Colour wheel and paint by shadow

Gloria Bastos is joined by Julie van Niekerk from Rapid Studio. She shows us the endless possibilities of what one can achieve by creating different colours that can be used to make stunning art pieces. She will teach us various techniques such as how to create the colour wheel, creating different shades and tones, how to make 3D dimensions using highlights and shadows and so much more! We will also visit an art studio to learn about the various art mediums. 

By Julie van Niekerk

Rapid Studio

Colour Wheel


  • A pencil, ruler and paint brush
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Acrylic paint in the primary colours – Blue, Yellow, Red
  • Glass jar filled with water
  • Paint palette


  • Step 1: Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard and divide your circle into a pie consisting of 12 equal segments.
  • Step 2: Find the top segment and paint it yellow, moving clockwise around the pie count to 4 and paint that segment red. Continue moving around the pie and paint the next 4th segment blue. These are your primary colours.
  • Step 3: To create the secondary colours, mix equal amount of yellow and red which will create orange. Paint the middle segment between yellow and red in orange.
  • Step 4: Mix some red and blue together to create purple. Paint the middle segment between the red and blue in purple.
  • Step 5: Mix equal amounts of blue and yellow to create green. Paint the middle segment between the blue and the yellow in green.
  • Step 6: Now you are going to create your Tertiary colours, add a little bit of yellow to the orange paint and this will create a warm yellow (orange yellow). Paint this colour in between the orange and the yellow.
  • Step 7: Add a small amount of red to some orange paint. This will create a red orange, paint it in between the orange and the red. 
  • Step 8: Add a small amount of red to the purple to create purple red and paint it in between the red and the purple.
  • Step 9: Add a small amount of blue to the purple to make blue purple, and paint it inbetween the blue and the purple.
  • Step 10: Add a small amount of blue paint to the green to create a blue green. Paint it in segment between the blue and the green.
  • Step 11: To finish off the colour wheel you need to mix one more colour. Add a small amount of yellow into the green paint to create a yellow green. Paint the segment in between the green and yellow in this colour. Allow the paint to dry. Your colour wheel is now complete and ready to be used as a reference to colours.

Paint by Shadow Canvas


  • A paint palette, paint brushes and a set of acrylic primary colours which is part of the kit as well as a colour chart
  • Rapid Studio – Paint by Shadow Canvas (we used the wooden heart image)
  • A cup of water


These paint by shadow canvases have taken away all the prep work that is associated with painting. Now you can literally just ‘colour in’ your canvas which is a lot easier.

  • Step 1: Start by painting the background of your canvas, this is the wood. You can mix your colours according to the colour sheet supplied.  The base colours are dark blue and brown.
  • Step 2: Once you are happy with the colour match, find the same area on your canvas as on your printed sheet and “colour in”.
  • Step 3: Once you have painted the base colour, go on to mix your shadow colour.  You can add a tiny amount of black. Identify this area on your paint by shadow and then “colour it in”.
  • Step 4: When you have finished painting the shadows you can move onto mixing your highlight colour. The best way of doing this is to mix your base colour again and add white to get your highlight. Identify the areas on your canvas and “colour it in”
  • Step 5: Once you have finished painting the background you can start on the heart. Mix your base colour using your range of browns and yellows. Use the colour sheet to match your colour. Colour in the area on the canvas.
  • Step 6: Once the base colour is painted, create your shadow colours by adding a tiny amount of black.
  • Step 7: Once your shadows have been painted, mix your base colour again and add white to create your highlight colour.
  • Step 8: Use your finest paintbrush to add detail to your picture.

Take a closer look:

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