“I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!”

Last week, friends began learning about colors and color mixing as we kicked off our long-term color study!  We started by reading Monsters Love Colors, a very silly book that introduces colors and color mixing to young children really well.

Daniel: Red monster!  Blue monster!  Yummy colors!

Elizabeth: I can’t wait to mix so many colors for the monsters.

Felipe: Will red, yellow and blue make a rainbow?  The monsters will be so happy!  We made new colors, too.

Next, I introduced some new materials, such as a palette.  Children learned that palettes are a tool that artists use for mixing colors.  They were very excited to hold it in one hand and their paintbrush in the other.  For the first week, each palette was prepared with the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) for children to mix new colors with.

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Leonel: We’re going to paint with Colombia colors… red, yellow and blue.

Sebrina: A palette holds the paint.  It’s important.

Finally, it was time to paint.  Children began mixing colors that they thought the monsters from the story would love!

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Autumn: Look at how I made it…  I mixed red and blue and it’s purple!

Phoenix: That color looks like the color of Ethiopian food.  My mom likes that food!

Luca: Red is the color for love.

Dafnee: Daniel was right!  Red and blue makes purple!

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Brandon: I’ll mix red and blue and let’s see what happens!

Isabella: How did you make that kind of purple, Elliott?  Does it have more blue or more red?

Cameron: I mixed all the colors… let’s see what happens!  How come when I did all the colors it made brown, not rainbow?

Nydelyn: I made red, like a strawberry red, because I like them.

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Trebor: I want to make rainbow.  Wow, I did it actually!  It’s because I’m an artist.

Cora: I can’t believe red, yellow and blue can make all of these colors!

Frances: I made turquoise with a lot of blue and a little yellow.  Now look, when I put a lot of yellow and a little blue it makes light green, like slimy green.

Bella: I made the color of ducks!

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Elizabeth: When you mix colors, the paint is loud.  When you paint, the brush is quiet because it’s busy.

Waju: I made dark green!  Now I have two types of green.  This one is darker because it has more blue in it.

Eli: I made green because I thinked about it and remembered that blue and yellow would do that.

Kwame: I mixed all the colors and it made brown.

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Siah: I made tropical blue, how did I do that?

Katherine: Blue and yellow I told you made green.

Anders: I was right… red and yellow did make orange.

Joelle: A little bit of yellow and a little bit of blue makes a little bit of green.

Sammy: I need to take a little break… mixing colors is making me tired!

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“Yellow, yellow, who do you see? I see pink looking at me!”

Welcome back to the school, friends!  After a summer filled with travel, art-making and lots of time to relax, it feels great to be back in the PK Studio and kicking off year 5!  I’m so excited to continue to work with PK4’s and to begin working with the new PK3’s this year.

During the first 3 weeks of school, I joined children in their classrooms and introduced materials at their art centers.  We worked with crayons, oil pastels and finally… tempera paint.  I also introduced Studio Sketchbooks for the first time, which will help compile all of their art work from the beginning of the year.  They will take their sketchbooks home at the first conference day!  Next week, children will begin coming to the Studio for art groups… and I’m beyond excited 🙂  Below is a snapshot of the beginning of the year work in their sketchbooks… enjoy!

Friends have used oil pastels, crayons and markers to begin illustrating stories and sharing their interests with myself and their peers.  Children enjoyed smudging and rolling the oil pastels, especially because they can be a little bit messy 🙂

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Kimi: This says K-I-M-I.  It’s my book!

Samantha: This is not Josie’s?  This is mine?  This is my notebook?  It’s not Josie’s, it’s mine?  My sketchbook?

Dafnee: Like your sketchbook?  Now I have one!

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Brandon: I don’t like the paper on the crayons.  I got to see all the colors.  I need to put the paper in the trash.  Now everyone can see the colors!

Isabella: When you drag pastels on the side it looks like a rainbow.  I love being here at the art table.  It’s so relaxing.

Amal: When you blow on it, the oil pastel doesn’t go away.

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Jax: Pastels make your hands dirty like a monster.  I want to keep drawing.

Torin: My fingers got messy too.  Just like Drew!

Elliott: Hear that scratching sound?  That’s called rubbing.

Aurora: It feels good.  They roll.  I can roll it fast.

Frances: I miss crayons, but these pastels are funny.

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Eva: Julia’s hands turned green like an ogre.

Belen: Messy, messy, silly messy.  I love doing messy.

Siah: What should you call this color?  I’ll call it rainbow water!

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Throughout the week, we have been using different sized brushes to paint with tempera.  Children also practiced putting on smocks to protect their clothes.  Friends mixed colors in their sketchbooks and are really excited to have paint open at their easels soon!

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Kaleb: The smock is covered in red paint because I have red paint on my hand.

Gionni: Did you know blue and yellow makes green.

