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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Idea File



Idea File:

Posie Paints: Color Value

Students make a value painting by tinting and shading one color.

Teaching Concepts:

  • All colors come from the primary colors.
  • Color value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Adding black or white to a color changes the value.

Academic Content

  • Visual Arts: elements of art, particularly color, value, and color schemes (monochromatic)

Lesson Idea

  1. Show the program “Value” (15 minutes) from the instructional series Posie Paints. (Check the KET ITV schedule for broadcast times.)
  2. Discuss how the value of a color can be changed by adding white (tinting) or adding black (shading).
  3. Demonstrate tinting and shading of a color for your students. Divide a paper into three equal sections, using a black crayon to make two wavy horizontal lines. Have a student choose one color from the color wheel and paint it in the middle section. Mix a small amount of white with some of the color to tint or lighten it. Paint the top section. Mix a small amount of black with some of the color and paint the bottom section. Now tell students to choose another color from the color wheel and show that it can have lightness or darkness (value) in value paintings of their own.
  4. Show illustrations from The Little Island, the Caldecott Winner written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard. Discuss how the artist used shades and tints of one color to illustrate a scene. Introduce the word monochromatic.
  5. Have each student create a value painting by choosing one color from the color wheel and then tinting and shading it to create a monochromatic design inspired by Weisgard’s illustrations.

Author: Jane Powers


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