Color & Emotion in Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Students will learn about the colors and emotions evoked in visual art in this lesson plan. They will read two lessons, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity and take two quizzes.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define visual art
  • describe the colors, mood, tone and theme of visual art
  • identify the tools used in visual art


1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6

Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.



  • visual art
  • theme
  • mood
  • tone
  • harmonize
  • charcoal
  • pigment
  • binders
  • silverpoint
  • palette knives


  • Begin by showing the piece of art to the class.
  • Shoulder pair students and ask them to discuss the colors portrayed in the art and how it makes them feel.
  • Allow each pair to share their partner's responses.
  • Then explain that this lesson explores visual art as it relates to color and emotion.
  • Distribute the Understanding Visual Art: Identifying Theme, Mood & Tone lesson, select a volunteer to read 'Introduction: What is Visual Art?' out loud.
  • Continuing with the same shoulder partners, ask them to define the following terms:
    • visual art
    • theme
    • mood
    • tone
    • harmonize
  • Then ask each pair to read 'An Example To Explore' and 'Comparing and Understanding Art' and discuss their analysis of the paintings in the lesson focusing on the colors and emotions of the subject(s).
  • Allow them to share their findings.
  • Next have them read the 'Lesson Summary' independently.
  • Afterwards distribute the lesson quiz and ask students to write down the answers, then review.
  • Now explain that they are going to explore the materials used in creating visual art.
  • Distribute the Visual Art: Materials & Tools lesson and ask each student to read independently, then shoulder pair and ask them to define the following terms:
    • charcoal
    • pigment
    • binders
    • silverpoint
    • palette knives
  • Reconvene the class and ask them to discuss how they would utilize each tool to create color and effects.
  • Next distribute the corresponding lesson quiz and ask students to complete independently.
  • Then review the answers.

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