In this second section of the "Color Wheel Inspired" workshop, we are going to explore the color wheel. When I first learned about color theory, I remember feeling overwhelmed and then I stopped learning. Once I got past primaries and secondaries, I was done. Lol! Have you felt this way when learning about the color wheel and basic color theory?

Well I have some great news for you! I have broken it down into several fun hands on projects for you and I to explore the color wheel. This is how I wish I could have learned about it the first time around. So I hope you enjoy this section and if you have any questions at all, please email me: hello@karmasjourney.com. Let's get started!

wet palette

Before we get started on any paint projects, I want to share with you how I create a wet palette to keep my acrylic paints wet longer. Recently I learned this awesome trick from the talented and lovely artist, Annie Hamman. After giving it a try, I have to tell you...it works! Now, I did do mine a little differently. I soaked the paper towels in the sink first rather than laying the paper towels in my pan and then pouring water into the pan to soak the paper towels. Feel free to try it either way. There are several YouTube videos on this too in case you are curious to see how others create a wet palette. Enjoy!

personal color wheel

Let's get to know the color wheel by creating our own.


Color Wheel PDF

Variety of stencils (Here are the color wheel one: outline cw, complementary, color wheel)

Modeling paste (mine is from Michaels)

Palette knife

Craft knife

Washi tape

Wax paper

Angled brush 3/8"

Paints: Golden Fluid - Titanium white, Teal, Carbon Black, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, Quinacridone Magenta

In this project, I wanted to use a teal, magenta and yellow for my primary colors. Feel free to use a primary red, yellow and blue to create a "true" color wheel. This was fun to mix it up a bit and use colors I am drawn to. I hope you do the same. If you are interested in purchasing the "real" color wheel I show in all of the videos, click here. It is a great tool to keep in your studio, or art box!

Value scales

Understanding value scales is a great way to succeed in drawing and painting a 3D object or form. Experiment and play around with drawing or painting an object only using the grey scale. My hope is that you will find yourself quite surprised and in awe of what you can create.


Paper pad

Palette knife

Wet Palette 

Spray bottle

1" wash brush

Golden Fluid Paint: Carbon black and Titanium white


I will never forget the feeling I had when I painted my very first black and white still life. It was a little statue of an owl. I was sitting up close for 3 hours painting that owl when a classmate of mine told me to put the painting on an easel and walk back with him a couple of feet away from the painting. When I turned around, I was completely in awe and could not believe I just painted that owl. Here is my very first oil painting, actually my first painting period, when I was in art school which was just over 3 years ago. What a cutie! This little owl has so much character. 

So my challenge to you is to grab a favorite object or something from nature and paint it using the grey scale. I hope you will be amazed at what you can accomplish just by understanding the value scale.

Another challenge for you: grab a favorite color and create a value scale with that color.

The owl (photo above) was painted using ultramarine blue and burnt umber and mixed to create black. In the next video I share with you how you can create black too versus using it straight out of the tube/bottle.

Black versus black

When using black paint straight out of the tube or bottle, it is a very high contrast color but when you mix your own black color, there is so much life and depth to it. I hope you give it a try and enjoy experimenting with this fun little lesson.


Paper pad

Palette knife

Paints: ultramarine blue (green shade), raw umbercarbon black

In the video I mentioned using raw umber and ultramarine blue to mix and create a "lively" black but in art school we actually used burnt umber and ultramarine blue. Either umber paint works so feel free to use what you have on hand.

leaf painting

In this video I share with you the differences of black versus a mixed black by painting a simple leaf painting. With this project I use the grey scale using carbon black and titanium white. Check out the photos below showing the differences of using black out of the bottle versus a black mixed with ultramarine blue + raw umber. 


Paints: Golden fluid - Carbon black and Titanium white

Paint brush fine tip by Prima

Paper pad


Leaf Photo

Notice the differences between the mixed black (left) and the black paint out of the bottle (right)? The leaf on the left looks so much more "lively" and the one on the right looks like we put a high b&w contrast filter on the leaf. Pretty nifty, huh? 

I hope you give this project a try and see which black paint you prefer to paint with. So much fun!


Neutral colors also known as "mud" can happen a lot in our paintings and cause us frustration. One way to limit that from happening is by understanding how colors mix together and which ones to avoid mixing.

On the color wheel, it is split down the center showing warm colors and cool colors. (In case you are unfamiliar with warm and cool colors, I covered this in the "Personal Color Wheel" video.) When a warm color is mixed with a cool color, you get mud. When a color is mixed with it's complementary color, you get mud. In this video I share with you how to create another color wheel and how to mix complementary colors to create neutral colors/mud. Let's make some mud on purpose!


Paper pad

Palette knife


1/2" Angled paint brush

3/4" wash paint brush by Prima

Paints: Phthalo blue, Cadmium Yellow Light Hue, Cadmium Red Deep Hue



Super heavy white gesso


Brad (my set is from Oriental Trading but I can not find it on their website)

Water bottle

Glass palette

A little note about "muddy" colors. It isn't always a bad thing to have a muddy or neutral color in your painting. Sometimes a muddy or neutral color helps your other colors stand out a bit more. There are several artists out there that purposely use neutral colors in their artwork. Play around with it and see if you are an artist who enjoys making mud. :)

bonus: DIy color wheel stencil


Stencil PDF

Craft knife

Washi tape

Cereal box

Cutting mat ( I used cardboard)

Optional: Mod podge and white gesso

Here is a cheap and easy way to create a color wheel stencil to use for any projects. Remember to seal it once complete. Simply paint it with white paint or gesso and then seal it with glue like Mod podge or a gel medium.

This concludes part 2 of the "Color Wheel Inspired" workshop and I will see you on Monday, December 5th for our final section of the workshop. Have a great day!