After students have made a color wheel its helpful to design a project that has them actually mix primary colors to make their secondary colors. I used watercolor for this assignment, as watercolor is not only easy to mix, but requires a degree of patience and skill to use.
I am very glad that I did this assignment. Some of the students still had a hard time grasping mixing colors, even though we went over time and time again which primary colors made secondary colors. It seems that the pressure of actually producing the new colors made of a lot of them forget the discussions we’d had while making their color wheels.
The lesson is to give students the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and have them mix three secondary colors (green, purple, orange). They then use the colors they made to paint on small sheet of watercolor paper. Their painting is to include 6 repeating images from their imagination-all pre-approved by me to make sure that the images are not cliche. The repeating images can vary on the page, as long as they are still recognizable as the same subject.
Students really enjoyed this project. Many of them had fun during the brainstorming phase, where I approved their drawings. Some of the students had difficulty with the watercolor, and we talked about not “loading” their brushes. I think that next time I will do more preparation with the students on water-color technique before starting their project.
I adapted my lesson from one of the other teachers in the department.