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Color Wheels & Theory

5 Tips for Making Vibrant Paint Colors

5 Tips for Making Vibrant Paint Colors

By on Apr 21, 2016 | 6 comments

Do you ever wonder why some art projects look so vibrant? Perhaps you wondered what brand of paint results in such rich colors? What if I told you it’s not what, but how… I used to think that there was a special type of paint that I could order and squeeze into a palette until I discovered the secret of creating colorful paint hues. No matter what brand of paint you buy, don’t feel limited to paint with colors directly from the bottle. A world of color and creativity awaits. Try the next 5 tips for creating your own vibrant colors.   FUN COLOR TIP #1 – Squeeze a quarter-size amount of blue, red, yellow and white liquid tempera paint onto a styrofoam plate or egg carton. – With a brush, scoop up a little bit of yellow paint then scoop up some white. Mix the two paint colors onto a piece of art paper. What happens? Keep adding white paint to the brush and paint a new dot onto your paper. See how the color gets lighter and lighter? – This is called creating a tint. Tints works especially well on dark colored paper like black or navy blue.   FUN COLOR TIP #2 – Without rinsing your brush clean, scoop up a bit of red paint. Paint a dot on your paper. What happens? What color did you create? Because there is still white and yellow on the brush, the resulting red won’t be as pure. This is one of the tricks to creating vibrant colors…don’t clean the colors away with water.   FUN COLOR TIP #3 – Clean your brush and try mixing the red with the blue paint. What color did you get? – As you keep adding more colors, the lighter colors fade away. You can keep adding dark colors or you can dip paint brush back into the white paint to create a new tint. It helps to mix from light to dark. Light colors are easily blended with the dark so less muddy colors result in the efforts. FUN COLOR TIP #4 – Use a styrofoam egg carton to create a colorful palette. – Squeeze a dime size amount of as many colors as you want into each...

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Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

Play Doh Colorwheel Activity

By on Feb 2, 2016 | 7 comments

This is a great way to teach the color-wheel for young children. I’m not sure where this lesson originated but my typewritten copy is by Lois Ann Lynn from Rosamond, UT. Thank you Lynn! Print out the Color Wheel Chart PDF and photocopy onto card stock. Each container of Play-Doh yields about 30 pieces (this is dependent on how big you make the balls. I would try for the size of a red grape). Each child receives a color wheel sheet plus 3 balls of Play-Doh. Place the yellow ball on the “yellow” on the colorwheel. Do the same for the red and blue. If you are working with very young children who don’t know how to read, you can place the balls on the sheets for them. Pinch off a piece of the red ball and a piece from the yellow ball and squeeze, squish and roll together. You’ll know whether you are on the right track by the squeals of delight from the kids. Once the color is created, place that color ball on the space between the two colors that made it. Repeat with the other colors. Press the finished pieces onto the card stock to...

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Sketchbook Project #1: Creating Value

Sketchbook Project #1: Creating Value

By on Nov 4, 2015 | 7 comments

The Sketchbook Project is a record of how my sixth grade students used sketchbooks during their art class to record art information and create projects. Learn how I used sketchbooks instead of individual sheets of paper to teach art & creativity. Week One: The Beginning Today’s Project: Value Teaching color theory is an ongoing process. I never really got a grasp on it until I was in college. And here we are, trying to teach little kids tints, shades, tertiary colors, complementary colors, etc. It can be a bit overwhelming, right? And for some, understanding color theory is unnecessary in elementary school. I would almost agree. I can’t tell you how many times I taught children how to make blue denim by mixing blue and black paint together. Or how to make cherry blossom pink by adding white to red and then adding a touch of orange. And what about stormy sea with orange and blue? So pretty! To start off the 6th grade Sketchbook Project, I knew creating TINTS & SHADES would not only be eye-opening but fun.  I’m not a huge fan of worksheets in the art room but in this case, worksheets are a great tool for practicing. I created a worksheet for you to copy onto white cardstock so that your students can paint directly onto the cardstock. You can download your FREE worksheet by clicking the yellow dot in the banner below. I love the process of creating your own charts in a sketchbook. That’s what my students did. They followed my example on the white board and made two columns of 5 blocks/rectangles in their sketchbooks. At the very top, we wrote out a definition of VALUE. I offered the kids 6 choices of colors (red, blue, yellow, orange, green and purple) plus white and black. In the first column, they painted one color in the middle rectangle. Then, they added white to the color and painted the resulting color in the rectangle above. They mixed more white and added the resulting color in the top rectangle. Clean the brush and repeat, but this time, use black and color in the bottom two rectangles. They cleaned their brushes and switch to a new color and painted the rectangles in the second column. Note: The...

