Art School | Paper Weaving with Primary + Secondary Colors
In today’s lesson, we’ll show you a great hands-on way to learn primary and secondary colors, review patterns and get kids weaving.
We begin today’s lesson by going over the primary colors, or colors that can be combined to make other colors. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Now when you combine any two of these primary colors, you create a secondary color. Secondary colors are orange, purple, green, and can be in varying shades.
If this concept is new for your child, a fun way to really drive home this information is to take the clothes they are wearing and have them point out all the items that are primary colors. Maybe go around the room and see how many secondary color items can be found? Make a game of it, who can find the most primary color items in a minutes time?
Once they have a good understanding of these two groups of colors, it’s time to work with our watercolors and watercolor paper.
Supplies: Three sheets of watercolor paper, pencil, watercolor paints, brush, water, scissors, ruler, tape
Have your child take one of the watercolor sheets and do some experimenting. First have them paint the 3 primary colors, red blue and yellow. Next, ask them to create all the combinations they can to create secondary colors(red+blue=purple, red+yellow=orange, blue+yellow=green). And be sure to point out to your children the varying degrees of color. Light green can be created with a little more yellow, or dark green with more blue. How could we lighten the purple? How much yellow does it really take to create orange?
You can place that practice paper aside and have them take the second watercolor paper. Ask your child to fill this paper with only primary color stripes (red,blue,yellow) . They can create patterns or a checkerboard, stripes or blocks. However your child would like to fill up this paper is fine. If you have an older child you can suggest they might like to experiment with patterns. You can go over what patterns can be created, an ABCABC pattern could be red yellow blue red yellow blue, an ABACABAC pattern could be red yellow red blue red yellow red blue. Just assign a letter A B or C to one of the primary colors and then have fun creating a whole slew of combinations.
Once the paper is all painted, you can set that aside to dry and then grab your last watercolor sheet. Now they get to fill this sheet in with secondary colors(purple,green,orange). Again, your child can decide to paint this sheet in any number of ways, as long as they are using all the secondary colors. Maybe this pattern will be ABBC or one really complex like ABCCBAABCCBA, the possibilities are endless!
When this sheet is finished you can place it aside to dry.
Now you’ll need to grab your second set of supplies: ruler, pencil, scissors and clear scotch tape. Your child can take the first painted sheet of stripes which should be dry by now (primary colored one). Children may need help with this part, but flip the paper over and on the shorter side, use a ruler to measure 1 inch down from the edge and mark the paper with a pencil line across the whole paper. Cut in 1 inch strips up to the line drawn, but not beyond the pencil marking. Your child will be cutting along the longer side of the paper
You’ll end up with a page looking like this.
With your secondary color sheet go ahead and cut 1 inch strips on the shorter side of the paper, all the way across the paper. This sheet will not have any pencil marks, so cut across the entire sheet. You won’t use all the strips, so be prepared to have extra.
Now comes the paper weaving of the secondary color strips onto the primary color sheet. I would recommend showing your child how to weave the first strip and then let them take over. Be sure to alternate back and forth between the papers to create a weave. This may take a little practice for little ones, but they can get the hang of it even as young as 5 years old.
Once you have as many strips that will fit onto your sheet, it’ll look something like this.
Now there’s nothing worse for a child than all that hard work coming apart, so I recommend flipping the weave over and using clear tape to secure the edges of the strips. That way there should be no strips slipping out and your paper weave will be complete!
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