COLOR 8th Grade Art - Second Semester

This is the story of your second semester. You will explore the concept of COLOR by working with a variety of media to learn about color, its three main characteristics, and how artists use this information in creating their work.

The following lists what you are expected to know, understand, and know how to do by the end of the semester. However, you will be learning far more than this.

What is color?

Color is the response of the eye to light.

"All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites." — Marc Chagall

How does color affect us?

The following video will give you some information to consider. The colors of the rooms we live in, the colors of the products we buy, the colors of the clothes we choose to wear, etc. all affect us and our behaviors in different ways, often in ways of which we're not aware. Know that depending upon which culture you live in, some of this information will be different.

What's your favorite color today?

First, I will set you up with three paintbrushes, a paint tray, and a box. You will write your name and class code on five small pieces of masking tape with a permanent marker. You will attach three pieces to your brushes as name flags, one piece to the bottom of your paint tray, and the last one to a short end of the box.

At the beginning, you will be working primarily with tempera paint. It is water soluble and will wash easily from hands and tools. However, know that some colors have a tendency to stain fabrics.

Your first exercise will be to paint a value study using the template below. You will mix both light and dark values of the primary and secondary colors.

Your second exercise will be to paint an intensity study using the template below and using the three warm colors. You will mix small amounts of the complements to each hue where you will find the color becoming duller and duller until you find the neutral gray.

The final exercise will require you to choose four paint chips to mix and match. You will analyze each color to determine its hue, value, and intensity, and then you will mix it.

Your first lesson will require you to have your picture taken. I will upload it to a computer and use Photoshop Elements to turn the photo black and white, reduce the values to six layers using the Posterize filter, and then print it.

You will choose one hue, mix six values using white and black, and paint them in the appropriate layer shapes. You will paint an interesting background using the complement of the color of the face.

Your second lesson will require you to mix the colors of your hand using only the primary colors plus white.

Your third lesson will have you use a map as a point of departure for a painting. You will choose a color harmony, its values and intensities, and the three neutrals.

Feel free to alter the shape of your painting.

Your next color lesson will have you using concentrated liquid water colors to create a painting of a tree with a background. You will learn about the characteristics of watercolors and some techniques as to how to use them.

The next lesson will be a printmaking lesson where you will use Gelli Plates, synthetic gelatin plates, to create a series of monoprints. You will be working with acrylic paints which are also water soluble, but when dry they are permanent. The particular paints we'll be working with are labeled OPEN. This means that they take longer to dry than typical water based paints and will give you plenty of time to work your surface before printing without the paint drying.

You will use a variety of materials to add texture and masks to certain areas of your prints.

The following video will provide you with a short demonstration on how to use a Gelli Plate to make monoprints.

TO Review

And so, you have viewed a short overview of the semester's work, three color exercises and a series of lessons. You will learn how to use the color wheel as a tool. The exercises will give you time to become acquainted with the three characteristics of color and experience using tempera paints. You will learn how to properly use and care for your paintbrushes. Each exercise and lesson will include instruction and demonstrations.

There will be time for one or two more lessons after these lessons, so think about which other color media you might like to work with. Do you want to learn how to use oil pastels? Make digital collages? Make mosaics? What else? Just let me know!

It's up to you how you write your own story about color this semester.

Note: All photos were taken by the author. Student work is included with the permission of the students. The final photo is of a Sol Lewitt painting at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Created By
ginny rockwood
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