This week, we have been talking about color theory to begin our painting unit. To understand and gather my students’ background knowledge, I drew a large color wheel on the board and took volunteers to come label the primary, secondary, and intermediate (or tertiary) colors in the correct order. Students had a pretty good understanding of the primary and secondary colors, but the intermediate colors had most of them confused. When I asked them how to make red orange, they would tell me  “red and orange”, which would seem to be the natural response. However, how do you make orange? I explained that red orange is a combination of red and yellow, just like orange. However, it’s the ratio of red and yellow. You would add more red than yellow to make red orange. I then turned them loose to fill in their own color wheels using their knowledge of color mixing. It was also an exercise in fine motor skills, as the circles to fill in are pretty little! Students then worked on a color grouping worksheet, that organized colors into schemes. On the last day of color theory, we combined our knowledge of values from our last unit with our knowledge of color mixing to create tints and shades, which is adding black or white to a color to create light and dark. The students had a good handle on this exercise, so this will wrap up our brief color theory lesson and I am thinking about a short quiz to give my students, just to test their understanding. This coming week, we will begin working on composition, as I noticed that was an issue in their drawings from the last unit. I think all of this will help make their final paintings a success!

Color Grouping


Tints and Shades