Paint a Still Life in Primary Colors
Primary colors red, blue and yellow, can be mixed to create any color in the rainbow. When they are used together in a picture without mixing them together, they create bold, eye-catching paintings. Kids will love painting shapes of objects in a still life while using strong colors showing highlights and shadows. Older kids can mix white and black into their paints creating tints and shadows for a more complex painting exercise.
What You Need:
- White watercolor paper (11” x 17”)
- Red, Yellow and Blue tempera paint
- Still life items (we used fruit and a bowl)
- Clamp light
- White and black tempera paint for older kids
What You Do:
- Help your child to set up a still life in the center of a table using fruit, vegetables, bottles, books, potted plants or toys. The still life should have at least three different objects in it. Use a clamp light to light up one side of the still life so highlights and shadows are visible.
- Place the primary color paints onto a painting palette.
- If your child is in grade 1 or 2, encourage him to paint each object a different primary color, looking closely at the shapes of each object. If your child is in grades 3-5, encourage her to use at least two primary colors in each object; perhaps the highlights can be one color and the shadows another.
- For children who are in grade 6, they are ready to begin using tints and shades. A tint is when white is added to a color making it lighter. A shade is when black is added to a color to make it darker. Add white and black to their color palette and encourage them to tint and shade their primary colors showing shadows and highlights.