Are you looking for a fun and engaging way to build your students’ color mixing skills? Try implementing the “Color Matching Challenge” in your classes!
This activity has students trying to match paint swatches with a limited palette under a time constraint. You can have students compete within their classes or make the competition more difficult by making it between all of your students on a given day. The student with the most matches at the end of the class period or at the end of the day wins!
Here’s how it’s done.
1. Obtain Paint Swatches
Any local paint store will have its fan deck posted in free color swatches. Go grab as many different colors as you can. Try to get a range, from deep hues, to neutral tones, to pastel values. Ideally, you’ll have more swatches than you have students. If you get flack from the store for taking so many samples, tell them you will be promoting their products to hundreds of potential future clients!
2. Introduce the Challenge
Once you have the swatches, it is time to pump up your students! I tell them they will be engaging in a color matching challenge between every student I teach. Then I drop the rationale.
Of course, students need to be adept at color mixing to create their best work. Often students will be painting with a specific color in class but only get halfway through before the bell rings. The next day, students will need to be able to remake that color.
Beyond that, it can have concrete applications for their futures. For example, there are professional occupations at paint stores called “tinters.” Tinters are people who match colors for a living (like I did for years before teaching). Students might also use these skills as crew members for professional painting companies or as interior designers. Color matching is a crucial skill for painters of all kinds.
3. Give Students Time to Set Up Their Palettes
This activity works well with a limited palette of red, yellow, blue, magenta, red oxide, yellow oxide, and white. Give students about 10 minutes to mix as many colors as they can on the 12-color wheel. In addition, have them add some white on their palette.