Color Mixing with Marsha Valk Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) mix colors to get other colors.
  • SWBAT understand color-mixing basics.
  • SWBAT create beautiful Gelli® prints using their knowledge of color mixing.


  • How do you mix colors to get other colors?
  • Why is it important to know how to mix colors correctly?


  • Gelli Arts® printing plate
  • Brayer
  • Paper
  • paint
  • Washi tape
  • Stencils
  • Stamps
  • Mark making tools


  • Primary Colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue
  • Secondary Colors – Orange, Green, and Violet
  • Tertiary Colors – Mixing together a primary and a secondary color. Ex. Red-Orange
  • Neutral Colors – Brown, black, white, and gray
  • Complementary Colors – Colors across from each other on the color wheel


Have you ever wondered why some colors work well together and others turn into a mud color when mixed? Start with explanation of the color wheel. There are three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. With these colors you can mix all other colors. When you mix two of them together in equal amounts you get the secondary colors. The secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. Red + Blue = Violet, Red + Yellow = Orange, Yellow + Blue = Green. When you change the ratio of the two primary colors you will get a tertiary color.

Mud or Neutral colors usually emerge when you try to mix all three primary colors together. Blue and Orange (Red + Yellow) which are complementary colors, make a brown color when mixed. That said, it doesn’t mean that you can never use blue and orange together because they look striking when paired. They just don’t mix very well, so it’s better to use them side-by-side through an added layer print.


Color Mixing with the Gelli Arts® Plate

  • Students will experiment with color mixing on the Gelli® plate to make vibrant and striking prints!

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