Kids learn Spanish colors with an online activity inspired by the work of Jackson Pollock.

Exploring art and artists provides a wonderful context for learning language. Although many of the artists we talk about in Spanish classes are from Latin America or Spain, we also learn about artists from other cultures. Jackson Pollock’s art is an excellent way to practice Spanish colors and learn about this American artist.

Generally, I teach Spanish colors in the context of other themes, but you can certainly make the colors a theme, too. You might want to include one of more of these 10 Spanish color songs. You can also play Camino de colores, a Spanish color game.

I read a variety of books that include Spanish colors. The classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a favorite for preschoolers. Try these Spanish Brown Bear activities, and Brown Bear I Spy games to learn Spanish colors. Kids can also color and recite these 4-line rhymes with Spanish color words.

Jackson Pollock’s abstract art lends itself well to talking about colors in Spanish and to many art activities with children. Pollock was introduced to the use of liquid paint in an experimental workshop in New York City by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros and later developed his drip technique.

Show examples of Pollock’s drip painting and talk about the colors to establish a context for the activities you do in class. You can find photographs of many of his works online.

In this post, I want to share an online version of drip painting to use as a speaking activity. The activity I am using is with Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas. There are other Pollock-inspired online art websites, but this one is very easy to use. You can also find a variety of apps that create drip and splatter art.

Extend the language in this online activity by doing one of the many Pollock-inspired art projects for children that use splatter and drip painting.  For example, a group works together to create a painting in this Pollock activity from Classic Play, and this Pollock lesson from The Crafty Classroom suggests household tools kids to use to get paint moving as they create art.

The online activity Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas is an excellent way to practice color vocabulary in any language and also provides the perfect context to introduce and practice common art vocabulary and verb forms like veo, me gusta, and hay.

Online Painting with Spanish Colors

This free online activity is at jacksonpollock.org

  • Click on the link above to open your blank canvas.
  • Move the mouse over the screen to create a drip painting.
  • Click the mouse to change color.
  • Say each new color in Spanish!
  • Use the space bar to clear the screen.

Your paintings will use these basic Spanish colors:
negro
azul
café
gris
verde
naranja (or anaranjado)
rosa (or rosado)
morado
rojo
amarillo

You will also see variations of basic Spanish colors in your online paintings. To say “light,” use the word claro after the color. To say “dark,” use oscuro.
verde claro
azul claro
verde oscuro
azul oscuro

Introduce additional art vocabulary and verb forms by using Spanish phrases like these as you do the online activity and follow-up with hands-on painting:
¡Azul! Me gusta el azul.
Veo rojo. Ahora veo azul.
¡Qué rojo bonito!
Es una pintura hermosa.
Vamos a hacer otra pintura.
¡Vamos a hacerlo de nuevo!

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