Lesson One – Six Hue Color Wheel – Primary and Secondary Colors – Full Saturation.

Lesson One Part Two – Grayscale overlay for Color Wheels.

Examples of Lesson One Applications – Paintings using only full saturation primary & secondary hues, 6 hue color wheel.

Lesson Two – Eighteen Hue Color Wheel – Primary, Secondary plus warm and cool of each – Full Saturation.

Examples of Lesson Two Applications – Paintings using only full saturation, 18 hue color wheel.

Preparing for Color Wheels Three and Four – Making seven-step and nine-step grayscale value strips.

Lesson Three: Color Wheel Three
– Seven Step Value Scale using Eight Mixed Hues

Lesson Four: Color Wheel Four – Nine Step Value Scale using Eight Mixed Hues

Lesson Five: Color Wheel Five – Mixing Neutrals using Complements and Near Complements in Four Value Ranges

Examples of Paintings Using Color Wheel Five – Neutrals using Complements and Near Complements


The following color exercises may be adapted to any medium.  These are exercises I have made up for myself as I explore the world of color.  I am returning to the basics.  Over the many years I have painted, I skipped over some of the exercises I felt were too tedious for my impatient, impulsive nature.  I thought if I understood the concept mentally that would be sufficient.  I was wrong.

Some of the exercises will refer back to the color value chart created in Exercise 1.  If you decide to try any of the exercises for yourself, please feel free to send me feedback.

Color Exercise 1:  Determining Values of Palette Pigments

Color Exercise 2: Color Value Application

Color Exercise 3: Color Value and Temperature

Color Exercise 4: Using Up Miscellaneous Pigments

Color Exercise 5: Choosing Color by Value & Painting by Shape

Color Exercise 6: Playful Color

Color Exercise 7: Bananas and Beets

Maintaining Local Color as form turns from the light

8 Responses to “Color Exercises”

  1. Debra Clarice Says:

    Hi there. I’m taking my second painting class, first time in oil. Color and value are my weak spot. I’m a challenged beginner! Thank you for your site with all of your helpful information! Even though it isn’t a watercolor class, many of us take lessons in all painting mediums. I would like to share with my classmates and instructor, who is a professional. Hope this is okay. Thanks again!

    1. Chris Carter Says:

      I’m glad you find this blog helpful and that you are sharing it with others who might benefit from my explorations into the wonder of color. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to share them with me. I will post an exercise that might be helpful to you.

  2. artmoscow Says:

    Wondeful blog! Oh, so interesting. Itten coming to life. New life )

    1. Chris Carter Says:

      Thank you! Glad you enjoy reading my blog.

  3. sharyn johnson Says:

    Love your blog, work…and creative spirit! I have shared my enthusiasm for your artistry and blog with the watercolorists in a local studio. Thank you for your generosity…your info is always terrific. DO you ever do workshops in Northeast PA, Chris?

    1. Chris Carter Says:

      Thanks, Sharon. One may be scheduled in Easton, PA in the near future. I’ll be happy to teach in your area. let me know if you have a venue and enough interested students.

  4. Alanna Says:

    very helpful thank-you!

    1. Chris Carter Says:

      I don’t post on this blog anymore. I now post on my website blog at I’m glad this was helpful.

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