Contrasting Colors




Make your student’s artwork POP by teaching them about contrasting colors! Expressive Monkey created activities so that students will learn how to pick contrasting colors using color complements or warm and cool colors.  They will also use value to make the contrast even greater.  This is a great introduction to these concepts and is designed to be followed up with making a work of art that shows these concepts in action.  This lesson is included in all my Op Art lesson packets because making Op Art is a fun way to put these concepts to use.  Of course, you could follow these activities up with a lesson of your own just as easily.

I’ve included a version of this lesson with the British spelling of colour and favourite.

This activity includes:

  • A 28-page PDF Presentation, “Op Art Using Contrasting Colors”
  •  A Color Wheel for students to color in with warm and
  • color sides marked, and color complements marked.
  •   An activity for students to complete so that they are able to pick a contrasting color group with a range of value and explain why that is a contrasting color group. 
  •  Pre- and post-tests
  •  A name label for their finished artwork. (This is a great lesson to do before an Op Art Lesson.)

 PDF Presentation, “Op Art Using Contrasting Colors:

The”Op Art Using Contrasting Colors” presentation looks at how contrasting colors are used in real-life situations to get your attention.  Using the grocery store as an example, apples, carrots, and potatoes are used to show how packaging and display surfaces can help those produce appear brighter. The last half of the presentation gives some cautionary examples of how value is also an important element in combining typography and background colors.


This lesson is included in:

• Op Art & the Elements of Art
• Op Art Using Line & Value
Op Art Using Positive & Negative Shapes
Op Art Coloring Pages

See more Color Lessons here.


Easily download this zip file with a link that is automatically emailed to you immediately after your purchase and you can begin learning about contrasting colors right away!


If you have a Mac computer, just click on the zip file and it will create a folder (almost magically) filled with all the goodies you just purchased.

Windows uses File Explorer to open zipped files.  Here are some easy instructions from Microsoft in case you’ve not done this before.


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