Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Colour Families

A few years ago I found a website called “Art Adventures” that was full of great tips, tricks, and lessons that were very easy to follow.

When I first discovered this site, I printed off these lessons and I’m sure glad that I did because the amazingly useful website is no more.

However, thanks to the magic of computer scanners and the blogosphere, I can share this great resource with all of you.

I also like the fact that I know my website is not going anywhere so I’ll be able to find this online now whenever I want to.

This lesson lets your students see how the colour families can be used to create moods, explore feelings, show contrast, and establish depth.

Step 1 – Have the students draw a landscape. For younger students, you can provide them with 3 coloring pages of the same scene.

Here is one scene you can use.

Step 2 – Print out or trace 3 copies of the landscape scene you want to use. It is important to have three copies of one scene and not just three different landscape scenes.

Step 3 – Review the 3 colour families.

Warm Colours are red, yellow, orange, and all the shades in between.

Cool Colours are green, blue, and purple.

Neutral colours are black, white, and gray. Tan and brown can be added to this family as well.

Step 4 – You now have three copies of one landscape.

a) Colour one of them using only Warm Colours. This means that you can only use shades of red, orange, and yellow. Even if the scene calls for water, you cannot use a cool colour.

b) Colour your second landscape using only Cool Colours – green, blue, purple.

c) Colour your last landscape using on Neutral Colours.

Step 5 – Compare the moods of the three pieces to see how the colour families work.

I like to have a class discussion at this point. You can discuss how these moods can still be maintained in a work even if all three families happen to be used in one picture.

Well, that is it for this week’s Teaching Tip Tuesday. 

Don’t forget to check all the great tips on the Table of Contents page. 

If you have a tip that you’d like to share, please write up a guest post and send it to me. I’d love to have you drop a comment or send me an email. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about. 

2 responses to “Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Colour Families”

  1. Hi Chase .. what a good idea .. and it's here for us to use in the future .. I like the three moods .. and it's a good way to show them the way the landscape can change ..

    Great resource – thanks – Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    It really is a great lesson! I hope teachers find it useful. I know that every time I've used it in the class, the students really get excited about Colour Families.