Tag Archives: cool colors

Saturated Colors – difference between light and bright colors

16 Mar

The art docent lesson today focused on further exploration of the creative possibilities of line, and we also talked about saturated or bright colors. We watched this video: https://vimeo.com/34698421

And then we did the same thing– using a piece of vellum with dots for eyes to find faces in the shapes that the children had drawn (the pictures attached are in-progress shots where you can see the dotted vellum).


After that, we looked at the color wheel and talked about the saturated tones of the rainbow that make up the basic color wheel, including some discussion about primary, secondary and tertiary colors, warm and cool tones, and the difference between “light” colors and “bright” colors.


Then the kids began to apply bright colors to their drawings.


Room 3, Kinder, Ms. Lepse
Docent: Heather Allen and Gala Bent
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: line and color


Warm and Cool Colors

26 Oct


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This lesson was about warm colors and cool colors. Identifying them. Creating a pattern with them. Looking at artists that use both warm and cool colors in the same painting (Klee, Kandinsky, Jacob Lawrence). And what effect that has on the painting. We talked about primary colors and a simple addition problem (1 + 1= 2). One primary color + one primary color = a secondary color.

We used watercolor pencils for this lesson. Color with pencil…apply water… and presto! It becomes like watercolors! The kids liked watching the transformation.

Here’s the lesson:

Review color theory and the color wheel. Talk about primary and secondary colors. Discuss complimentary colors or color opposites and how those combinations are always the result of a pairing of one primary color with a secondary color.

Complimentary colors are made up of a warm color and a cool color and how they sit across from each other on the color wheel.

Red (a warm primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Green (a cool secondary color)
Blue (a cool primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Orange (a warm secondary color)
Yellow (a warm primary color) is the compliment (opposite) of Purple (a cool secondary color)

A primary color + a primary color equals a secondary color.  1+1=2


Fold cardstock in half one direction and then in half again in the other direction so that you end up with four boxes.

Draw diagonal lines in one box, starting in the middle and radiating outward. Lines should not be any closer than a finger width apart.

Repeat on the remaining three boxes so that all the lines would match up at the folds.

Add colors in an alternating pattern of warm and cool. Starting with the center box (4 triangles). Make sure each triangle alternates warm/cool.

Color is added in such a way as that the warm cool pattern continues both from the center to the sides of each color.

Once all the color was added we use Q-tips to add water and blend.

Art Docents:

Marcie Guthrie and Gala Bent
2nd grade, Room B3, Ms. Schroder
Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: color

Primary Colors – Paul Klee

18 Mar

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Slideshow of student pieces

Discussion: Understanding color is important as an artist. If you learn the language of color, you can use it to convey a feeling, provoke emotion, highlight certain details, or even to give your picture a temperature.

Three colors – called primary colors – RED, YELLOW, BLUE – are the basis for the color wheel. These three colors can be mixed together (along with black and white) to create pretty much any color you can think of.

When you put opposite colors against each other, it makes the other color POP! Those are complementary colors. Warm colors are red, yellow, orange; Cool are blue, green, violet.

Warm colors feel like they are moving forward, while cool colors tend to make things look further away. (Have the kids think of the coldest place they can think of – and then have them describe the colors they see in this place; likewise with a hot place.) I also showed the students some of Paul Klee’s work where it was obvious that he was using certain primary colors to convey feelings or movement in his painting.

Artist: A modern artist who loved color was the great Paul Klee (1879 – 1940, born near Bern, Switzerland), a Swiss artist who painted in the 1900’s. He used color as a language, to create a sense of place in his pictures (the Tunisian watercolors) or of temperature (The Nile painting – the blue and white squares tell the story of a cool river – we know it’s water looking at it, even though we don’t see the shape of an ocean or stream). Some of his greatest paintings used just shapes and color. Paul Klee started off as a musician and an artist. When he started to pursue his art further, he started by using lines, then shapes, then color. It wasn’t until he learned about color that his paintings came alive with beauty and excitement. He painted what he saw, and what he felt using color.


Color Wheels for reference

Watercolor paper x2 (5×7 – grid lightly penciled in, about 12 squares, no need to measure or get grid exactly perfect, just eyeball it.)

Each set of desks (2 students per) has 4 containers (red, blue, yellow and gold)

Liquid watercolors in tubes – primary colors plus  a shimmery gold watercolor

A paintbrush for each color

Paper Towel for blotting


Take a second to have the child think about what he/she wants to say with their painting. Do they want to make a picture seem hot? Or seem cold? Or maybe both of those things? Or make a picture that feels happy, or serious?

Let the kids go to town painting. Guide them to try and use different colors in every square so they play around with mixing the colors right on their paper. When the colors touch each other and if their paintbrushes are wet enough, the colors will begin to mix right on their paper. Colors can be overlapped as well, the liquid watercolors are so vivid that it’s really interesting to see what you get when you layer them on top of each other. There was enough cut watercolor paper for two pieces each.

Tips: Paintbrushes stay with the paint color. One brush per paint color. 2 people share the set of colors. Keep your paintbrushes nice and moist. No dry paintbrushes. The more wet the brush, the more the colors will blend. Less blending with a drier brush. No recognizable shapes or images, just encourage the students to explore color on their paper.

