color theory. When you begin, you don't even have to give them the theory and all the hullaballoo, just let them paint and create. The really cool thing about this is that you can create challenges and limits without taking away their creativity. When you place creative limits on a project, you are not setting your child up for a cookie cutter project but getting them to think outside the box.
Tints, shades and tones are a nifty way to challenge your child while enforcing their foundation of color theory. You may or may not have already done some color mixing, let's mix up some more using only a base color and white paint. When you add white paint to a base color you are creating a tint. Add black and you get a shade, add gray and you get a tone. Most school art lessons will dally in tints and shades using primary colors. At home, you can have your kiddo choose any happy color they like (or stick with primary, it's up to you) plus white. Physically painting and seeing the changes in the initial color is super cool. Sometimes they will not even notice it until their paper is covered.
I use inexpensive acrylic because of the color choices. When working with a group of children, I will use a washable paint but when working with one to three kiddos, I bring out the acrylics simply because the colors are more interesting than what Crayola offers. Acrylic paint does generally stain however so make sure you set up and give your kiddos a smock or have them wear their "paint clothes". If painting indoors and above carpet, make sure to lay out a splat mat of sorts. The paint can be mopped easily up from a wood, tile or other smooth floor but once it hits carpet, all bets are off.
This project utilizes good old fashioned newspaper for a couple of reasons. It's cheap, it's recycling and it actually looks extra spiffy once it is all dry.
*cup with small amount of water
*acrylic paint, 1 base color & white
*plastic splat mat
After the first column is painted (I would estimate about a two to three inch wide span), have your kiddo squeeze a little bitty bit of white paint into their base paint, mix it up and repeat the process; adding a new column right next to and up against the first.
Set aside to dry. Once it is dry, it can be put on display. I think they look like abstract art and look extra spiffy on a wall using painters tape. Or put it aside to use as collage paper or hold onto it for a couple more ideas I will soon be posting. Get a little slap happy and create more! Try mixing up a secondary color first before creating your tint palette. Instead of columns, paint big blobby patches. Paint rocks or sticks, use cardboard or put the whole project on a large canvas. This is something to have fun with, have fun!