Colour Theory for Kids

ART IS COLOUR!  Even black & white art is colour…although, yes these technically are not “colours”.

I’m doing another kids art class this Fall and starting with colour theory.



This is the handout/colour wheel that we worked from for this class. These also get handed out at the beginning of each subsequent class to work from.

They are printed on one sheet, double-sided. To make them more reusable and help protect them from water, paint, etc. I have slipped them into plastic, page protector pockets.



Four-Square Colour Activity

    • Divide (i.e. fold) a sheet of paint paper to create four boxes
    • Label the boxes as follows: Complimentary, Contrasting, Harmonious, Analogous
    • Using the colour wheel and the explanations select 2 Complimentary colours, 2 Contrasting colours, 2 Harmonious colours, 3 Analogous colours. (note: the colour selection may require some colour mixing…this is what we are actually hoping for)
    • Create four paintings using only the selected colours and putting them in the appropriate colour-scheme box (i.e. the painting in the complimentary colour scheme box will only include the 2 selected complimentary colours).
    • Note: paintings can be as simple or complex as they wish; you still want to have the four box headings visible when the paintings are finishes


  • Apply basic colour theory
  • Gain some experience/practice mixing colours
  • Have an example of some basic colour schemes that they created themselves

If you are concerned with or run it to the “I don’t know what to paint” problem you can come to class with a selection of subject matter written out on slips of paper. Put these slips of paper into a container and get a few kids to draw out what the group will paint. This way the kids still feel involved in the choice of subject.  :0)

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