Mandala Color Wheels

I got this idea from another educator, ahh the glories of collaborating! I wanted to share this because It is a great way to add some multi-cultural flavor to a boring color wheel activity. Although it is a requirement to teach the color wheel, there is no reason it can't be fun and incorporate other cultures and religions. 

The word Mandala comes from ancient sanskrit text meaning "container of essence." The mandalas were radial, geometric, and organic designs that were meant to represent life and its constant cycle between earth and the self. Mandalas date back over 2000 years in the Hindu and Buddhist religions, however the motif can also be seen later in the Christian rose windows. If you would like to do more reading on the topic I found this site very informative I also used this youtube video as a resource to show to my class so they could see that mandalas are often impermanent.

What you will Need

  • Tempera paint (red, yellow, blue, white, black)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint pallet 
  • 12x12 inch white paper 
  • wax/transfer paper
  • pencil
  • sketchbook 
  • prtractor
  • compass

How To

First measure to the middle of the 12x12 paper and draw a 10 inch circle at the center. The using the protractor measure every 30 degrees. This will make 12 section for (Red, Red-Orange, Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue-Green, Blue, Blue-Violet, Violet, Red-Violet. I recommend having students able each section to avoid confusion once painting starts later on. 

As a sketchbook assignment I had students design their 30 degree mandala "pizza slice" before hand. These designs had to be symmetrical and include four section for pure color, tone, tint and shade. Once the create a slice they liked they were instructed to transfer the design onto the wax paper. Once the design was on wax paper they transferred the same design 12 times to it created a radial symmetrical  Mandala.

Student Examples