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Tempera Painting Exploration


Students will learn how to use composition, scale, and value to create still life drawings.

Grade Level

Tempera Paint




Materials and Tools

  • Tempera paint (red, yellow, and blue) 
  • Trays 
  • Water bowls 
  • 1” flat paintbrushes 
  • Paper towels 
  • 12 x 18” paper  
  • Plastic cups 
  • Table coverings


Students will understand that:

  • How a paintbrush is held, along with speed and movement, effects the marks, lines, and shapes produced.
  • Freeform shapes are different from geometric shapes.
  • Mixing primary colors creates secondary colors.
  • Adding white to a color creates a tint.
  • Mixing different combinations of the primary colors creates browns.

Students will be able to:

  • Hold a paintbrush in various ways to create different effects, lines, and shapes.
  • Paint a variety of freeform and geometric shapes.
  • Mix colors to make secondary colors, tints, and browns.


Joan Mitchell, La Vie en Rose 
Wassily Kandinsky, Swinging 


Tempera Painting Exploration 
Written by Nicola Giardina, Director of Teaching and Learning, with support from Andrea Burgay, Associate Director 

Studio in a School NYC 

Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association 

Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC 

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