Visual Arts: Stand Alone Color Theory

This unit in visual arts class, students are inquiring into color theory with the central idea: colors are used and interpreted in a variety of ways around us. They are inquiring into the form, function, and perspective (key concepts) of color theory. They are being assessed on the visual arts learning outcome: responding (phase 4) explain the cultural and historical perspectives of artwork.

Students learned about the artist Mark Rothko and the abstract artwork he made using block of colors. These paintings, with titles such as Red, Yellow, and Orange, were revolutionary because artists before Rothko typically created more realistic artworks.

As part of a color theory progression, in y5 PYP visual arts, students learn about the following color combinations:

After studying Rothko’s artworks and thinking about emotions we feel when we look at them, students found that everyone’s perspective of colors is different.

Students created an emotions pie chart of the emotions they were feeling that day. Their pie charts included a color key so that each emotion was associated with (a) color(s).

Students picked their top three emotions using their pie charts and used this color as the base color of the background for their artworks. They planned by creating abstract sketches of each emotion using the base color and other colors. After evaluating and receiving peer feedback, students began their three backgrounds based on their sketches.

Next, they will be using these background and posing in front of the background showing the emotion that their artwork represents. They will learn composition photography tips and use these tips to take images of each other. Eventually, they will edit these images and use them as part of a 3-D collage.

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