Colorful Smiley Faces

Colorful Smiley Faces

This project teaches the difference between primary and secondary colors 


  • Watercolor paper or canvas sheets  
  • Craft or watercolor paint  
  • Primary colors:  red, yellow, blue  
  • Secondary colors:  purple, green, orange 
  • Neutral color:  White 
  • Blue or green painters tape 
  • Paint brushes 
  • Paper plate or paint palette 
  • Paper cup and water 
  • Paper towels 
  • Black felt markers or pen  
  • Pencil 


Step 1. Using the blue painters tape, tape the edges to create a margin or “frame”. Press the inside edge firmly so the paint won’t seep under it but not so firm that the paper tears when the tape is removed. 

Step 2. Primary colors are the colors that all other colors are made from. Using Primary colors, (red, yellow, blue), paint some circles. Paint any size and as many or as few circles that you want. I suggest at least 2 of each primary color. You may want 2 red, 4 yellow, 3 blue, mix it up however you like. 

Step 3. Secondary colors are colors that are made by mixing 2 colors together. They are orange, purple or green. Choose just 1 secondary color and paint the areas between the circles. 

Step 4. Create eyeballs, mix up a small puddle of white. Turn your pencil upside down to use the eraser end. Dip the eraser into the white. Now that the eraser end has white paint use it to place 2 dots within each colored circle. Notice the affects you can get by placing the eyes close together or wide apart, in the center or to one side. To make the eyeballs big move the eraser in a circular motion. 

Step 5. Using felt marker or pen, outline each circle. When outlining, consider a broken line, zig zag line or a wavy line to create fur or hair effects. Also see what affects you get with a thick line or a thin line.  

Step 6. When the white dots are dry, use the marker to create the pupil of the eye AND to create the direction that the eyes are looking.  

Step 7. When adding a mouth think about what the faces are thinking. Are your faces happy, sad, or surprised? 

Step 8. Remove the edge tape carefully to discover the frame.  

Step 9. At this point, consider whether or not to add eyebrows, arms, legs or anything else.