This quarter, I had a very challenging sixth grade class. It was all mixed levels, some very interested and educated in art, and others with absolutely no interest and no experience. This particular class required extra chairs to be sent to my room, because there were about 30 students. One very successful lesson that I taught was a Monochromatic Painting.
I really enjoyed this lesson because it allowed a great introduction to basic Color Theory. Students learned about Primary and Secondary Colors, Analogous and Complementary Colors, Monochromatic Colors, and Warm Vs. Cool Colors. We took some time focusing on the different schemes and completing worksheets and discussions until I felt that students could pass a basic color theory test.
Once students passed the color theory portion, we began painting. Students were asked to select a monochromatic color palette (black, white, and one additional color of their choice). They needed to create a value scale using those colors. We spent some time focusing on value and how it adds great detail to a work of art. Students spent some time creating a value scale and aimed to create 5-7 different shades. This was also a great time for students with no artistic background to practice painting, how to hold a paintbrush, how to apply paint, etc.
The next step was focusing on the composition and subject matter of their paintings. We discussed creative and interesting subject matter. Students were asked to sketch two different ideas that they wanted to paint. I counted their sketches as a classwork grade, which I typically do so students work hard on them.
Once their sketches were approved, I gave them a canvas and let them start painting. I graded them on Creativity and Subject Matter, Use Of Values (that they were able to mix colors effectively), Craftsmanship, and Effort and Participation.
Here are some of the final paintings!