Year 4 Orange Colour and Light Workshops


Year 4 Orange were delighted to be taking part in two light workshops with Chris Squire from Impossible Arts who will be creating a lighting installation on Page Green Common later this summer.

The sessions explored:

  • The physics of colour – wavelengths of light, the eye and receptors
  • Colour mixing and complementary colours in art and design.

There are two ways of mixing colour:

  • Additive: For Screens and Lights: which adds coloured light
  • Subtractive: For Paint and Print: where pigments absorb colours

The sessions looked at both of these colour mixing methods and explored the relationships between primary and secondary colours.


Additive Mixing Colour Session

By shining three primary additive colours of light - Red, Green, Blue - so that they mix and overlap in equal measure, we can create a white light. We created this effect in the darkened classroom that allowed Year 4 Orange to explore the overlapping colour effects in a live additive colour mixing session.

As the light sources for these three colours are in slightly different places, then the shadows that are made separate the colours and threw up some interesting effects as the children explored how the colours mix and blend in different ways.

The interesting coloured silhouettes were visible from the other side of the screen. The children were able to watch the shadow effects and colour mixing before they went around to the other side of the screen to take part themselves.


Subtractive Mixing Colour Session

In an enjoyable session Year 4 Orange:

  • Experienced a presentation on the whiteboard
  • Learnt about the eye and how we perceive colour
  • Used both scientific and artistic ideas to study colour and light and its effects and qualities,
  • Investigated the use of the colour wheel
  • Used pigments to mix colours with crayons
  • Developed and created their own ideas and colour combinations using theories of complementary colours.
  • Created their own unique colour combination pictures