Expressive Painting & Colour Mixing

By Paula Briggs

This post shares how we can enable an exploration of primary and  secondary colours, colour mixing and expressive mark making with paint, with primary-aged children.

Most often when schools introduce children to primary and secondary colours it is through the creation of a colour wheel, often with the expectation that the execution will be “neat”, turning the process into a technical skill.

In this session, pupils learn about primary and secondary colours through hands on experience of paint mixing and importantly paint application. They use a variety of made and sourced “tools” to help them apply the paint, layering primary and then secondary colours, and exploring expressive mark making. They start to think about how to use colour and mark making in response to what is already there – a key skill in painting.

Children work on sheets of paper (approx A4) and then consolidate the learning by choosing sections of their painted sheets to develop as sketchbook work, helping develop reflection and articulation skills, ready for the next stage of learning.

primary colours sketchbook page

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