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Colorwheel Flowers Art Lesson

Colorwheel Flowers Art Lesson

By on Oct 21, 2014 | 1 comment

These happy flowers were a perfect introduction to art for my Kinders. Drawing with pastels, painting with puck tempera and creating dots, lines and patterns with black and white paint covered many art standard basics. Here’s what we did: Using a black oil pastel on large paper (18″ x 24″), Kinders drew a circle in the middle of the paper. Then, they drew a larger circle around the first circle. The next circle got a bit wobbly and then the final circle had some bumps or wiggles. It was fun seeing what kind of line the kids made for their final or outsides line. Many didn’t associate the concentric circles with a flower so the lines were varied. The thing I love about painting with Kinders is that you know they can’t paint inside the lines. It just isn’t possible at this stage so expectations are based on creating a happy experience and not perfect results. I showed the kids how to paint the colors of the rainbow with one Kinder class, but noticed that it was hard for Kinders to keep the order straight. So I abandoned the rainbow and invited all colors to the flowers. This was so much easier. For the final step (usually the second session), children painted dots, patterns, outlines and generally anything they wanted with black and white liquid tempera paint. I love this final step since it pulls all the colors together. I will confess to cutting out the final project for one class but the other classes will cut out their flower on their very own. Aren’t these happy? Book Suggestions: The Dot by Peter Reynolds The Rainbow Book by Kate...

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Colorwheel Clowns

Colorwheel Clowns

By on Apr 17, 2014 | 1 comment

Second grade is perfect grade level to introduce primary and secondary color mixing plus creating tints. It’s the tint factor that creates the WOW in this painting lesson as it takes color mixing to a whole new level for seven and eight year olds. For this lesson you’ll need: 12″ x 18″ white sulphite/construction paper Liquid Tempera Paints (blue, yellow, red and white Black oil pastel CLICK to download information on what supplies I use. I’ve BEEN drawing clowns with my first and second grade students for a while and if you need a step-by-step tutorial, a Clown handout can be found in 3-Ingredient 1 & 2 Art Lesson Plan. We started with a black oil pastel and drew as large as we could to fill up the paper. By discussing lines, shapes and patterns, the children knew how to fill in the areas of the clothing in order to have spaces to paint later on. MIXING COLORS I love this technique to mix colors: start with one of the primary colors and paint a few areas of the drawing with that color. Then, clean brush and dip into another primary color. Paint a few areas with that color. Next choose the last primary color and paint a few areas with that color. Next comes the mixing of the primary colors to achieve secondary colors. Scoop up some red and then some yellow and mix paint directly on the paper. That’s the trick to help move the lesson along. Paint a few areas with the resulting orange. Do the same with the other two primary colors. By the end of mixing the three primary colors to achieve the secondary colors, the children should have most of their clown colored in. PAINTING TINTS Children at this age love the discovery of adding white to their colors to achieve the pastel tint. I encourage the children to add white to any of their colors to see what happens and most children experimented with this. But to make sure that everyone experienced the art of mixing tints, the children selected one or two colors to mix with white and painted their backgrounds. TIME FRAME I allocated two 45-minute class sessions for this...

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