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LESSON PLANS SPRING TERM 2024 (2nd half) Lesson 1: Warm colours, cool colours, middle colours, pure colours.

I spent a very peaceful afternoon cutting samples from magazines, sticking them in my sketch book and then trying very hard to match both the colour and the tone with a watercolour sample alongside.

Colour is much less 'clear' than seems the case when contemplating it. A colour could be classified as both 'red' and 'orange' but, in its context, its tone may be much more important than its colour classification. There are useful questions which one can ask oneself when trying to match a colour such as 'how close to a grey is that colour?' Questions help to decide how a colour could be mixed. This will be a lesson for those who haven't done yet, to do my colour wheel, and for everyone to experiment with colour matching.

Spring Term 2nd half 2024 – Lesson 1. Warm colours, cool colours, middle colours, pure colours.

·         What do I mean by ‘middle’ colours? It’s my expression, not one used by anyone else as far as I know. Middle colours are colours that don’t adhere easily to one category. Not quite blue, not quite green. Colours that need to be mixed and that exist in the real world more than pure colours. Look around the room and pick out a pure blue, pure red and pure yellow (apart from your paint tubes or blocks). How easy was it?

·         For those who haven’t done it already, make the colour wheel using, as closely as possible, the colours stated and then do the colour wheel sums. It’s a very user-friendly colour wheel.

·         Go through your magazine and find samples of reds and colours you feel are linked to red. Cut small samples and stick them in your sketch book. Do the same for blues, yellows, greens, purples and oranges. You’ll find it tricky to make a boundary between some groups (such as reds and oranges) but it doesn’t matter which group you put the colours into – they’re colours which might fall into two groups.

·         Now mix colours to match the samples you’ve stuck in your book and paint them alongside the relevant samples.

·         Ask yourself questions such as is the colour Bright? Pure? Earthy? Dull? Pale? Dark? Indecipherable? Cool? Warm? Dig into what you think it might take to mix each colour. Try adding colours you wouldn’t expect to add and try as many times as it takes to get near the colour. Each of you may use a different recipe for the colours you create. NOTE DOWN each mix you use.

Next lesson: Daffodils or tulips, I don’t mind which, in a vessel, watercolours and good watercolour paper.


About this site...
I am an art teacher living and working in Dorset.  I have taught for the Adult Education Service and the University of Bath, plus some supply teaching in my local schools but now I run all my classes and courses privately. This site is intended as an addition to my teaching, primarily for any student who in the week misses a class and wants to catch up.
The lessons are also available for any one anywhere who would like some ideas on what to teach, what to learn or is just interested in seeing what we do.
I'm afraid I won't be able to answer emails asking for comments on anyone's work (other than for currently enrolled students).
I teach three weekly art classes in halls in and around Blandford in Dorset and every six weeks or so I run a Sunday workshop in a village hall on the outskirts of Blandford. I also run a vibrant five-day summer school.. Other than that I spend every available moment in my studio or drawing and painting elsewhere.
I studied for four years at The Slade School of Fine Art where I was awarded The Slade Prize on graduation. I went on to travel and study further finally doing a P.G.C.E at Exeter University with Ted Wragg as my mentor. It was a wonderful year of education which set me in good stead for my years of teaching since then.



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