Lesson Objectives: Students will learn about the color wheel, secondary colors, and complementary colors.

Time Required: 1 hour 

Artist:  Paul Klee, Castle and Sun, Claude Monet, Poppy Field in Argenteuil (available online)

Source: “Crazy Color Wheel” by Shirley Laird in the September, 2013 issue of Arts and Activities magazine.



12 x 12 white construction paper (or smaller if time is a factor) divided into 6 equal sections

Oil pastels

Black oil pastels for outlining


Discuss the color wheel and the reason it is laid out the way it is (primary colors interspersed with the secondary colors they make when blended). Discuss complementary colors. Show how Paul Klee and Claude Monet used color in their paintings.


  1. Pass out the white paper divided into 6 equal sections with light pencils lines (or have students do this if you have the time). Write name on the back.
  2. Show students how to draw a turtle in pencil (or any other animal you’d like) taking care to make sure that the turtle fills the page and has a body part in every section.
  3. Using the color wheel, have the students color each section in the order of the color wheel, leaving the turtle itself uncolored. Students can begin in any section they choose.
  4. To color the turtle, the students must use the complementary color of each background section.
  5. This is a great project to explore blending: in the red section, for example, students may blend their red oil pastel with white to achieve a lighter value or gray to achieve a darker one. With the blue section, students may blend the light and blue oil pastels together, or use white or gray.
  6. When the students are finished, they may outline their turtle with black oil pastel and add any details, such as eyes, designs of the shell, etc.
  7. Mount and display. 

NOTE: It takes a relatively long time to color an entire sheet of paper with oil pastel. It might be worth using a smaller sheet of paper in you are worried about the students not finishing in time.