This tints and shades painting lesson for kids is an excellent hands on introduction to the element of value for young artists!

The element of value…

The element of value refers to the lightness or darkness of any given color. Check out this post for a free printable that explains the concept of value and gives your students the chance to explore it in a hands on way!

What is a tint….

A tint is any color mixed with white.

What are shades…

A shade is any color mixed with black.

Learn about what a tint is and what shades are through creating many values in this painting.

Materials for this tints and shades painting lesson….

  • PAINT- Choose either washable tempera paint or the more permanent craft acrylic paint. Both will work and provide vibrant, mixable colors. Acrylic paint tends to be more opaque but is less washable. Choose accordingly. You’ll need one bright color as well as black and white.
  • CARD STOCK- Card stock is simply a heavy duty paper. It will hold up to being painted on better than lighter weight copy paper and work well for creating the stencil shape.
  • PENCIL- You’ll need a pencil for tracing.
  • SCISSORS- Keep scissors on hand for cutting out the stencils shape.
  • PAINTBRUSH- A soft clean paintbrush will be needed. If you have a larger and smaller size grab them both!
  • WATER- Every artist will need a place to rinse their brush between colors.
This tints and shades painting is an excellent way for kids to explore the element of value.

Creating and tracing your stencil…..

Use card stock to cut out a simple shape. I used a heart for demo purposes but any simple shape will do.

Keep in mind that the smaller the shape the more more intricate, small spaces will be created. A larger stencil will result in larger shapes to be filled in with paint. Help your students start with a shape that will be manageable so your they won’t run out of steam before they finish their tints and shades paitning.

Trace the shape lightly. Pick it up, move it and trace again. Be sure to let shapes overlap and go off the edge of the paper.

This tints and shades painting is an excellent way for kids to explore the element of value.

Begin painting with tints and shades….

It will be helpful if each student has their own paint tray. Each tray will need a small amount of a color, plus black and white.

Each separate area will be painted a different shade or tint of the color. The idea is to let students have the opportunity to create lots of different tints and shades. There are an unlimited number of colors between black and white.

I chose shades of red for the background spaces and tints of red for the hearts themselves. You students can arrange the colors in any way they choose.

Continue painting shades and tints until no white paper is left.

This tints and shades painting is an excellent way for kids to explore the element of value.

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