Teach color theory for K-2nd grade literature-based lesson

Looking for a fun and creative way to teach color theory lessons?

Be like Super Why! When you have a problem, look in a book!

Color Theory Lesson: Beyond the Color Wheel

Brightly colored image of children's book with Title Overlay "Easy Color Theory Lessons Based on Nature is an Artist"

You’ve probably seen gobs of color theory lessons that revolve around teaching the color wheel.

While this is an incredibly essential aspect of color theory, it’s not the only one. There’s so much more you can teach your student about color!

For this lesson, we learned about warm vs cool colors. And, as always, I rely on the magical art of talented children’s illustrators to help me bring the lesson to life.

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Nature is an Artist

Image of children's book 'Nature is an Artist"

It’s a gorgeous book full of brilliant nature-inspired art project ideas just waiting to happen.

We used a landscape with meadows created using cool colors in the foreground, and rolling hills vibrant with warm colors in the distance.

This was a follow-up lesson to our simple color theory painting, so we didn’t have to revisit the terms much, but in case you do, remember that blues and greens are cool colors while reds, oranges, and yellows make up warm colors.

Supplies Needed

Note: If you’re creating an art journal for the year, as we are, instead of loose paper use a 12×18 watercolor sketchpad. The thicker-weight paper will ensure that you can use it for all kinds of mixed media.

Step 1 – Create the Outline With Oil Pastels

Children's Book "Nature is an Artist" With oil pastel outlines on the hills.

Step 2 – Paint the Foreground with Cool Colors

Pan watercolors, children's book and outlines of rolling hills.

Step 3 – Paint the Rolling Hills with Warm Colors

Child painting landscape with cool colors for hills and warm colors for sky.

Step 4 – Add Texture and Glitter Paint for the Water

Child painting a colorful landscape with cool hills and warm background.

Warm and Cool Colors

You don’t have to have an art background to either be able to or enjoy teaching art to your kids. My best recommendation for getting your kids engaged in art is to sit down and do the lesson with them. Let them know that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you’ll give them something to model.

Which in turn will launch their creativity and yours!

Looking for More Art Projects?

What Art Supplies do You Need for Your Homeschool?

Are you ready to enrich your homeschool art lessons? Not sure what supplies to buy? Worried about blowing your budget? Grab the list below with budget ideas starting at $25 for the year.

Don’t Forget to Pin This For Later

Child painting colorful landscape behind title overlay "Elementary color theory lesson"
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