Color Never Lies - an imaginary visit to Grade 1 art class

Good morning boys and girls! I know you all want to make pictures again, but today first we will do something different.  We’re going to explore Color a bit more. When you did crayon pictures yesterday, remember when you mixed two of the “first colors” you got another, “second color”? We had lots of fun, didn’t we? Today we’re going to do a “Walkabout in the Land of Color”. I have here three transparent sheets:  Red, Yellow and Blue.

Now let’s see what happens when I put the Blue one over top the Yellow one. What color do you see?

“Green!” Yes, Green, that’s correct. And what color do you see now, when I move the Red over the Yellow? “Orange!”  Yes, Orange is correct. Now I’ll move the Red over the Blue sheet.  What color comes up? “Violet!  Purple!” Yes, that’s right again. So you see, the same colors show up, just like mixing with crayons yesterday.

Some of you painted a rainbow, but did you know the rainbow has a way of showing us which color is created when you mix two of the ‘First Colors’? First Red, then Orange, then Yellow, then Green, then Blue, then Violet.  As you can see on the big rainbow picture here on the easel.

Look at the in-between colors.  What do you see? Between Red and Yellow?  “Orange!” Right.  Now what do you see between Yellow and Blue? “Green!” Here is a tricky one. Where does Violet come from?  I’ll show you again with these transparent sheets.  See, here is the Blue one and I’ll move it over the Red one. “Violet!” Now, how come there is no Red after the Violet?   Because the rainbow continues after the Violet.

Later on in the next art and fun class you’ll see you can always get the ‘Second Color” by mixing the two “First Colors”. That was a long introduction, wasn’t it?

Well, here we go, on our Walkabout in the Land of Color. It’s all well and good to say something is “Red” to someone.  But what kind of Red?  Tomato, strawberry, a geranium, a rose flower?

Same with Orange:  what kind of orange, like a pumpkin, orange the fruit, a mango or papaya (those are tropical fruits, see here on the board, this is a papaya, that’s a mango, both cut in half to show their orange flesh color.

Yellow:  what kind of yellow?  Lemon, banana, a daisy, sunflower?

Green:  there is so much green in Nature that it is the most seen color in the whole world.  But when we say something is “Green”, what kind of green? 
Spinach, broccoli, lime, a pine tree, kiwi, a rainforest canopy like you see here, grass, leaves, peas, Kermit the Frog?  So many greens, no?

Blue:  the sky, the ocean.

Violet:  but what kind of violet?  The violet flower? 
Cabbage  - your mum calls it Red, but it’s violet or purple, same with the Red Onion, it’s actually violet or purple, also blueberries, they’re not blue but violet.    There is a vegetable with the name “aubergine”, that’s French.  Your mum calls it an eggplant, but it does not look like an egg at all.  It has a beautiful, shiny violet color.  See, we have one on my desk, come and take a look. Here at my desk, I also have a cabbage, an onion, and a box of berries.  Come over and look.  What colors do you see? “Violet!  Purple!”

This is a Violet Cabbage - NOT a Red Cabbage

That’s right.  Your mum and everybody else say it’s a Red cabbage, a Red onion, a Blueberry.  But you see for yourself, they’re violet or purple. Color never lies.  It says, “I am myself.   To know me, you need to see me.”   
And this Purple Onion is not Red either

Color is honest, and proud.  It’s actually saying, “I am the boss. When you mix Red and Yellow you’ll never get Violet.”  Find out for yourself!  Isn’t that neat?

When you go home and tell mum and dad that Betty in the class was wearing a nice Violet blouse, they will not know what kind of violet.  But you will, since you’ve seen it. Wow, that was lots of talking and showing, yes? Color is magical and mysterious.  It says, “You need to see me, you can’t just talk about me.”   
 Color is very honest.  It never tells a lie. If you mix two ‘First Colors’ like Red and Yellow, you will always get Orange. Same with the other ‘First Colors”, which are known as the Primary Colors. And the ‘Second Colors” are known as the Secondary Colors. Now, isn’t that cool? That’s enough talking for today.   We still have time before lunch, so you go ahead and have fun with the crayons. Doing pictures and making many colors with just the three ‘First Colors’ is always fun!

Henri van Bentum