Color Theory Flowers inspired by the book, The Tiny Seed

April showers bring May flowers! The end of the school year is here but my 1st graders have been working on these COLOR THEORY FLOWERS since early spring!

We explored color mixing with the primary colors using a variety of different paint processes. We used those papers to make flowers inspired by the book, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle.

See our steps and materials below!


This post contains affiliate links.


My art classes at my school each have about 24 students, are 30 minutes long, and they come once a week. We had a lot of processes to cover for this project and cram into 30 minutes so we did a different step each day. It ended up taking us a little over a month!

Our steps below are separated into days, since that is what we did. Those of you doing this with kiddos at home can get this done much faster!

Day 1:

We read the book, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, and observed the illustrations in the book. I pointed out the splatter paint effect in the images as well as the other painted textures the author/artist used in the book.

The first process we experimented with was splatter painting for our background.

I created a “splatter station” in an area of my classroom with butcher paper on the floors and wall. This could easily be done outside or in your home art area with little mess but I had to prepare for those students I knew would get a little wild!

I demonstrated how to make quick little flicks with the wrist, rather than big arm movements, to avoid crazy amounts of splatter on each other and in the classroom.

See my kiddos in action below!

Day 2:

The next art class was spent creating our ORANGE process art paper.

We used a few squirts of red and yellow tempera paint and scraped it together with a credit card or stiff cardboard. You may remember my Willa doing this for our Mixed Media Rainbow Art.

Day 3:

We created our GREEN paper by marble painting. This process is simple and always a hit with kids.


We placed our art paper into a box and dropped some yellow and blue paint covered beads in there (we didn’t have marbles so anything round works!). The kids shook them around the box until they achieved green.

Day 4:

PURPLE paper. Purple can sometimes be tricky for students to make since blue and red can both be a little dark and you have to use just the right amount of each color. I typically use MAGENTA in replace of red for this color mix because it produces a much prettier purple.


We used a variety of sponges and texture tools for this process. No action shots were taken but my students dipped the tools in blue and magenta and swirled and scraped them together on their paper.

Day 5-6:

Assembling our flowers.

Each student gathered their three process papers and their splatter background. I provided a couple of flower petal shapes I made out of cardboard and various sizes of plastic tops and lids to use as templates for tracing.

They used the green paper for the leaves and stem and the orange and purple papers were used for the petals and center of the flower. Once they traced and cut everything out, my students assembled and glued down their pieces to their splatter background.

They turned out so pretty and all so different!


You may also be interested in our Upcycled Flower GardenMixed Media Rainbow Art Inspired By Children’s Literature, or our Landscape with Layered Mountains