Card Stock Cityscape Using Analogous Colors

In this lesson, students will use textured card stock in a collage style cityscape detailed with metallic paint with a focus on analogous colors and geometric shapes.


Preparation & Materials

The materials for this project are very simple:  2 different sizes of card stock, glue, & a small amount of acrylic paint.  However, these simple materials are a little pricey, so it is important that you follow the specifications to make sure there is enough material to go around to all students.  For each 4th grade class the docent should gather the following:

  • 35 pieces of 8.5×11 black card stock,
  • 1-87 ct pad of 2×12 textured card stock strips, pieces removed from pad
  • 1-pad of glitter card stock, pieces removed from pad
  • 1 bottle each of gold and silver acrylic paint
  • 50 Q-tips
  • 35 salsa cups
  • glue sticks (check with teacher to see if they have in the class room)


Color Wheel - Primary Grades


What are analogous colors?  Analogous colors are groups of colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. NOTE:  Black, white, greys, and beiges are generally considered to be neutral colors, or “without color”.

Some examples of analogous color groups:

  • red, orange, yellow
  • yellow, green, blue
  • purple, red, orange

Look at the painting below by Vincent Van Gogh.  Can you name the analogous colors?  Are the shapes mostly geometric or organic?

Analogous Color

The Yellow House, Vincent Van Gogh

Line & Shape

In the Matisse project we focused mostly on organic shapes, today we will focus on lines and geometric shapes.  Lines can be horizontal , vertical, diagonal, straight, curved, dotted, broken, thick, and thin.  Shapes are always flat, or two-dimensional.  They can be geometric:  Squares, circles, and triangles.  Shapes can also be organic: leaf shape, blob shape, flowing shapes.  Today we’ll be using mostly lines and geometric shapes in our compositions.

What to Do:


  1. Dismiss students in small groups to choose their card stock.    When they are waiting to select their card stock they should be thinking about which analogous color groups they are going with.  Each student should get:
    1. 1 piece of black card stock
    2. 2 strips of textured card stock and 1 strip of glitter card stock.  These three colors should form an analogous color group.  Do the best you can to guide the selections to ensure all students have the opportunity to select analogous colors.
  2. Students should write their name on the back of the cardstock with a pencil–taking care not to press too hard.
  3. Think about the composition.  It will take about 6-7 buildings to get across the black card stock and additional pieces will be needed for details.  Students will need to get about 2 buildings in different heights and widths, plus a few extra smaller pieces out of each strip.
  4. Cut.  Make horizontal cuts to your strips to create your buildings.  Cut the tops of your buildings at interesting angles.  Trim the sides of the building to create narrow strips for details.  Think about cutting one of your strips in half vertically to make “twin” buildings.  Make one building quirky and stand out by using a contrasting shape (organic) or an unpredictable size.
  5. Arrange you buildings.  Let a few of the sides overlap. Make sure the bottoms of your buildings line up with the bottom of the card stock.
  6. Add details by layering small strips and shapes on top of the the buildings.
  7. Check and glue.  When the student is happy with the composition and it has been check by you, they may glue it down.  Make sure to get glue on the corners.DSC_5157
  8. DSC_5160While students are arranging and glueing their collages, the docent should be preparing the acrylic paint cups.  Squirt just a quarter sized amount of paint into the salsa cup.  Two students can share a set of silver and gold paint.
  9. Embellish:  Choose silver OR gold.  Carefully, using the QTip, draw lines, small shapes, and dots to embellish your scenes.  Be very careful not to overwork the project with too many details.

For the Gallery

After the projects are done they will need to be prepared for display.  Cut a 12×12 piece of colored construction paper to complement each student’s artwork.  (Save the left over–2nd grade will need it for their paper weaving project in May.)  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.  Samples are in the TAP Room.  Bring the completed work to the TAP Room.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s