Jelly Fish Mixed Media Value Lesson

Posted on 29-01-2013 by

Jellyfish Value Lesson

Jellyfish Value Lesson (Teacher Example)

Jellyfish Value Lesson
Jellyfish Value Lesson-Student Example (2nd Grade)

Jelly Fish Mixed Media Value Lesson

This lesson teaches children about the elements of art called value. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Students practiced two ways to create values with paint & dry pastels. They mixed black & white with blue to create differnent values of blue for the ocean.

I saw a project similar to this on pinterest & have hard time tracking down exactly who the project belongs too- so this is not my original lesson. The link I found was on Flicker called My Student’s Work By Pumpkin Chief. So credit for this lesson should go to this person!

Here is the lesson from my perspective:

Objectives: Students will learn about the element of art called value. Value can be used to show distance and give the illusion of form (3D).  Students will learn that mixing black or white with a color will create different color values.

Supplies: 12×18″ tagboard, tempera paint (black, white & blue or torquiouse), paint brushes, dry pastels


  1. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color.
  2. ASK: How do you think different values are created? What color could you add to another color to make it lighter? (White, yellow, any color that is lighter than the original color) This is called a TINT
  3. What color could you add to another color to make it darker? (black, brown, blue, or any color that is lighter than the original color) This is called a SHADE
  4. Practice Sheet: Value-Tint & Shade of a Color-Elem
  5. Values can be made by a couple different ways (demo): by varying the pressure of you hand, by mixing white or black (or a darker color) to another color. We will use both of these techniques in our project.
  6. We looked at pictures of jellyfish under the sea (specifically with the sunlight shining behind them).

Instructions for Background:

  1. Have students draw 5 concentric circles on the tagboard in pencil.
  2. Beginning with the innermost circle mix a little bit of blue into white paint & paint the smallest circle.
  3. In the next circle, mix a little more blue into the first mixture. Make sure there is a visable difference in value.
  4. Again, in the 3rd circle mix so that it is mostly blue with a little white & paint in the area.
  5. In the 4th circle, paint pure blue.
  6. In the 5th circle mix a little bit of black into blue & paint the area.
  7. In the last circle, mix more black in & paint the area.
Jellyfish Value Lesson

Draw 5 Concentric Circles (NOT in middle of the paper!)

Jellyfish Value Lesson

TINT-mix blue with white to create lighter values

Jellyfish Value Lesson

SHADE=Mix blue with black to create darker values

Instructions for Jellyfish: (Demo how to draw a jellyfish)

  1. Use dry pastels in various colors to draw the outline of the jellyfish (draw 3 of varying sizes).
  2. Use your finger to smudge inward toward the center of the jellyfish. This will give it a transparent look.
  3. Add a little white to the side that is facing the sunlight shining in.
  4. At the bottom of the drawing add in the sea floor with seaweed & coral.
Jellyfish Value Lesson

Student Drawing jellyfish outline in dry pastels

Jellyfish Value Lesson

Student smudging inward with fingers (we LOVE to get our hands dirty in art!)

Jellyfish Value Lesson

Example for sea floor

If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it, please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME


Response to Jelly Fish Mixed Media Value Lesson

  1. ayounger

    How long did this take your students to do? I am assuming the painting had to happen in one session on its own, and the other session(s) happened after it was all dry, correct?

    • micheast Post author

      Hi! It took my 2nd graders 2 -30 min classes to do the background. We learned about tints on day & applied it, then Shades the next day. The final day was the pastel drawing (the paint had to be completely dry before we could draw on it). So 3 -30 min class periods in total.

  2. Jenny

    Absolutely LOVED this lesson. I am a teacher in a small private school that needed someone already on staff to teach art. You helped me so much to teach value and shading to my students and their projects turned out wonderful!! They are falling in love with painting and drawing :)

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