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Value & Intensity Painting

Main Core Tie

Interior Design 1
Strand 4 Standard 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 60 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning




This lesson provides a hands-on approach for students to create their own tints, tones, & shades and to work on changing the intensity of colors.


  • painting worksheets
  • paint brushes for each student
  • water cups
  • paper towels
  • tempera paints: red, green, yellow, violet, blue, orange, white, black
  • paint trays
  • note outline transparency
  • 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, and 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 from it 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

Students should 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 notes on the outline as a class, elaborating where necessary. Hand out the Tints, Tones, & Shades painting sheet. 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 their brushes. Ask students to follow your directions closely, completing only one step at a time.

  • Step One: Choose a hue and paint carefully the hue circle.
  • Step Two: Paint in your white circle.
  • Step Three: Paint in you black circle.
  • Step Four: Choose the complement of the original hue that you chose and paint in the compementary color circle.
  • Step Five: Create a tint by taking a dab of the original hue and a dab of white and mixing them together in the tint circle. Remind students to be as neat as possible with their paints.
  • Step Six: Create a shade by taking a dab of the original hue and a dab of black and mixing them together in the shade circle. Warn students that the black is a very strong color and that they only need a very little bit.
  • Step Seven: Create a tone by mixing equal parts original hue and complementary color.
Have students set that sheet aside so that it can dry as they paint the next one.

Hand out the Gradations of Intensity worksheet and have students take out a pen or pencil. Starting with the circle closest to the word "red", have students label that circle red, the next circle should be labeled mostly red, tiny bit green. The next circle should be labeled mostly red, tiny bit more green. The central circle should be equal parts red and green--this should create a neutral color (brownish). The next circle should be labeled mostly green, tiny bit more red. The next circle should be labeled mostly green, tiny bit red. The last circle should be all green. Students should paint this row of circles carefully under your supervision. Once that row has been completed successfully, allow students to complete the last two rows on their own.

When they have finished painting have them set that sheet aside as well in order for that sheet to dry.

Use the remainder of the class time to clean paint trays, water cups and brushes.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

The struggling student could possibly be expected to complete just one line of painting on the gradations of intensity worksheet.

Assessment Plan

Students' work should be evaluated upon completion, correctness, and neatness. 25 points per painting sheet.


USOE Curriculum Guide

Created: 07/16/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018