Jax: Yellow, yellow, who do you see?  I see pink looking at me!  Pink, pink, who do you see?  I see red looking at me!

Luca: The purple paint covers the brush like magic.

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Isaac: What do you think of my painting?  It’s footprints!

Amen: When this fat brush goes in the yellow, it turns to brown.  I want to show all of my family.

Torin: Blue and yellow made a green person.  Guys look, it’s so mixed up.

Nazeer: I spin the red in yellow.  It’s orange!

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“There are going to be so many people looking at our art work at the Showcase that we need security guards!”

After weeks and weeks of experimentation with color mixing, we started working on our final color study product!  We began by looking at work that shows individual colors side by side an image that uses the colors to make a cohesive piece of work.

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Siena: The colors on the side show what colors are in the painting.

Maia: The colors on the side match.

Next, friends closed their eyes and imagined what it would be like if they only had a few colors in the world to paint with.  Children thought about places they had been that evoked vivid memories, animals and food that they loved, and objects they have seen at school or at home.

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Amy: I want to make pink princess, dark purple princess and green princess.

Nayeli: I’m going to close my eyes and I see the pool.  I want to make pool blue.

Fatima: How do I make the color of a man sitting on the moon?

Next, friends began creating their unique colors in small plastic cups.  When they made a color that was just right, they painted a small rectangle with their paint.  Children named each color as they were working.  Friends were able to choose how many colors they wanted to make and throughout Pre-K, the numbers ranged from 2-6 unique colors per child.

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Waju: This is a perfect color.  Just a little more purple and it’ll be perfect perfect.

Adrian: It’s just the right color that I needed.

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Dai’Jah: I thought about when I went to the park with my mommy and there was a purple slide.  I’m trying to make a purple the same as the slide.

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The following week, friends were excited to revisit their paint and began to brainstorm how they would like to incorporate every color into a painting.

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Elliott: You have to be creative with the painting.  If you don’t have the right color, you have to make it different with your imagination.  It’s beautiful.

Zavier: You help me kind of like you’re my manager.

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Jariel: I’m making a people eating a shark.

Mae: The animals are sitting together on a tree and they’re having some fun.  Then they are going for a walk.

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Zavier: There are going to be so many people looking at our art work at the Showcase that we need security guards.  And tickets for the parents so that they can come.

We can’t wait to share our color study art work at the Pre-K Showcase on December 16!  Please stop by the Pre-K Studio between 11:30-12:30 on the 16th.

“It’s so exhausting to name colors… I need a snack, now!”

Last week, we began art groups by reading Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and talking about how there can be many different shades of a color.  In the book, we discovered that there can be glow green, pea green, forrest green and fern green.  Even though they were all technically green, they all appeared very different and reminded us of different things!

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Next, we played a game in which we picked colored cards and tried to name as many objects that reminded us of the selected color.  We made a long list that will be helpful for children to refer to when naming the colors for their final product.

Red: Stop sign red, barn red, tomato red, ketchup red, strawberry red.

Orange: Pumpkin orange, bright orange, Nemo orange, peach orange.

Yellow: Fall leaf yellow, sunny yellow, sunflower yellow, omelette yellow.

Pink: Berry pink, cotton candy pink, bubblegum pink, hair bow pink.

Green: Avocado green, alien green, caterpillar green, grass green.

Blue: Sky blue, smock blue, blue jay blue, Superman blue, blueberry blue.

Purple: Plum purple, eggplant purple, pepper purple, yogurt purple.

After our heads were swimming with images of rich and vibrant colors, friends began mixing colors on their palette with squirt bottles! As children were working, I walked around and helped friends name the colors that they created.  Friends found the squirt bottles hilarious because “they were like ketchup bottles and sometimes made funny noises.”

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Naomi: I’ll call this one chocolate.  And this one is slippery green.

Greyson: This is snail green.

Kai: Let’s mix it and see what happens!

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Claire: This color is like hot pepper red.

Luke: It’s so hard to mix my favorite color but it’s still fun.  It’s just a lot of work.

Jax: Dark like night time.  Whoa… dark like Batman.  Nice!

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William: It’s so exhausting to name colors… I need a snack, now!

Mae: This color is called banana, this color is banana peel and this color is dried banana.

Miguel: You know when you get yogurt from Trader Joe’s and you pour the blueberries into the vanilla yogurt and you swirl it around?  Yeah… this color looks just like that!

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“I’m going to make the perfect color ever!”

As friends are continuing to broaden their knowledge and understanding of color mixing, many have been experimenting with how to mix “perfect, special colors!”  In this video, Florentina tries many different times to mix a color that is “perfect” and still is working on getting her colors mixed just how she would like them.  Unfortunately, the batteries in my camera died before the end, but she was in fact able to mix a “rainbow” color that she was thrilled with!