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Art Book Page 5: Neutral Colors

Art Book Page 5: Neutral Colors
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This is an introduction to the neutral colors – black, brown, gray & white.

By Maryanne Messier

What You Need:

  • Tempera Paint (brown, black, white)
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Paint Shirts
  • Glue
  • Neutral Colors Handout
  • White construction paper 10×12
  • Construction paper 12×18

What You Do:

This lesson was integrated with an animal lesson that the students were doing in their regular class.

  1. Talk to students about new colors. Black, Brown, Gray, and white. Explain that these colors have their own name… Neutral colors. These colors can go with any other color in the rainbow.
  2. Discuss things that have neutral colors in them (pets, etc).
  3. Tell students that today they are going to paint a picture about animals using only neutral colors. Also explain that they are going to have to make one of the neutral colors..gray.
  4. After students have gotten their supplies and are ready, you can start your lesson. Tell students to take a little black and a lot of white and mix them together. What color did they get? (All should say gray).
  5. Let them begin painting. Remind them to rinse their brushes before they use another color.
  6. Once they have finished painting they need to clean up. This will allow the Tempera to dry a little, before they glue it to the paper.
  7. After the paint has dried (sometimes you may need to let it set overnight). They need to glue their painting to the 12×18 construction paper. They take the Neutral Colors Handout and glue it either at the top or the bottom of the page.
  8. You have another completed page in your art book.

Neutral Colors

Go to Page Six (Texture Bugs)

Related Lessons and Resources:

Neutral Colors Handout
The Art Book – Index


The Art Book is a special series of lessons from Maryanne Messier, a teacher from Janesville Wisconsin. “This Art Book theme was created to help art educators by giving them another form of assessment. So many times we as art educators find it difficult to assess a child’s progress when projects are sent home. By using portfolio assessment it is easier to judge a child’s progress because you can see it from beginning to end. The idea of the art book came from a colleague of mine, Mary Jo Paup. She developed the “book” idea while working towards her masters. When she told me about the idea I decided to use it with my kindergartners. I used the Janesville School District’s Art Curriculum as a basis for each project page. It was a challenge but well worth it. The beauty of portfolio assessment is that it starts in kindergarten and can follow them through their elementary career. As the child grows so do the books and the lessons. If you decide to use this form of assessment in your class, I hope your class enjoys these lessons as much as mine did. -Maryanne Messier

Some images are courtesy of Teach a Fish Homeschool.

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