How to mix brown?

The month of May is going to be all about colours, and how to use them. And as you have probably read my previous posts you might be aware that we won't TEACH about colours, instead students will LEARN how to mix colours, different shades and why complementary colours are complementing.


All my lessons are based on two principles:

1. Let the students explore

2. Process over product


Step one is to give out the three primary colours, red, yellow and blue and let your students paint a picture, any thing they like, or, especially when your they aren't used to free art lessons give a topic (landscape, bedroom etc.- be as open as possible to get their creativity flowing)

In my art lessons there are usually two rules: be gentle and no writing.


But now, back to Colours:

Let them mix their own colours, when they ask for green let them experiment with the paint, which colours give green, orange and purple?


While they are working start creating a display with all the different colour sign in your classroom (this is super useful as a permanent presentation) so they can see the words when ever it's needed.


At a certain point they will figure out how to mix brown (all primary colours mixed together). You will probably be asked you how to mix darker green, lighter purple or a different shade of brown, this is the time to give out black and white to let them experiment on tint, tone and shade. 


Depending on your time and the students age let this be a two or even three lesson project. After this unit you have the basics for all art lessons covered. When everybody is aware of how to mix colours it'll safe you a lot of money and hassle as you don't have to worry if you have all the right colours in your cupboard. All you need is yellow, blue, red and black and white. Doesn't this sound appealing?


Next steps... let them figure out why complementary colours are complementing...


For more information please read the teacher hand out for the colour unit.


Enjoy your colour month, and remember! Everybody is an artist! Really!