Pathway: Brave Colour

Pathway for Years 5 & 6

Installation Art, Sketchbooks

Key Concepts:

  • That as humans we react emotionally to colour.

  • That artists can create immersive environments using colour, light, form and sometimes sound to create a transformative experience for others.

  • That we can use colour in a brave and inventive way, trying new colour combinations and exploring the relationship between colour and form. 

  • That we can test ideas, use our imagination, and share our vision with others by creating 2 and 3 dimensional models. 

In this pathway pupils are enabled to explore colour in a very personal and intuitive way. 

Taking inspiration from artists who use colour, light and form to create immersive installations, pupils are encouraged to create (propose) their own art work. They are enabled to imagine “what if…?” and encouraged to share their vision or imagining with others through mock-up artworks and models. 

Recognising pupils growing ability to articulate their thoughts, and understand that we can use art to bring people together through sharing common experiences, such as how our bodies and minds react in certain colourful environments, pupils are empowered to create their own response to simple sculptural challenges. 

Pupils use sketchbooks throughout to record, test and reflect. 

Paper, Card, Paint, Light (coloured filters)

Artists: Olafur Eliasson, Yinka Ilori, Morag Myerscough, Liz West

If you use this resource in your setting, please tag us on social media: #InspiredBy @accessart (facebook, twitter) (instagram) and share the url. Thank you!

Mini World Lightboxes by Anna Campbell
Olafur Eliasson Exhibition at The Tate by Paula Briggs
Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2020 © Jussi Tiainen : Hyvinkää Art Museum
ages 9-11

Teaching Notes

Curriculum Links

Science: Light, shadows.

PSHE: Collaboration, Peer Discussion.

I Can…

  • I have explored the work of installation artists who use colour, light and form to create immersive environments. I have been able to imagine what it might be like to be in those environments, and to share my thoughts with others.

  • I can respond to a creative challenge or stimulus, research the area, and make a creative response.

  • I can create a 3d model or 2d artwork which shares my vision with others. 

  • I can use a sketchbook to focus my exploration of colour, taking time to record thoughts, test ideas and reflect.

  • I can take photos of my artwork, thinking about focus, lighting and composition.

  • I can present my ideas and vision to others, articulate my thoughts and listen to the response of my classmates, taking on board their feedback.

  • I can listen to the creative ideas of others, and share my feedback about their work. 


This pathway takes 6 weeks, with an hour per week. Shorten or lengthen the suggested pathway according to time and experience. Follow the stages in green for a shorter pathway or less complex journey.


Selection of papers, elastic bands, cardboard, soft pencils, coloured pencils, oil/chalk pastels, water colour paint, inks, acrylic or ready mixed paint, brushes, collage papers, PVA glue, scissors.

Option 1: Mini World Light Boxes- Cardboard boxes, pencils, felt tip pens, sharpies paper/card, junk modelling materials, torches, marbling materials, paper, marbling inks, sticks for mixing, trays, PVA glue, scissors.

Option 2: Sculptural Challenge: Colourful Walls and Option 3: Sculptural Challenge: Light and Form – Construction Materials (see list here).

Pathway: Brave Colour

A PDF of this pathway can be found here.

  • Aims of the Pathway

    This pathway gives pupils the opportunity to engage with colour in an intuitive and physical way.

    Pupils are given a greater degree of creative independence and the pathway invites pupils to  respond to the following questions:

    “How can we create colourful experiences? How do they make us feel? How might we connect to others through colour?”

    Pupils are encouraged to guide their own exploration, making choices about how they want to use colour in their artwork. 

  • Week 1: Prepare

    Make a "Brave Colour" Project Sketchbook

    colourful sketchbook

    Fill the classroom full of colour and start as you mean to go on by inviting children to make a dedicated Brave Colour Project Sketchbook. 

    Use the “Elastic Band Sketchbook” resource to make the sketchbooks. Use white paper inside (use cartridge paper torn into double sized sheets – don’t use printer paper) so that pupils can fill it with the colours that appeal to them. 

    For the covers, use something durable like cardboard as a base, but invite pupils to personalise the covers with colours they are attracted to. This might involve paint, card, paper or fabric.

    Encourage pupils to use these sketchbooks throughout the project. Use the “Making Visual Notes” resource to capture colours, generate ideas and reflect. 

  • Week 2: Be Inspired

    Explore the Work of Artists Using Colour

    Olafur Eliasson Exhibition
    Olafur Eliasson

    As a class, explore the work of artists who use colour in their work – sometimes in the form of paint, sometimes light. 

    Explore the following Talking Point resources, using them as the basis for class discussion. Use the “Making Visual Notes” resource to give pupils time to jot down thoughts and ideas in their sketchbooks. 

    As this is a colour project, make sure pupils have ready access to colour – paper, paint, ink, pastel – so even though this session is about watching and talking, they can also easily reach for colours to apply to their sketchbook notes. 

    Explore one or more of the free to access resources below:

    The Laundrette of Dreams Project by Yinka Ilori

    Talking Points: Yinka Iloria and Colourful Spaces

    Flock of Seagulls Bag of Stolen Chips by Morag Myerscough

    Talking Points: Morag Myerscough

    Nuvango Gallery: Carnovsky Opening

    Talking Point: Carnovsky

    Olafur Eliasson Exhibition at The Tate by Paula Briggs

    Talking Point: Olafur Eliasson

    Liz West, Our Colour Reflection

    Installation Artist – Liz West

    You may also like to explore the “Talking Points: What is Installation Art?” resource. 

  • Week 3: Collect Colour

    Exciting Colour

    DashwoodStudio Fabric Design by Rachel Parker

    Explore pattern designer Rachel Parker’s moodboard books. Invite children to “Collect Colour” from magazines to create their own colour moodboards. These moodbards can be used in the future as inspiration for other projects.

  • Weeks 3, 4, & 5: Explore & Create

    Dream Big by Working Small

    Choose one of the following options to focus pupils exploration of “brave colour”. 

    Use sketchbooks to record, test and reflect. 

  • Option 1

    Mini World Light Boxes

    Lighting up the miniworld

    Use the “Mini World Light Boxes” resource to create models of sculptural installations exploring light, colour and form.

  • Or...

  • Option 2

    Sculptural Challenge: Colourful Walls

    Use the “Sculptural Challenge Number 1: Colourful Walls” resource and challenge pupils to create a design proposal for a colourful architectural installation exploring colour and form.

  • Option 3

    Sculptural Challenge: Colour, Light, Form

    Use the “Sculptural Challenge Number 2: Colour, Light, Form” resource and ask children to create an idea for an installation which uses light, colour and form (and even maybe sound) to create an immersive experience for others.

  • Week 6: Present and Share

    Share, Reflect, Discuss

    Lighting up the miniworld

    Time to see the work which has been made, talk about intention and outcome.

    Invite children to display the work in a clear space, and walk around the work as if you were in a gallery.

    Give the work the respect it deserves. Remind the pupils of their hard work. Look back on all stages of the colourful journey and connect work made by pupils to that of the initial artists. 

    If you have class cameras or tablets, invite the children to document their work, working in pairs or teams. Explore how children can take high quality photographs of 3d artwork with this resource.

    Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

See the Pathway Used in Schools...

Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, Whitchurch Primary School
Year 6, St Michaels Community Academy
Year 6, St Michaels Community Academy
Year 6, St Michaels Community Academy
Year 6, St Michaels Community Academy
Process Art at HP, Home Education group
Process Art at HP, Home Education group.
Process Art at HP, Home Education group.
Process Art at HP, Home Education group.
Process Art at HP, Home Education group.
Process Art at HP, Home Education group.

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