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  • Writer's pictureSarah Taylor Ko

Distance Learning Palila Project: Making Rainbows

This week we had our first google classroom painting sessions. Some students were in a classroom and others at home. I was in my studio on screen painting along with everyone.

We learned how to mix secondary colors orange, purple, and green from the primary colors, how to make tints and shades by adding white or black, how primary colors interact, and how to make colors less saturated and more harmonious. We further subdivided each student's part of the mural into quadrants to enlarge and paint. I wasn't able to see the students while talking to them, but I could hear a bit of the excitement in the classroom. Now that I have some photos, I am so impressed with everyones color mixing and with how dedicated they are.

Mrs. Rimel sacrificed some English teaching time with her 11th graders for this project. She also had to trade rooms with another teacher in order to have more light and bigger work spaces, deal with cleaning up the brushes, and the technical connection issues such as occasional internet lagging. I am so grateful for her willingness to partner with me in this project!

The students are taking their boards and materials home for fall break, so we have a little suspense as we wait to see what they come up with. As I told them, there is no way to fail at this if you try.

As the students were painting Mrs. Rimel and I talked about how beneficial art making is during this time of stress. I had read that just 45 minutes of painting at any skill level dramatically reduces cortisol, the fight or flight hormone. It is especially effective for people who are under the age of 18.

Here is one of the many articles detailing how creativity is beneficial:

We learned how to mix a rainbow of colors, raised awareness of our critically endangered Palila, and alleviated some pandemic stress as well.

NOTE: If you want to try this with your class or at home, I highly recommend Sherwin Williams sample paint. I just love the colors we were able to create with it. I also loved that it was only about $4 a bottle. Here are the exact ones we used:

Daisy, SW 6910

Blueblood, SW 6966

Positive Red, SW 6871

Tricorn Black, SW 6258


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