Gold will go on LAST. As an accent. Keep to no more than half your paper. Don’t let the kids go overboard with the gold, it is meant to be an accent after the color has been applied. AND meant to be overlapped, not used just on it’s own.

Vocabulary: Primary colors – Any of a group of colors from which all other colors can be made by mixing.

Room 6, 1st grade, Ms. Wilson

March 2012 lesson

Docent: Marcie Guthrie

Art Elements/Principles/Artists Reviewed: color

Color Contrast Lesson

11 Oct


Begin this lesson with a  review of the color wheel, (it’s a good lesson in the beginning of the year to remind students about color relationships)– Tape up the poster and have a short discussion with kids on the rug

-Artists mix 3 primary colors to create many other colors. Color can express different feelings or moods in art.

-What is it? The color spectrum that artists use is called a color wheel. Artists use it to get information and ideas about colors and how they will relate to each other. It includes six spectral colors and six intermediate colors. These colors are always in the same order no matter which way you turn the wheel. Color is an element of art. The wheel is made up of the following colors.

-Primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) which make -secondary colors (orange, violet and green) which make – intermediate colors – red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue violet, and red violet.

-Warm and Cool colors – Docent marks ½ way on the color wheel poster with tape for easy visual reminder for the students.

Cool colors= Green, yellow-green, blue-green, blue, violet, and blue-violet. They remind us of cool things such as water, grass, or ice.

Warm colors= Red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow. They remind us of warm things such as sunshine and are opposite cool colors on the color wheel.
Look for examples in the room: flower & class rug. Can you find more?

Discuss Art – The art is found in the Level 3 Art Connections book (green), p. 66. Show pages on document reader and pass a few books around.

Introduce each piece – Pistia Kew, 1989, Idelle Weber, American, Oil on Linen 58 X 59” Covered Jar, 1522-1566, artist unknown, China, pg. 66 of the Art Connections book, level 3. If there is time I will also show the large print, Undersea Scene, 1990’s, Wyland, American

??’s for the students -Find all the cool colors. Are they placed near each other? Locate all the warm colors. Where are they placed? Which work has more warm colors? Find the colors that first catch your attention. Which colors are they? Which colors blend and which colors contrast? How does the artist use the color contrast in their work?

More artist information: Idelle Weber was born in Chicago and studied art in CA. She realistically paints everyday objects seen in the environment. Her paintings force the viewer to pay attention to areas that often go unnoticed and to perceive the world in a new and different way.

The Covered Jar was created during a time when Europeans, like Marco Polo, made the journey to China.


Today for our project we will use warm and cool colors to show Color contrast–(Lesson from Art Connections, level 3 , pg. 68). Artists use contrast in order to show differences between two things. Warm colors come forward and attract your attention first and cool colors seem to move away from you.

Tell the students they will be making an underwater scene with cool colors for the background & plants and warm colors for their sea creatures.

1. Begin by painting a COOL colored background on a piece of watercolor paper using the watercolors. Use a wash technique to apply using large broad strokes back and forth to cover the paper. Don’t get too wet..Do you remember what the cool colors are? Blue, Green and Violet Again, only cool colors and mostly blue for the water and green for the plants. If you want to make a different blue by mixing the colors do so ON A SEPARATE plastic palette, not the set itself. Violet can be used as desired. Leave this to dry. (took about 10 minutes to dry)

2. Next think of at least 5 underwater creatures you want to draw, fish, octopus, seals, jellyfish. You can also make plants but use cool colors for the plants as they are background. On a separate piece of white drawing paper using oil pastels, draw these creatures in WARM colors only. It will contrast best with the background if you fill in the color. Do you remember what warm colors are? Red, Orange, yellow and their related colors. Some students will resist and want to use “real” colors but remind them in art an object can be any color you want and we are trying warm colored creatures today. Cut the finished creatures and plants out. When your painted background is dry, paste the creatures in different places on your background with the glue stick to make a contrast picture.

Supplies needed: watercolor paper, drawing paper, watercolor sets, lg. watercolor brushes; sets of oil pastels, water cups, mixing palettes, big water pitcher filled, 18 brayers. From home: bucket for washing brushes, paper napkins for blotting, brown paper bags/newspaper to cover desks, Green Art Connections book to show art.

You can have an “art walk” with the students at the end of the project by laying down the art in the middle of the room with an aisle way between the art. As the students walk through ask for positive comments and descriptive comments. Remind students to notice when warm colors are placed next to cool colors, a contrast is created and that makes the sea creatures stand out. The kids really enjoyed making the backgrounds and they were all different combinations of cool colors. Some resisted using only warm colors for the sea creatures but were able to adjust as I reminded them they could do it just how they wanted at home but we were thinking about warm and cool colors today. They enjoyed the final result.

Color Wheel Game: If there is extra time you can play a color wheel game. Kid’s form the color wheel in a big circle in the center of the room according to an item of clothing they are wearing. They have to be in the same order as the color wheel. Or you can do this in the beginning for your color review.

Room#, Grade, Teacher: Room 13, 3rd grade, Ms. Vontver
Docent/s: Name: Jill Mount
Email: ejmount@comcast.net