This is a FUN lesson in color mixing and mixing tints (a tint is any color plus white). I got this out of an old School Arts Magazine years ago and just simplified it a little. It’s a great opportunity to talk to kids about Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, and the scrumptious colors he used! I usually do this with 1st graders and they LOVE it! (What 6–7 year old doesn’t love ice cream??!)
1. Working vertically on a piece of 12x18 white construction paper, draw a large “smile” shape near the bottom of your paper. Connect the top of your “smile” with a straight line. This is your bowl.
2. Fill your bowl with large “scoops” of ice cream, by drawing overlapping half-circle shapes piled high, one on top of another.
3. Add a cherry to the top as a finishing touch!
4. Draw a line behind your bowl to show that it’s resting on a table, and not just floating in mid-air!
5. Decorate your bowl with fun designs. Create some wild wallpaper in the background. After all, this is a party!!
6. Now it’s time to paint! Using a paper plate as your palette, squirt out about a quarter-size amount of each of the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) plus some white.
7. Demonstrate mixing colors: red + blue = purple, red + yellow = orange, yellow + blue = green. Show how mixing all three primary colors together will make brown. Next, add some white to each one to make a “tint” of that color and ask what flavor ice cream that might be. You can also ask students how to make different flavors (ex. Ask, “What might be the recipe for making Mint Chip?”…Answer, “Mix yellow + blue + white to make “mint” green, then mix yellow + blue + red to make brown for the chocolate chips.”) Students love inventing new “flavors”, too!
8. Encourage students to mix as many different colors as they can, covering their entire paper so there is no white paper left showing.
9. After their paintings dry, I have students outline between every color change with a black, fine point Sharpie. This gives the painting more definition and contrast, and keeps the drawing from “getting lost” in all that color.
I usually do this lesson in three sessions.… one to talk about Monet and draw our sundaes, the next session to paint, and finally a shorter session for outlining. Every one of these colorful paintings looks good enough to eat!