I think the easiest way to teach tertiary colors to one child is to start with a model. First, we had a black and white model of a color wheel that I printed from an art book that I had. We talked about each color and then used colored pencils and crayons to fill in the wheel. Having this wheel also helps you to know how many tertiary colors there are.
After this, on a different day, I created another model --of caterpillars. I used a perfect circle to trace its body bubbles. Then I added feet and antennae. I didn't worry about faces. The first was the Primary Color Caterpillar, the second was the Secondary Color Caterpillar, and the third was the Tertiary Color Caterpillar. I also ended up adding a black and white caterpillar. But realized that that one could wait because we will be doing light and dark shading later. I then used a pencil and labeled the circles with the colors that would go inside.
|Tertiary Colors Caterpillar - Labeled|
Blue=1 blue dot
Red=1 red dot
Yellow=1 yellow dot
Orange=1 red, 1 yellow
Green=1 blue, 1 yellow
Purple=1 blue, 1 red
Green-yellow =1 blue, 1 yellow and 1 yellow
Yellow-green =2 yellow and 1 blue,1 yellow
Yellow-orange =2 yellow and 1 red, 1 yellow
Orange-yellow =1 red, 1 yellow and 1 yellow
Orange-red =1 red, 1 yellow and 1 red
Red-orange =2 red and 1 red, 1 yellow
Red-Purple = 2 red and 1 red, 1 blue
Purple-red = 1 red, 1 blue and 1 red
Purple-blue =1 red, 1blue and 1 blue
Blue-purple = 2 blue and 1 red, 1 blue
Blue-green = 2 blue and 1 yellow, 1 blue
Green-blue = 1 yellow, 1 blue and 1 blue
Notice that when the primary color is first in a tertiary blend, you should add double of that primary color. But when it comes to blue - consider the concentration of it.
|Adding paint dots to prepare for blending|
- Primary Colors turned upside down for controlled dots when squeezing.
- Several paint brushes
- Water for rinsing
Then we began.
It is important to note that I handed each new paint brush to my son and talked about the colors as we went through them. The primary colors and secondary colors were just reminders of how we created new colors. Then as we went through the Tertiary Colors, he was able to see how each one mixed. I also made sure that he understood that it was important to stay in the lines.
|Secondary Color Mixing|
|Tertiary Color Mixing|