Day 7 in colour – freaky really dark green!

It was great to connect up again and it was especially exciting, because I got to meet the  new teacher, Miss Fanthorpe, who has taken over from Miss O’Sullivan, as she has taken a new role at the Board for a while. (Good Luck Miss O’Sullivan in the new job!)

However we were joined today by Miss O’Sullivan on line, and she kindly offered lots of encouragement to us all!

For us, though it was all go from the start! We were exploring colour changes – how to lighten and darken a colour.

First we thought about PAINT and what it was made of.

I asked the children to suggest things and they came up with a POWDER.

We were using water-based paint, which is usually a coloured pigment (a Powder -sometimes made from plants) and a BINDER which is something to bind or hold the powder together and this is sometimes GUM ARABIC.

Gum Arabic comes from the sap of the African Acacia tree – this reminded me of the story of the sap from the Canadian maple tree and the maple syrup!

African Acacia Tree

What a beautiful tree!

So our task was to use a colour and try to find ways too lighten it.

The children used a colour each and and a broad DRY brush and dipped their brush into the paint and dabbed it all the way down a sheet of paper til the paint strength weakened and got lighter and lighter:

dabbing to weaken the paint strength

Then we tired to lighten by adding more and more water- DILUTING THE PAINT.

This was done by dipping our brush into the paint and making a small mark on the page, then we kept dipping our brushes into the water and onto the paint to see it get lighter and lighter.:

diluting by adding water to the paint on the page

Here’s paint diluted in glasses:


Then we tried adding white paint to our colour and worked int he same way, making a mark with the full strength paint and then gradually adding more and more white paint til the colour got lighter and we ended up with a really light shade.

adding white paint

Things got really exciting when we tried to DARKEN our colours WITHOUT using black.

The children worked in each table group to explore what happened when another colour was added to darken the first colour:

You can click below to see the childrens’ paint explorations. We hope to see more when the pictures are processed!

colour changes pics 2

colour changes


red darkens…..

This now meant that we were turning our colours into many more colours, so blue with more and more yellow turned green and then yellow…..

blue to yellow

We soon found that some wonderful colours were created!

As a last activity, the children looked around the classroom to find  objects of one particular colour – either red, green, blue or yellow. The task was to find as many different shades of the colour and then to try to match their mixed paint colour to the colour of the object they had found by using the process they had explored earlier.

As a final thing, I asked the children to come up with a name for their colours and here are a few very imaginative names:

Can you guess the colour?









As I was cleaning my brushes and palette after the session, I noticed the paint remains as they washed down the sink….

Then finally after a lovely cup of coffee, I cleaned my pot……..

Food for thought for next week…..


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