Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Visual Texture and Analogous Colors

One of the things I like about summer is having TIME to mull things over. For quite a few weeks, I've been contemplating using one basic color and its analogous colors to create an overlapping collage. So, today I got out the crayons, watercolors, scissors, foam core and glue and started putting the ideas into practice.
First step was to mix some greens in the watercolor lid (this is why I ONLY use watercolor pans with white lids in the classroom -- so you see the true colors you mix.
Next was a wet-on-wet wash of mixed greens.

 While that was drying I made some squares with crayon line designs that would create visual texture once the watercolor wash went on top of them. In the classroom I plan and asking student to choose a shape for their "tiles". I chose squares, but I think circles, ovals, petal-shapes etc would be great, too.
 Then came the watercolor crayon resist wash -- in different shades of green.
 When the squares dried (which didn't take long) I cut them apart. Actually, in the classroom this would be the start of Day 2.
 I actually spent quite a bit of time arranging and rearranging my tiles on the background, turning the tiles to see how the textures looked in different places and with their predominant lines facing different directions.
 Small pieces of foam core were for raising some of the overlapped tiles.
 The last step was to glue everything down and decide what color matte would look best with the greens.

I am thinking about this for 4th or 5th grade with part of the lesson focusing on Unity/Harmony. I took some photos last year on my trip to Montana with the intent of students using them as inspiration for visual texture and I may use these to kick-start some ideas for the textures kids could use. Here are a few:

I like the idea of having students use neutral color photos and then interpret them using colors from the color wheel. I have a few other ideas for using pictures like these this year -- am still working them (at least in my head)!!! Bye for now. . . .


  1. I likehthought process hat went up into this. Might be fun to paint the background wash in a complementary color, or at least to mount it on a complementary color.

  2. Weird autocorrect. Should have said 'the thought process that went into this'.

  3. I like this idea Christie! I might "borrow" it to go along with another project. My summer has been good. Thanks for the message. We may be up in your neck of the woods next week. My son turns 18 and he loves to go to Venice and see all its' "uniqueness". :)

  4. This is really beautiful...I love it!! I think that would make a great first painting project for my 1st or 2nd graders this year!!!

  5. What a great lesson. I begin each year with color as a review. This is a great way to add texture, balance, repetition..... Should I keep going?

  6. I'm thinking along the same lines. Love the way so many concepts are addressed in this one project. Thanks for sharing!