Lesson 2: Exploring Color and Texture

During the second lesson in the course, students continued to explore the theme of nature in painting. For many of these students, it was their first time using acrylic paint. We began the lesson with an exploratory mark-making lesson. Each table had a still life with a vase of flowers, an array of fruits, pinecones, and seashells. Using black paint on paper and a single flat brush, students experimented with different nature-inspired mark-making techniques using the still-lives as references.

Next, students explored color. They learned about mixing browns and blacks from primary colors without the use of black paint, and how complementary colors can be used to tone down or mute saturated and artificial colors to look more natural. Using a viewfinder, students looked at the still-lives and created paintings that focused on color. They were encouraged to zoom in on a small area so that they could notice all the subtle differences in color and texture, rather than focusing on the forms of the still-life zoomed out.