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Level: ECE, Primary, Junior
Grades: PreK - Gr 5 | Age: 2-11yrs | Written by: Elizabeth Kinney
[Elizabeth is an art instructor at the Wolf Creek YMCA in Maumee, OH ]

Students will learn about warm/cool colors, as they experiment with color mixing in layers.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Cover tables with newspaper.
  2. Pass paper out to each student.
  3. Tear aluminum foil in lengths that are slightly larger than paper, (approx. 10 x 12"); one per student.
  4. Pass out glue sticks and have students glue aluminum foil to paper, shiny side up.
  5. Fold aluminum foil over edges and tape to back of paper.
  6. Discuss cool colors. Why are they called the cool colors? (see handout)
  7. Let the students creatively paint the aluminum foil entirely with the cool colors.
  8. Students should be encouraged to paint large areas of the foil paper, instead of a "picture"-type painting. A little bit of foil showing through the paint is desirable.

  9. Pass out tissue paper to students. Have them carefully ball up the paper and then open the paper again. Do not smooth out wrinkles!
  10. Have students carefully press the tissue paper onto the wet aluminum foil painting. DO NOT SMOOTH OUT! You want "peaks and valleys" of tissue paper. Fold over the ends just as you did the aluminum foil to the paper and tape as before.
  11. Pass out the watercolor warm colors - discuss and explain. (see handout)
  12. Have the children drip the water color on to the tissue paper. The areas with cool color paint under the tissue paper will "mix" with the warm color on top. The areas with only foil underneath will give a bright, metallic look and look "electrified". The peaks of tissue paper will hold the warm colors unchanged. It is exciting to watch the watercolor run down and create interesting areas of light and dark.
  13. If you have time, have students use glue and glitter to highlight less interesting areas. They may drip, drizzle or paint the glue on. This is a good time to discuss glitter as an accent to art projects and not just another layer that covers up the art underneath.

Note from Elizabeth: I came up with this art project during a hectic week when I did not have a lot of time to pull different art supplies for my many art classes. This is a great project for art students of all ages! It may sound complicated, but worth it!

Recommended Books/Products:

My Very Favorite Art Book: I Love to Paint!
Creating with strings, fingers, rollers, straws, and other super techniques: no wonder this entry in Lark's fabulous new art series will have kids saying "I love to paint!"

Painting with Children
Painting with Children contains sections on the "moral effects of color," the experience of colors, preparation, color stories and poems, panting with plant colors, painting the moods and seasons of nature, and much more.

The Science Book of Color
by Neil Ardley
This book explains the principles of color and gives instructions for a variety of simple experiments.

My First Paint Book
by Dawn Sirett
Twenty-two activities, from stenciled boxes to T-shirt designs, are presented along with step-by-step, full-color photographs and clear instructions, in a visual introduction to making and decorating things with paint.

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