Exploring Primary Colours and Progressing from Powder Paint to Gouache and Acrylic

By Sheila Ceccarelli

Colour mixing, and understanding the relationships between primary colours, like everything, takes time and experience to master. To develop a deeper fluency and the ability to use colour, children should be given plenty of opportunity, throughout primary school, and beyond, to play with creating colour palettes and developing their skills and instinct for colour.

This resource is based on methods shared, during an AccessArt InSET session, for primary school teachers at New Hall School, Chelmsford, to ultimately enable their pupils to develop colour skills. Teachers explored using their intuition and experience to mix primary colours, creating coloured swatches, that matched the colours of spring flowers, whilst comparing painting mediums.

What is this resource about?

  • This resource introduces:

    • Using primary colours in a primary school setting, including:
      • Red, yellow & blue verses,
      • Magenta (primary red), cyan (primary blue) and process yellow (primary yellow
    • Introducing colour mixing
    • Introducing powder paint
    • The benefits of working with gouache
    • Progressing onto acrylic paint
  • Recommended artists to look at to enhance classroom learning

    • Winifred Nicholson, 1893-1981
    • Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775- 1851
    • Helen Frankenthaler, 1928-2011
    • Philip Wilson Steer, Born 1915
    • Bridget Riley, Born 1931
    • Anish Kapoor, Born 1954
    • Merete Rasmussen (Contemporary Young Artist)

Colour Mixing with different water based painting mediums - SC
Colour mixing with water-based painting mediums including powder paints, gouache and acrylics


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