Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cubism… with Tints and Shades

I really was happy with this lesson.  My students learned important concepts, while making a fun Christmas project.  I got this idea for this lesson from the blog Kids Artists and adapted it for my 2nd graders. 

1) We briefly talked about Cubism and Pablo Picasso.

2) We used rulers to draw a large triangle on 12x18 paper.  We then added a trunk and star.  Next we used the ruler to break the picture into different segments.

3) We went over our pencil lines with black oil pastel.

4) Then we began to paint.  I introduced the students to the words tint (adding white to a color) and shade (adding black).  We also reviewed how to make green.  I gave each table a plate with yellow and blue.  They mixed green and painted a section of their tree.  Then I gave them a dab of white paint to make their first tint.  They painted another section.  We continued this process until we made 4 tints.  The next class we continued this process but made shades.  Then we repeated the process with red. 

5) In the final step we used oil pastels to decorate the tree.  I also had students go back over some of their black lines.  This project took 3 class periods.


In the future I think the kids would like to had sequence for ornaments. I also hope to get them done in time to hang them in the hallways.  Live and learn!


  1. This is a very fun way to interpet a Christmas tree. I am going to remember this lesson for next year!

  2. Thanks for the idea. The kids love it!

  3. What kind of paint did you use for this project? I am a brand new art docent and we would love to do this but I'm inexperienced :) Water colors or tempera?


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