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Unit: Color

Project: "Independent Final"

TIME FRAME: 2 weeks

LEVEL: Beginner High School

Learning Objectives:

Students will...

The student will learn the basics of color theory including specific names and types of colors (Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Neutral). The student will learn how to mix specific colors on the color wheel using colored pencils.


Create an illustration using one of the theme options below. You must include all of the elements of arts. Before starting your final create one sketch in your sketchbook or on the Manila paper.


Theme Options:

  • Effects of Music

  • Self Portrait (Literal or Metaphorical

  • Something You Want to Change

  • The Human Condition

  • Origins of Life

  • The City/ Cityscape

  • Environment

  • Independent

Student Handouts




  • White drawing paper 18" by 24"

  • Soft graphite pencils

  • Colored Pencils

  • Any other Colored Materials

Guided Practice:

The teacher will present the video entitled "Color" from "The Secrets to Drawing" video series. Teacher will then lead students through the coloring of the "Activity worksheets" while leading the class through the presentation entitled "Color". 


Color - An element of art that refers to reflected light.


Color wheel - Invented by Sir Isaac Newton, the color wheel represents the color spectrum bent into a circle.

Primary colors - The most basic colors: red, blue, and yellow. These colors cannot be produced by mixing but are used to mix all other colors.

Secondary colors - Colors that are made by mixing equal parts of two primary colors. Orange, green, and purple are secondary colors.

Tertiary colors - Colors that are made by mixing equal parts of a primary color and a secondary color. Red-purple, blue-purple, red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, and yellow-green are tertiary colors

Neutral colors - Black, white, and gray are neutral colors. When these colors with colors on the color wheel they affect the value and intensity of the color.

Color Schemes
Monochromatic - literally means one (mono) color (chroma). So a monochromatic color scheme is made up of one color and it’s shades and tints.

Complementary colors - Colors that are positioned directly across from each other on the color wheel. Ex. Blue and orange, red and green, yellow-green and red-purple

Analogous colors - are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Ex. Blue, blue-green, green, and yellow-green; red, red-purple, purple, blue-purple.

Color triads - consist of three colors found on the color wheel that are equally spaced apart from each other. Ex. Red, blue and yellow or orange, green and purple.

Split-complementary - a color scheme that is made up of a color and it’s complements closest analogous colors. Ex Blue, yellow-orange and red-orange. Red-orange, red-purple, green

Warm colors - colors that are usually associated with warm things. Ex. Red, yellow, orange

Cool colors - colors that are usually associated with cool things. Ex. Blue, purple, green

Reflection Questions:

1. What is your theme and what is your message?
2. How did you show line?
3. How did you show shape?
4. How did you show form?

5. How did you show value?

6. How did you show space?

7. How did you show texture?

8. What color scheme(s) did you use?


1. Theme-Your Choice

2. Technique- Color Scheme

3. Elements/Principles

4. Following Directions 

5. Craftsmanship 

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