Activity 1

Favourite colour

This activity provides an opportunity for students to explore colours by mixing acrylic paint to find their favourite colour.


Western Australian Curriculum Content Descriptions

Development of artistic processes and techniques to explore visual conventions through colour to create artwork.

Use of techniques, art processes and exploration of art forms such as mono-printing, sculpture and ceramics.

Australian Curriculum Version 8.3 Content Descriptions

Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111).


A variety of acrylic paint colours (in this example students could choose from warm red, cool red, warm blue, cool blue, yellow, ochre, raw umber, white and black).

A3 paper, paintbrushes, a surface or containers to mix paint in, water pots, aprons, cleaning up equipment.


Depending on students’ prior knowledge, teach and/or review basic colour theory, such as the primary colours and their relationship to the secondary colours.

Explain to students the purpose of the activity is to create their favourite colour.

Discuss the importance of exploring different colours through mixing the paints. For example, blue may be their favourite colour but do they like a dark blue with just a touch of warm red in it or a cobalt blue mixed with white? Students may prefer an unmixed colour of paint, which is acceptable as long as they have explored other mixed colours first.

Remind students how to set up their workspace.

Review the paint colours offered for students to use. Discuss these colours using colour theory language such as primary colours (red, yellow, blue), neutral paint such as white and black, etc. Discuss the difference between warm and cool colours such as warm red and cool red.

Remind students of ways to mix paint using a paintbrush and a "palette" to mix on. Students set up their workspace and explore mixing colours to create their favourite colour.

Before cleaning and packing up, students share with one another which colour was their favourite, and why.

When artwork is dry, students indicate their favourite colour and write/annotate on their artwork the reason why.

Teacher Notes

In the visual arts, colour theory is often discussed using structures. One of these structures is the colour wheel. A colour wheel is a diagram often referred to in order to teach about colour theory. Typically, the colour wheel diagram is organised using three categories: primary colour, secondary colour and tertiary colour.

It is important for the student to reflect on why the colour chosen is their favourite. It requires the student to consider and reflect on their choice, and make connections to their emotional reaction or link his/her choices to personal experiences.


For this documented project, Year 4 students required one 50-minute lesson.

© This lesson plan has been created by Ana Nail and Japingka Gallery. Educational study use encouraged.

Overview | Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5 | Lesson 6 | Lesson 7 | Lesson 8 | Lesson 9 | Lesson 10 | Lesson 11 | Lesson 12 | Lesson 13

Download PDFs | Back to Lesson Plans Home