Mondrian Colors The Three Primaries

Learning Targets

  1. Understand why red, yellow, and blue are called the primary colors.
  2. Paint with primary colors, without mixing.

Why are Red, yellow, and blue called primary colors?

Primary means first. You can mix primaries to make other colors, but you can’t go the other way.

Green is made by mixing yellow and blue. But once they are mixed, you can’t unmix them. Green is called secondary, because it is a mix of two primaries.

Mondrian used primary colors without mixing them. Notice that he also left some areas white, and he left the lines black.

Step by Step

Today, we will be finishing the line paintings that we made in our lesson on Horizontal and Vertical lines.

Here are our materials. Notice that each color has several brushes, so that groups can share. What should you do if all the red brushes are being used, and you want red? Should you mix the colors by grabbing a brush from blue or yellow?

When you are done with a color, return the brush to the same color. If you mix up your paints, you won’t have primary colors any more. Can you unmix them?

Follow Mondrian’s style, and make some of your rectangles each of the three primaries. Paint carefully, and stay inside the lines. Don’t mix colors.

When you are finished, set your painting aside to dry.

Created By
Noel Newquist


Created with images by TeroVesalainen - "success goal target"

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