UNDER THE SEA – Tints, Shades, Colour Schemes

Students draw an imaginary sea creature, divide it into equal parts and use tempera paint to fill in the design with tints, shades and complementary colours.

Share this:
UNDER THE SEA – Tints, Shades, Colour Schemes


  • Crayola Tempera Paint
  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Water Containers
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Container Lids for Palettes
  • Pencils


Step 1
  1. Begin by lightly drawing a sea creature the full length of your paper.
  2. Divide the body into 7 or 8 equal parts.
  3. Draw a horizontal line across the length of the creature to divide it in half.
  4. Choose a primary colour for one half of your creature.
  5. You will be making a scale that shows tints of the colour going in gradual steps from light to dark.
  6. Each section counts as 1 step.
  7. Start by painting the first section white.
Step 2
  1. Mix a tiny amount of the colour, for example blue, into the white.
  2. Always add small amounts of the colour to white – it takes hardly any colour to change white to a tint.
Step 3
  1. Paint each section a tint of the colour.
  2. Gradually add a little more colour to the tint you just mixed for the next step until you get to the end.
  3. Paint the last step the colour with no white added.
Step 4
  1. Place a small amount of white on one side of the palette and a small amount of black on the other side.
Step 5
  1. Repeat the same process for the other half of your creature.
  2. This time use only black and white to make gradual steps of grey.
  3. Try to match the values of the grey with the values of the colour it is beside.
Step 6
  1. Choose a complementary colour for the background.
    - In this example orange is the complement of blue.
    - Red and yellow were mixed to make orange.
  2. Mix tints and shades of the complementary colour and use them to fill the background in an interesting way.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Mathematics,

    • Science,

    • Visual Arts

  • Grades:

    • Grade 4,

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6

Related Lesson Plans

Illustrated Crayon Character