My House Day and Night

photo 1-1Students draw simple shapes in crayon and use liquid water color to create a day and night version of a simple house.

This project is meant to be done during centers (small groups of 5-6) in twenty minutes.  If you are prepared, the project goes very quickly.  You’ll need to talk for no more than 2-3 minutes to the whole class about warm and cool colors before the class breaks into centers.


Color Wheel - Primary Grades

Color Vocabulary

  • Color Wheel:  The color wheel or color circle is the basic tool for combining colors. The first circular color diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.
  • Color Temperature – Warm Colors:  Warm colors are vivid and energetic, and tend to advance in space.  Today we will be working with red, orange, & yellow.
  • Color Temerature – Cool Colors: Cool colors give an impression of calm, and create a soothing impression.  Today we will be working with green, blue, and purple.


  • 1 piece of water color paper per student, student should incorporate mistakes into their piece or flip the paper over
  • dark colored crayons
  • 6-8 medium to small paint brushes
  • 6-8 salsa cups
  • 6-8 different colors of liquid watercolors
  • paper towels (1-2 per student, available in the classroom)
  • tumblers with water for rinsing


  1. Gather your supplies and take them to the classroom.
  2. Mix a 1:1 solution of liquid water color and water for each salsa cup and set them at the center.
  3. Set out the tumblers with water for rinsing.
  4. Put the crayons and brushes at the center.

What to do:

1.  Before the students break into centers discuss the difference between warm colors and cool colors.

2.  When your kids arrive at your center you’ll walk them through the next steps together.

3.  Turn your paper horizontally or to landscape orientation.  (Use those words.)

4.  Have everyone choose a dark colored crayon, then set them aside.

5.  Using a dark colored crayon, drawing a square touching the bottom of the paper and centered.

6.  Draw a triangle on over and touching the square for a roof.

7.  Add 2-3 large details, for example: door, windows, chimney, flower pot

8.  Draw a horizon line (use that word).  A horizon line is a horizontal line that separates the ground from the sky.

8.  On one side of the paper draw a sun.  Do not color it in.

9.  On the other side draw a moon and/or stars.

10.  Add a 2-4 more details to the outside of the house.  For example:  tree, flowers, simple  bicycle or animal, clouds, bird, etc.

photo 1

11.  Put your name on the back.

12.  Review which colors are warm colors and which are cool colors.  Review the following tips for using liquid water color:

  • Have the students fold their paper towel into quarters.
  • When changing colors student must rinse out their brushes completely in their cup.
  • Then they should LIGHTLY TAP the brush on the edge of their cup and slide against the rim to get rid of excess water.
  • Finally, in order to retain the vibrant color in the paint, they should blot the brush on their paper towel.

13.  Start painting in the details first.  On the day/sun side of the picture use warm colors for your details.  On the night side of your picture use cool colors.  Do not paint the house, the grass, or the sky.

14.  Paint the grass.  Keep in mind the grass doesn’t have to be green.  You’ll want a warm color on the day side and a cool color on the night side.

15.  Paint the sky.  Remember warm color on the day side cool color on the night side.

16.  Paint the house and the roof.  These can be any color since they are on both sides.  Try to make them different colors from your grass and sky.

photo 4

17.  If the crayon outline isn’t visible any more go back over it to thicken the line.


After the projects are done they will need to be prepared for display.  Cut a 10 x 15 piece of colored construction paper to complement each student’s artwork.  (Save the left over–we can use it for other projects.)  Ask your teacher for labels with each student’s name (they usually have them for displaying work in the class).  If they don’t have labels, use a fine tip black marker to write the names on the construction paper. You’ll want to mount each art piece on the paper, centering it width-wise, but leaving at least two inches at the bottom for the student’s name/label.


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