When doing research on optical color mixing, I found a couple of neat mechanical devices used by scientists to test optical color mixing and immediately thought: TOPS! Could the simple tops I had on hand from the dollar store be used to make a version of Newton's Color Wheel (or Color Top) and teach the children about color mixing in art? Yep!
Pointillists such as George Seurat are frequently thought of when discussing optical color mixing, but many other artists use it too such as the Impressionists and modern artists such as Chuck Close and modern printing (such as in newspapers and magazines also use optical color mixing).
Here are some sites to get you started on your journey:
"Mixing in the Eye," From Drawing From Life by Fred Hatt
"Newton's Color Wheel," From The Department of Physics at Kenyon College
"Color Mixing Wheel-Sick Science," From Steve Spangler Science
I abolutely LOVE the article by Fred Hatt about color mixing in art! Talk about one-stop shopping in terms of info and images!
So, let's get started!
Optical Color Mixing With a Dollar Store Top
- Top (ours are from the dollar store and were packed two tops per package--what a deal!)
- White card stock
- Hole punch
- Tape, optionnal
- Sharpies in Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and black
|Use the primaries (Red/Yellow/Blue) to make|
Secondary colors (Orange/Green/Purple) from the Color Wheel
|Now try this one: divide the circle in sixths, color and spin.|
What happens? How is this different than if you mixed
all of these colors of paint together?
(Spoiler alert: Pure White Light is created--
see below in the "How does this work?" section).
|This experiment also works with value--try different combos|
of white and black and see of you can get different tints and shades.
|And now have some fun! Try your own color combinations|
and see how they turn out! Which of your creations are your
favorites? Which creations surprised you?
Have fun with your experiments!