Lesson Objectives: Students will explore color concepts such as warm, cool, complementary, and analogous in the style of Andy Warhol.

Time Required: 1 hour (plus 5 minutes sometime prior to the lesson)

Artist: Andy Warhol, Campbell Soup Series, 10 Marilyns 1967



White paper 8 ½   x 11 cut into 4 ¼ x5 ½  squares, 5 per student




Water and water cups


Discuss Andy Warhol’s pop art. He liked to paint things that were popular at that time (Campbell’s Soup Can series) and he would often repeat the same images with different fantastical colors (Marilyn Monroe series) and a solid color background. Discuss color wheel and different ways to categorize colors: warm, cool, complementary, and analogous.

Preparation before lesson:

  1. On 1 square of white paper, have students draw a simple picture of a fish with a pencil, making sure the size of the fish fills up the whole piece of paper.
  2. Have student outline fish with black Sharpie.
  3. Outside of class time, make 4 copies of each fish for each student and cut them into 4 ¼ x 5 ½ squares. You want to go into your lesson with 4 identical fish on 4 ¼ x 5 ½ squares per student.


  1. Pass out students’ 4 fishes.
  2. With crayon, color one fish with warm colors only: reds, yellows, and oranges. Leave the background white.
  3. Using a warm watercolor paint, color the entire square a warm color. The crayon will resist the watercolor, so the colors in the fish will remain, and the background will be a nice solid color, just like Andy Warhol.
  4. With the second fish, color it using cool colors only: blues, greens, and purples. Paint over with a cool watercolor.
  5. With the third fish, color using complementary colors only: Purples and yellows, or reds and greens, or oranges and blues. Paint over with a complementary watercolor.
  6. With the fourth fish, color using analogous colors: all different colors within one color family: i.e. reds only. Or use blacks, whites, and grays.
  7. Let fish dry and mount all 4 fish onto black paper.  

TIP: Simple copy paper will work, but it’s not as sturdy when you start getting the watercolor involved. Our school’s copier can only handle copy paper, not cardstock. If you are looking for a sturdier paper, you can either run down Mail Post and have the student’s fish copied onto sturdier paper, or if you have more classroom time, you can have the students draw and trace all 4 copies of their fish themselves on cardstock. (Not just draw 4 different fish: they need to be the same, so they’ll have to be traced.)