Arkansas PBS > Engage > Blog > Colors Are Cool! ... and Warm! – “Blueberry’s Clubhouse”

Colors Are Cool! ... and Warm! – “Blueberry’s Clubhouse”

  • Posted by
  • Jeannie Guthrie
  • on

Colors really are cool! Did you know that they can be warm, too? Artists, like us at Zig Zag  art studioin Little Rock, Arkansas, use colors to make their artwork beautiful. First, though, they learn about the color wheel and how to use colors.

Color wheel illustration


Look at the color wheel. It is divided in half into cool and warm colors. Warm colors are red, orange and yellow. Cool colors are blue, green, and blue-violet. When you look at cool colors, they make you feel cool like cold, blue water. Warm colors can make you feel warm like the yellow sun!

Cool colors compliment warm colors. Like good friends, warm colors make cool colors look better and cool colors make warm colors look better, too!

Check out George Rodrigue’s “Blue Dog.”

Photo of Blue Dog Artwork

George Rodrigue, an artist from New Orleans, Louisiana, paints blue dogs. To make the blue dogs stand out in his paintings, he likes to put them in front of warm colors. What warm colors do you see behind the blue dog?

Photo from The Way of Color lit in blue shades

Artist James Turrell uses warm and cool colors in his work. You can visit his immersive piece, “The Way of Color,” at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“The Way of Color” is a round room with a hole in the ceiling.  As the sun rises and sets, Turrell turns on colored lights on the ceiling that change. When the color of the lights in the room change, the color of the sky changes! Like magic!  The color in the room makes your eye see a different color by being next to it. It’s a trick of the eye, and it’s a great way to experience how colors affect each other.


Wait! What’s Blueberry?  Is she cool or warm?  We know she’s “cool,” but she’s also cool because she’s blue and blue is a cool color!


Can you find warm and cool colors around you?  First, look in your house for cool colors. Then, look for warm colors. What color is your toothbrush? What about your favorite shoes? See how many warm and cool colors you can find.

Next, step outside. How many warm and cool colors can you find? Is the sky a cool blue?  Or is it sunset, making the sky is a warm pink?  Is the grass a cool green or do you see warm, yellow flowers?

Look! I found warm colors in my kitchen!

Cherry Tomatoes in Warm Shades

And check this out! I went to the fabric store and found lots of cool colors.

Fabric Samples in Cool Colors

I had so much fun helping Blueberry make decorations for Max’s birthday on Blueberry’s Clubhouse!  We made a warm cardboard sunshine and a cool, blue bunting!  Thank you, Blueberry, for inviting us to your clubhouse!

Jeannie Guthrie from Zig Zag Little Rock

Keep making art!
Jeannie Guthrie from Zig Zag art studio in Little Rock, Arkansas