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Neutral Colors

Level: Primary
Grades: K-2 | Age: 5-8 | Written by: Maryanne Messier
[Maryanne is a teacher from Janesville Wisconsin.]

This is an introduction to the neutral colors - black, brown, gray & white.


This Art Book was created to help art educators by giving them another form of assessment. So many times we as art educators find it difficult to assess a child's progress when projects are sent home. By using portfolio assessment it is easier to judge a child's progress because you can see it from beginning to end.

What You Need:
What You Do:

This lesson was integrated with an animal lesson that the students were doing in their regular class.

  1. Talk to students about new colors. Black, Brown, Gray, and white. Explain that these colors have their own name... Neutral colors. These colors can go with any other color in the rainbow.

  2. Discuss things that have neutral colors in them (pets, etc).

  3. Tell students that today they are going to paint a picture about animals using only neutral colors. Also explain that they are going to have to make one of the neutral colors..gray.

  4. After students have gotten their supplies and are ready, you can start your lesson. Tell students to take a little black and a lot of white and mix them together. What color did they get? (All should say gray).

  5. Let them begin painting. Remind them to rinse their brushes before they use another color.

  6. Once they have finished painting they need to clean up. This will allow the Tempera to dry a little, before they glue it to the paper.

  7. After the paint has dried (sometimes you may need to let it set overnight). They need to glue their painting to the 12x18 construction paper. They take the Neutral Color Handout and glue it either at the top or the bottom of the page.

  8. You have another completed page in your art book.
Go to Page Six (Texture Bugs)

Related Lessons and Resources:

Neutral Color Handout
The Art Book - Index

Recommended Books/Products:

Teaching Art to Young Children ages 4-9
by Robert Barnes

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