Colors in Nature Artwork

Type: Investigation

Theme: Art

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learning Target: Students will describe mathematically using the RGB model one naturally-occurring set of colors found in one life-form.


This project will be completed individually.

Step 1: Watch these videos and read the article. Take some notes.

  1. Spectrum of Light
  2. RGB Color Model
  3. The Vibrance of Natural Colorr

Step 2: Select and sketch a colorful lifeform (plant, animal, fungi, etc.)

  1. Lifeform must have at least three bright colors.
  2. Use colored pencils or digital ink to sketch three highly-simplified design options. Focus on basic geometric shapes.
    Advanced students will need to refine their design, considering that theirs will be in 3D.
    Middle school students may use another tool which requires the use of fundamental shapes such as PowerPoint.
  3. Research the following:
    1. Ecological purpose for the colors.
    2. Physics behind the color.
  4. Determine the RGB color model for each color.
  5. Obtain a Peer Review before producing final art.
  6. Revise one of the sketches.

Step 3: Design your logo.

  1. Design your graphic using Desmos Calculator. Advanced students use Desmos 3D. Use a white background.
  2. Define your colors in 3x8-bit (0-255) RGB color and hexadecimal code. Demonstrate mathematically the conversion between RGB and hexadecimal for one of the colors. 
  3. Save your Desmos design. Screenshot/snip your graphic as large as possible on white background without grid, axes, and numbers.

Submission (Word Document only):

  1. Your name
  2. For each color theory video, list one interesting thing you learned.
  3. Answer the following questions:
    1. What is the ecological purpose of the colors in your lifeform?
    2. What are the underlying physics which form your colors?
  4. Three sketches
  5. Peer Review
  6. Revised sketch
  7. List three colors with 8-bit RGB color and hexadecimal definitions
  8. Desmos link to final artwork (turn axes, grid, and numbers off)
  9. Large snip of the final graphic (white background).



Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • I can attend to precision.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Patterns