In this post you’ll find activities to help you understand how artists use color. While there are 2 basic projects, each project has suggestions so you can make it as individual as you like.
The second project helps you discover how Fragonard used color in A Young Girl Reading, and then has an activity for you to use this knowledge.
I’ve decided to further break up these activity posts, so the next one will be about line and drawing.
Project 1. Making a Color Wheel
Step 1. Draw a large circle on paper. Use a compass or draw around a plate or bowl. Place 3 X’s evenly spaced around the circle. (see picture)
Step 2. Color or paint a blob each of the primary colors, red, blue and yellow around the outside of your circle, one color one each X. (see how they are evenly spaced around the circle in the picture) Primary colors can’t be made from any other color
Step 3. Next add orange, green, and violet (purple) to your wheel. But WAIT! Don’t just put them anywhere. These secondary colors are made by mixing 2 primaries. So we place them on the outer circle between the 2 colors they’re made from.Follow the picture to see what to do.
If you are using paint, you can mix the secondaries yourself, but markers or crayons will give you the idea.
Try drawing something special inside your color wheel and color it in all 6 colors. (I chose a hot air balloon and used crayon to color it). Remember these are the 6 colors God uses in a rainbow!
Jazz up your color wheel by drawing your circle as a wavy or jagged line. You can also draw and color rockets or dogs, etc. instead of making blobs.
My wavy circle reminded me of a sand dollar, so I chose fish that are blowing colored bubbles at each other! (I drew and cut out one fish and traced around this pattern so my fish looked the same, but you don’t have to do that. Try drawing something different for each color)
Project 2. Using Your Color Wheel to Learn More about Color.
In A Young Girl Reading, notice that the ribbons are violet, and of course, her dress is yellow.
Where are yellow and violet on your color wheel? Right, they are opposite each other.
We call colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel complementary colors. When they are next to each other, as in this painting, the resulting high contrast is eye-catching.
Red/green and blue/orange are the other complementary pairs. When you look at other paintings, notice how often artists use these complementary colors to get your attention.
But God thought of it first!! He used complementary colors when He created flowers because that shimmery high contrast attracts insects and birds to help cross pollination. Look at pictures of flowers or the real thing if you can, to see how many flowers with complementary colors you can find. (violet and yellow pansies and blue crocuses with orange centers are two)
Activity to use your knowledge of color
Write out or (print with a fancy font on your computer) Matthew 6:28-30, where Jesus says that God has clothed the lilies of the field with more splendor than Solomon’s robes. Leave space between lines and decorate the words with flowers that God robes in complementary colors!
Let me know how your projects turn out, and be sure to tell me if any directions or explanations need to be clearer. If you use any of these projects or ideas from my other posts with a group, please tell them about my blog and let me know how things go.
Don’t miss the next KathythePictureLady post. You’ll see how to do gesture drawings of hands, pillows, and teapots!! Oh, My!! Sign up to receive these posts!
I recently did a school presentation about the Vikings--how they traded, raided, settled new areas, and became Christians in the process. We looked at their beautiful artwork and drew a full-scale Viking ship outside, complete with a helmsman (we learned that these ships were steered with one long oar that was always on the styrboard or starboard side). We also had a lookout, a dragon prow, and lots of rowers! It was great fun! I’d love to visit your group! See available topics and workshops on my website.www.kathy-oneill.com