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Tints, Tones, & Shades Painting

Main Core Tie

Fashion Design Studio
Strand 2 Standard 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 70 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning




This lesson provides students with an opportunity to experiment with color mixing, using paints as the medium. After completing this lesson, students should better understand the concept of creating different values and intensities in color.


You will need the following supplies to complete this lesson:

  • Painting worksheets (see the attachment)--one per student
  • Paint brushes for each student
  • Water cups
  • Paper towels
  • Tempera paints: red, green, yellow, violet, blue, orange, white, and black
  • Paint trays
  • Note outline transparency
  • An overhead projector

    Background for Teachers

    Please be aware that tints are created by mixing white to a hue. Tones are created by mixing a color with its complement; shades are created by adding black to a hue. Value is the lightness or darkness of a hue and it is changed by adding black or white to a color. Intensity is the brightness or dullness of hue and is changed by mixing a color with its complement (the color directly across on the color wheel).

    Student Prior Knowledge

    Students should have a basic knowledge of the color wheel and the relationship of the colors.

    Intended Learning Outcomes

    After completing this lesson, students should better understand the concept of color mixing to create different values and intensities.

    Instructional Procedures

    • Put the note outline transparency on the overhead projector. Go over all the outline notes as a class, elaborating where necessary.
    • Hand out the Tints, Tones, & Shades painting sheet to each student. As you are handing out the worksheets, stress the importance of keeping paint only where it belongs...not on people, furniture, or floors.
    • Have students pick up a paint tray with each color of paint as listed in the materials section, a paint brush, a cup of water to rinse the paint and some paper towels to blot the brushes.
    • Ask students to follow directions closely, completing only one step at a time. Ask them to not get ahead of the directions. If they finish before everyone else, they need to sit and wait patiently for others to get done.
    • Step One: Choose a hue and carefully paint the hue square. Remind them that a hue is a color that is found on the color wheel--not white or black.
    • Step Two: Find the square marked "Mostly White" and paint it in with white paint.
    • Explain to the students that in the remaining 3 boxes between the hue and the white box, they need to show a gradual change of the hue to white. GRADUAL is the key. The box closest to the hue should have just a tiny bit of white added and the next box should just a little bit more white added and the last box should have a bit more.
    • Step Three: Paint in the boxes between the hue and the white--BE CAREFUL TO BE MAKE THE CHANGE GRADUAL!
    • Give students enough time to do a neat job painting. You may want to walk around looking at their work as they paint in order to give pointers and encouragement where needed.
    • Step Four: Choose the complement (the color directly across from the original hue on the color wheel) of your original hue and paint it in the complementary color circle.
    • Step Five: Follow the same directions from the tint while using the complementary color. The line should show a gradual change from the hue to its complement. The middle box should be a neutral color, while the box closest to the hue should resemble the hue and the box closest to the complement should resemble the complement.
    • Step Six: Paint in the mostly black box with the black paint. Follow the same guidelines on this last row of squares as on the tint row--warn students that black is a much stronger color than white so they need to be careful as they mix and use much less black than they did with the white.
    • When they have finished painting, have them set that sheet aside in order for it to dry before they hand it in.
    • Use the remainder of class time to clean paint trays, water cups and brushes.

      Strategies for Diverse Learners

      This activity could be adapted to meet the needs of a variety of students depending upon their skill level--having them paint less, making neatness worth fewer points, having them work with a partner, etc...adjust as necessary.

      Assessment Plan

      Students' work should be evaluated upon completion (10 pts), correctness (25 pts), and neatness (15 pts). 50 points total.


      USOE Curriculum Guide

Created: 03/18/2005
Updated: 03/31/2021