Posted by: MiniMonets | January 23, 2018

Secondary Color Pandas

After exploring Mondrian and his use of the primary colors, we moved on to the secondary colors for this project. Mixing 2 primary colors together makes a secondary color. Red+Yellow=Orange, Yellow+Blue=Green, and Red+Blue=Purple. For this project, I wanted to focus on the color mixing to make a secondary color painting of a panda. I read the book Giant Pandas by Gail Gibbons over the two class periods. This is a great book to explore the characteristics, biology, and habitats of giant pandas. We had fun making panda sounds and the students were amazed at how similar our skeletons are to bears.

The artists were given the choice of how they wanted to create their pandas; just one or a group of pandas, close up or far away, snuggled in a den or climbing a tree. They had to include bamboo since it’s their main source of nutrition, and mountains because Giant Pandas live in the mountains of China. After drawing in pencil, I passed out the secondary colors: purple, orange, and green oil pastels to trace their pencil lines to act as a guide for where they would be painting those colors next class.

The next class, I made a color wheel to show how the secondary colors fit in between the primary colors. As I laid each color down, the artists could guess which primaries made the secondary color. I showed how the colors keep going around in a circle; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. Some recognized that this is also the order of a rainbow. We even reviewed the song “Three Primary Colors” from the Mondrian project. I passed out the primary colors in tempera paint to each artist because I wanted them to try to mix the secondary colors. I demonstrated how to mix a little of each color together in the middle, so that you are adding a third color (the secondary color) and not taking all of both primary colors and having just the one secondary color left. It’s a fun practice for basic addition too. Mixing your own colors will also show how many different purples, greens, or oranges you can make by how much of each primary is used. Every one was successful at mixing their own secondary colors for painting their pandas, before stirring them all together to make a maroon/brown color!

The objective of this project was to identify relationships between art and concepts from other disciplines (science and literature) and answer questions about key details in the book about pandas.

Our next project will show a Year in Color as we explore color groups for each of the four seasons. We’ll throw in Monet too!


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