Complementary Color Portraits
Students will create a portrait using one pair of complementary colors.
By Madeline Buonagurio [Madeline is an art educator at Jefferson, Roosevelt and Washington Elementary Schools in North Arlington, NJ.]
- Students will create a portrait using one pair of complementary colors.
- Students will understand that using complementary colors next to one another makes each color appear brighter.
- Students will understand that mixing complementary colors together makes gray.
What You Need:
- color wheel
- 9×12 white drawing paper
- 12×18 colored paper
- two complementary color crayons (or pencil crayons, or paint)
What You Do:
- Review the color wheel with the class.
- Explain that the complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.
- Have the class find the complementary color pairs (red & green, blue & orange, yellow & purple).
- Explain that when they are used next to each other, they look brighter.
- When they are mixed together they make gray.
- Demonstrate drawing a portrait using only one pair of complementary colors.
- To add interest, color some areas lightly. In other areas, press hard on the crayon.
- Add a pattern to the shirt and background.
- Use heavily colored lines in the hair to add texture.
- Try mixing the complementary colors together to make gray.
- Mount the portrait on 12×18 colored paper.
- Under the portrait, mount the following explanation:
I drew a portrait using complementary colors.
Complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.
When they are used next to each other, they look brighter.
When they are mixed together, they make gray.
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