The Color Wheel


Taking Color Theory at AAU? Scroll down for some useful templates!

Many hours of work and it is complete! My 24 step color wheel was selected from approximately 124 individually mixed and painted swatches. I've always known it would be a lot of hard work, but I've been wanting a legit Color Theory class for a long time. I don't know how the task of painting hundreds of swatches is doing it, but I'm starting to get a new understanding of color and the possibilities in applying it strategically. 


After working in this empty classroom for 9 hours straight (not even stopping to eat!) on both Saturday and Sunday, it felt a little like home; I even went back to visit it months later Haha. A lot of table space is nice to have!

The 7 swatches chosen out of the 47 steps painted for 1/3rd of the color wheel.

All swatches painted and selected. Yay!!!

The rest of these are going in the trash…well the recycle bin anyways.

The completed 24 step color wheel. Those six dots next to the wheel indicate the base tube colors used to create the full range.


Over the same weekend, we each were tasked with completing three 9 value scales as well. They were just as, if not more demanding than the color wheel in their need of many steps to get a consistent range. 


Selected them all at once to value match each step vertically. The reds are very deceiving; They have a much brighter perceived value than their actual value. Fun fact: Red is the first color to go if you were to go deep sea diving with a color wheel.

The finished value scales mounted. The crafting experience from my Graphic Design degree is coming in handy for this class.

The rejects. Quality of craft through a high quantity of squares.

Time Saving Templates for the
Academy of Art Color Theory Class

Box Template-01.jpg

Save yourself from hours upon hours of making the same measurements over and over with these simple pre-measured templates.



  1. Download the PDFs with the green links just above.

  2. Cut out the dashed shape (you will be using the sheet, not what you have cut from it).

  3. Place the sheet with the hole you just cut out on top of your swatch.

  4. Grab a pen or pencil and place tick marks at each of the outer lines.

  5. Remove template and line up a ruler to the your tick marks.

  6. Cut away!

For the Color Wheel: Use a lightbox placing the template underneath your sheet so you can place your swatch cut-outs with precision!

Want editable files?

Here are EPS files perfect for opening in multiple versions of Illustrator, InDesign, or any vector based software:
1 Inch Box Template.eps
Color Wheel Template.eps