Lesson Plan by Denise Pannell: Color Theory A la Andy Warhol - Science Integration

Color Theory A la Andy Warhol

Submitted by: Denise Pannell, Fairview Elementary in Sherwood, OH
UNIT: Color theory - painting - Science (Endangered species)
Lesson: Andy Warhol Animals - tempera painting
Grade level: Elementary (Denise did this with 4th grade)


  1. Edible color Wheel introductory lesson

  2. Discussion of Endangered Animals - PowerPoint of animals

  3. Brief biography of Andy Warhol and PowerPoint of his work (or show art prints)

  4. Demonstrate/review contour drawing - review color planning.


Wait! Before you eat all of your cookies - try some color planning!  After you photograph their cookie color wheel, have them arrange them into color plans - warm colors, cool colors, analogous colors - show the complementary colors -- then have them make some tints and do some monochromatic plans. Kids don't care how many times those cookies were handled before they eat them (smile) - but if you are worried - they could wear latex gloves, I suppose. Then the students will be ready for this dynamite lesson from Denise.



Play Greg Percy's "Pop Andy" Vol. 4-Songs in the Key of Art. (Also download the mp3).


Andy Warhol Endangered Species print set - images of Andy Warhol's color experiments.

Uncle Andy's: A Faabbbulous Visit With Andy Warhol.

Photographs of animals (calendars are a good source for quality images). May make photocopy sets for tables.

Andy Warhol's Colors.

8 ½" x 11" [21.5 x 28 cm] Drawing Paper. (you might try photocopying their work on to card stock) - Drawing Pencils., Tempera Paint. (or AquaMarkers.) Brushes., black Permanent Markers..


From Denise:  This is my favorite color project- Andy Warhol Color Theory Animals. The students learn about Warhol, color theory and develop skills in drawing an animal (from photographs). I make 4 photocopies of their line drawing for each student, and they paint each one using a different color scheme: warms, cools, analogous, complementary, monochromatic, etc. To finish, they are outlined in black marker & glued on a poster board. They must label the back for me as well.


Adaptation for middle school: Students print linoleum prints - four different combinations of colors for 3color (minimum) reduction prints.



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