Colour can be developed into almost any art project. The suggestions for activities and links cover the following key vocabulary:

  • Primary colours
  • Secondary colours
  • Complementary colours
  • Tints
  • Shades
  • Hues
  • Warm colours
  • Cool colours
  • Harmonious
  • Monochrome

QCA Schemes

Light & Dark

NSEAD units of work

Colour mixing with paint
Meager, colour, color, painting, paint, colour mixing, color mixing, Kandinsky
This simple unit is designed to show young children, in a very direct way, that colours mix. It offers a way of talking to the children about colour mixing, and describes how the activity should be arranged in the classroom to ensure good results.

Colour collections
Early Years
Meager, colour, color, collections
This unit would make a wonderful start to almost any of the introductory or early years colour units. It is presented as a 'brainstorming' of possibilities for collecting and heightening children’s awareness of colour.

The basic colour wheel
Meager, colour, color, colour wheel, color wheel, painting
Colour theory is a wide and sometimes controversial subject to teach. The basic principles of one colour theorists work is introduced here; the colour wheel described by Johannes Itten in his book 'The Art of Color'

Colours have meaning
Meager, colour, color, symbols, design, abstract, Picasso, Guernica, Rembrandt, Rothko, Renoir, mood, feeling, expression
Thinking about the meaning that different cultures attribute to different colours is the
theme of this unit. Children are encouraged to notice how colour is used to convey certain messages(red for danger), before attempting to make use of it in this way themselves. The unit also touches upon certain artists use of colour.

Colour, mood and Howard Hodgkin
Hay, painting, paint, abstract, colour, color, mark-making, Hodgkin, memory, feeling, mood, frame, border, gallery, artist, contemporary, imagination, expression
Using Howard Hodgkin’s work as a starting point exemplar questions are offered to prompt discussion about the painter and the nature of abstract art. Based on this discussion children are then invited to represent their own memories and feelings using colour, shape and pat- tern.