Color Study #3

LESSON TITLE: Color Study #3
TEACHER NAME: Jennifer November
GRADE LEVEL: 7th & 8th
CLASS TIME: _45_Minutes _1_Days/week _2_# Session(s)
SUBJECTS COVERED – Landscape, Parts of a painting, Impressionist Art,


Students will take a walking trip of a scenic area and draw a landscape of it. (I told my students that if there was a fence or a pole in the way that they didn’t want in their composition, to take it out of the drawing).

Students will learn about the Impressionist era of art and create a landscape painting in the same same style.

Students will use the lessons they learned about mixing tints and hues and apply it to a Wolf Kahn (bright bold and complimentary colors) color style in their impressionist paintings.


  • Painters Tape
  • Sketch pads or paper
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas board 5×7 or larger


Impressionism – a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, esp. in terms of the shifting effect of light and color.

Foreground – The front and bottom of the painting, in this area objects are the largest, and lightest of your tints ( the rest will fade to darker colors, also helping the objects appearing farther away)

Middle ground – the middle of the painting where objects will appear smaller than in the foreground but larger than in the background, this area should be painted with the middle tint of your color

Background – the area of the painting which falls behind the horizon line, objects in this area should appear small and far away, the colors should fade to the darkest of your three colors


Anholt, Laurence. The Magical Garden of Claude Monet. Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series, 2003. Print.
Gruitrooy, Gerhard, and Edgar Degas. Degas: Impressions of a Great Master. New York: Todtri Productions, 1994. Print.
Gruitrooy, Gerhard, and Mary Cassatt. Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist. New York: Smithmark, 1996. Print.
Jaffé, Hans L. C. Pablo Picasso. New York [N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams, 1983. Print.
Koja, Stephan, and Katja Miksovsky. Claude Monet: The Magician of Colour. New York: Prestel, 1997. Print.
Mathews, Nancy Mowll., and Mary Cassatt. Mary Cassatt. New York, NY: Rizzoli, 1992. Print.
Monet, Claude, and Paola Rapelli. Monet. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1999. Print.
Rubin, James Henry. Impressionism. London: Phaidon, 1999. Print.
Sachs, Marianne. Monet: Life and Works. Naperville, IL: Source, 2000. Print.
Salvi, Francesco. The Impressionists: The Origin of Modern Painting. New York: P. Bedrick, 1994. Print.


After learning all about color, the ways to mix and manipulate the paints and make it work for your project, students are ready to take on a challenge of painting a landscape. They know how to make any color, and they know what colors will pop.

I first taught them about some of the great impressionist artists including Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh, Degas and Monet. We went over who they were, and how they painted their figures in blocks of color.

We then learned about Wolf Kahn who is currently painting very bright bold and impressionistic type paintings. I showed the students examples of all of these artists works. I brought in library books with large photos of some of the artists work. I printed out images of Wolf Kahn’s work. And I  gave all of this to my students to see and learn from.

We then broke down the different parts of a painting. The foreground, middle ground and background.

We took a walk outside to make a sketch of an area on campus. I told them they needed to have:

  • Horizon line
  • Trees, bushes
  • Foreground
  • Middle ground
  • Background

I wanted the students to get to make the choice of what they were painting, and I felt that when they got to travel on their own for some inspiration they would be happier with what they painted.

After we came inside from our walking trip I showed them the impressionist paintings and Wolf Kahn’s Paintings once more to refresh their memories on the type of painting they are making. I told them right away that we would NOT be using pencils. I wanted them to draw with their paint brush.

We prepared our canvases by sanding them slightly, we did this to help knock down some of the groves in the canvas board, and create a smoother painting surface.

We next painted on a “neutral” color. And by neutral I have them choose a color that was not too bright but not too dark either. I told them the color would not matter, what did matter was that they covered all of the white of the canvas board. This would be our first layer of color. When painting I also instructed them not to paint in straight up and down lines, but to paint the whole canvas by twisting and turning your wrist making X like paint marks, and to turn the canvas so they would not paint in all on direction. They also were to paint in thin layers, slowly building up the canvas rather than lathering on the paint. I also had them hold the paint brush up high on the handle so they could have a bit more freedom with the brush.

Next I had students mix a color for the sky. They needed to mix a good amount of color. Then using the pallet knife they split the color in half. They added a small amount of white to that. Then they split the new tinted color in half again and aded even more white to the third tint, making a small scale of tinted color (this goes back to the first lesson they learned on mixing color and making tints of color on the bottom of their Color Study #1 Lesson)

They next painted the top of their canvas, starting with the dark color, and painting in the same fashion as I described before.  After I had them painting in layer, just as we had in a more structured way with the square painting, but this time it was much more free. They were to paint everything building from the background up.

As we went along some of the paintings came out beautiful, and some of them had an unexpected result. In the end all of the students had a completed project and are taking home a nice piece of art. I would have loved to get them on a larger canvas board but we simply ran out of time. I’m looking forward to putting up the results and some follow up.


Follow Up

Final Results


One thought on “Color Study #3

  1. Pingback: Color Study #3 Final Results | Art Lessons from Artrait, LLC

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