Tonal gradation with circles

grad ton cerchi

A tonal gradation is defined as value steps going from light to dark. In this exercise the students of Grade 7, have painted the tonal gradation of a color of their choice, showing the steps in strips of colors. This instructional painting was made less boring with a little trick: we cut out two circle from the painting and then we pasted them on a black cardboard, leaving a small strip of black shadow under the circles, in order to make them seem in relief!









grad cerchi1

grad cerchi2

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  1. This is super. I love all of your art ideas and pin so many of them. I think this will be a good one to do with my younger kids.

    • Thanks Julie! Of course this exercise is suitable even for primary school! Thank you for the comment 🙂

  2. Yes I love the look of this. I plan to thrill my grade 5s with it as they launch into an outer space theme. It covers art theory as well as lending itself to a ‘spacey’ look.

    • Thanks for your comment Jenny! Yes, I’m agree with you and I’m curious to know how will be your works!!

  3. Good morning, I love this idea-simple yet a strong lesson of graduation and color mixing is instilled. Did the children use an exacto knife (a small blade) to cut out the circles?

    • Hi Claudia!They are grade 6th students, so they are able to use a cutter or a small blade. With smaller children could be dangerous to use cutters, what do you think? It’ possible to do a little cut with an exacto knife, afterwards they can use scissors starting from the first little cut.:)

      • Yes, excellent idea. The first cut with a blade and then take scissors to it. Many thanks. I would do this with 7th graders, many of whom are skilled but cutting a clean circle (any curve) with a blade is challenging.

        I’m writing from NJ, USA. The internet is a wonderful, cool, tool to connect with others. I admire your work and what you do with the students.
        Thanks for responding,

        • thanks Claudia! I’m happy to meet you!
          Your name is an Italian name, have you Italian relatives?
          Keep in touch! 🙂

          • No relatives in Italy but have traveled throughout.
            I’ve had success with your vessels (glasses) project done in colored pencils. A variety of shaded glasses are then arranged on a background of black and white paper. When you line up 60 of them it’s stunning. It’s a good lesson to teach elliptical shapes, observational drawing, shading and composition. Thanks for inspiring art teachers across the sea!

          • Great! I can imagine 60 drawings lined up together! wow! Thanks for your comment 😉

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