Mixing our Primary Colors

I like opening the school year with this simple open-ended art project. We talk about primary colors – what they are how they can make other colors (but you cannot really make these by mixing any other ones). Kids love guessing the colors they will make. They know yellow and red make orange, red and blue make purple and blue and yellow make green… but when I ask them what color we get when we mix them all together, they are not sure. Actually, this year we had some kids (that had art with me before) who said brown, gray or black.

We then started painting. Some kids chose only two colors but sooner or later, they all got three (again and again). They were amazed what colors they can make.

‘I made teal, like your hair!’

‘How did you make that gray? I want to make that!’ ‘You need more blue!’

‘I can make orange dots with my finger now!’

‘I made red on the black paint. Look! That looks so cool!’

We have an amazing variety of new colors – and even though the kids started all with the same 3 colors, same papers and same brushes – no color is the same, at all. That’s what I love about it. It shows the kids that there is no right or wrong way to do art. We all bring something of ourselves into it and the creations are always unique and fun.

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