Teaching Color with Crafts
18 March 2009
Author: Becky Cates
Art is an expression of creativity. It begins with experience in exploring colors, textures and materials. Teaching new concepts with color in crafting should be a hands-on experience for children.
Let’s take a look at a few examples for teaching children about how primary colors are mixed to form a new group of colors called the secondary colors.
The PRIMARY colors of red, blue, and yellow are bright and bold and really stand out when used in artwork. But what happens when you combine two of these colors together? You get NEW colors known as the SECONDARY colors. Try this fun project below using finger paints to see how these new colors are formed.
(Link to KC 79SP ART 2 – mosaic frame project)
Finger paints can be bought in any arts and craft store and in many discount variety stores too. If you prefer, you can make your own with a few simple ingredients. An example of a recipe is below:
Homemade Finger Paints (from www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/frugalfun/fingerpaint)
1/4 c. warm water
1 envelope gelatin
3 T. Sugar
2 c. cold water
gelatin in 1/4 cup warm water and set aside. In a medium saucepan,
combine cornstarch and sugar. Gradually add water and cook slowly over
low heat, stirring until well blended. Remove from heat and add
softened gelatin. Divide mixture into separate containers for each
color. For each
color, first add a drop or two of dishwashing
detergent and then add food coloring a drop at a time until you have
the shade you want.
Small containers with airtight lids can be
decorated by children in which to store the paints. They can then be
stored for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.
Other types of paint can also be used for color exploration. Tempera, water colors, & acrylic paints are good choices for using with children and contain more pigment than finger paints so the colors have more contrast. Here are a couple of other examples using thinned paint to teach the concept of secondary colors:
Marble painting - Place a piece of white art paper in the bottom of an aluminum pan with sides. Thin primary paint colors to the consistency of ink in small containers. Drop a marble in thinned paint and then place in aluminum pan. Hold the pan by the sides and roll marble back and forth across paper. Repeat procedure with a second primary paint color. Where the marble lines overlap, you will see the new secondary color forming.
Paint with string - Dip a piece of string into a container filled with a primary paint color thinned to the consistency of ink. Remove string from paint and drag, twist, and turn it across a piece of paper to form interesting pattern. Repeat with another string dipped in a second primary color. Where the colors mix together, a new secondary color will be created.
No matter what paint medium is used, when children are given a chance to EXPERIENCE mixing colors, they will have a better understanding of how colors relate to each other in the world around them. Teaching children about color with crafts makes learning fun and easy.