Color Theory Concentric Rings

Third grade has been spending a lot of time learning about color theory. This lesson, inspired by Vassily Kandinsky's Color Study: Squares with concentric circles. Except we dove a lot deeper.
If you stare concentrate on the dot int he above image for 30 seconds, then rest your eyes on a white wall or blank screen... you see... red  white   and  blue! 
It is pretty amazing how the students guess the reason why this is -- the above flag are created using the opposite colors of the actual flag!

 I believe that the black and white switch is the best hint.

I explain to the students how the cones of our eyes are responsible for viewing color--and they send the message to our brain what color we are seeing. Our eyes become tired at looking at a color for too long--and the "green voice" gets weaker and weaker, allowing for the "red voice" to shine through !
We see color in relation to other colors. 
Here is Kandinsky's painting.  We followed the same format, but instead filled our rings with complementary colors, tints, shades and analogous color combinations! 
The students painted the center and the background using complementary color combinations...then painted tints and shades of the center. Lastly, an analogous pairing. I explained what a study is in art--and this painting is fantastic practice in better understanding color and mixing paints! 

And how amazing they all look together. This display is 72" x 160"-- is makes for a huge WOW factor.
The students will be choosing their favorite color theory combinations for an upcoming painting! 


  1. Arianne, you are an AMAZING art teacher!! Love this lesson and product!


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