4th Grade Week 8 ~ Exploring Texture, Positive and Negative Space and Complementary Colors


  • 1.3 Identify pairs of complementary colors (e.g., yellow/violet; red/green; orange/blue) and discuss how artists use them to communicate an idea or mood.
  • 2.6 Use the interaction between positive and negative space expressively in a work of art.
  • 2.8 Use complementary colors in an original composition to show contrast and emphasis.

Student Objectives:

Students will explore visual texture, complementary colors, contrast and emphasis to create a cursive bubble letter of their first name that expresses the interaction between positive and negative shapes.

Materials:  Pencil, large white paper, crayons without wrapping paper, texture items, oil pastels


  1. We looked at and discussed visual and actual textures in the environment, nature and works of art.
  2. I demonstrated how to create a rubbing using the side of a crayon and a piece of texture – netting, leaf, paper clips etc.  Most students have done some kind of rubbing in other classes prior.
  3. Students were asked to name the three primary and secondary colors.  I then asked the students to name three sets of complementary colors while we looked at the color wheel.  We discussed relationships of colors by discussing the color wheel.
  4. I showed the students my cursive letter “C” texture rubbing in purple and yellow.
  5. The students commented on how the purple letter C ‘popped’ off the paper.  I asked what that meant – to make something ‘pop’ in art.  One student replied with the answer,”it means to give something contrast so that there is a relationship in the artwork between colors.”  I was thrilled!  We had not discussed this concept before and I typically do not use the term ‘pop’ when describing artwork.  We discussed the relationships in color while discussing the concept of contrast and emphasis.  I mentioned how you can lead your viewer’s eye throughout your artwork by this means and an interesting composition.
  6. Students were asked to draw the letter of their first name as large as they could using a bubble or cursive bubble style.
  7. Students were asked to select a set of complementary colors for their artworks.
  8. We then discovered textures around the classroom and in my texture bag to create rubbings using complementary colors.
  9. The students did a wonderful job of exploring pattern and contrast.
  10. To further create emphasis, we outlined our letters and some textures in the same complementary colors using oil pastels.  I did not restrict the students on how they used the oil pastels.  The results are wonderful experiments in contrast and emphasis.


Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 1    Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 2     Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 3    Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 6    Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 7

Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 9    Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 10    Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 4


Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors 12     Texture Letter in Complimentary Colors5



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