finger paints in different colors can be a perfect way for you to see how the colors blend together to make new colors. Mixing more or less of certain colors can create a wide range of new colors. Instead of finger paints, you could also mix diluted watercolors in clear containers to see how the colors change. Even mixing colored clay can be an interesting way to see how different colors can blend together to make new colors. Sorting colors is another great way to learn about all the different colors. You can sort colors by primary and secondary and by warm and cool. As you place different colors into the warm and cool categories, you will probably notice that some colors don't really seem to fit in either category. These colors, such as gray, black, and white, are sometimes known as neutral colors.
As you learn more about colors, you may want to practice using all of these colors together on paper. Working on coloring pages is a great way to try using all of the different colors on one page. Some coloring pages have numbers in the different spaces, telling you which colors to use. Other coloring pages allow you to choose which colors you use. You might use crayons, paints, colored pencils, or markers to color the pages.
Arts and crafts projects are fun ways to use colors. You could make a drawing of yourself, called a self-portrait, using different colors. Your self-portrait might use realistic colors, or you could choose to use only warm or cool colors to express your emotions. Another option for your self-portrait is to use only neutral colors with a few light highlights in a warm or cool color. Making a rainbow is another idea for a color project, since rainbows always contain red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. You could paint a rainbow on a piece of paper, or you could even use special paints to add a rainbow to a window. Drawing or painting pictures of nature scenes is another idea for a colorful craft, and you can use a variety of colors for the grass, leaves, flowers, sky, clouds, and animals.