Monday, November 19, 2012

Tints and Shades with Jingle Bells

Getting ready for the holiday season, I found a package of ribbon that I bought in bulk at Costco YEARS ago. I was so tired of using it for wrapping that I started thinking about how to get rid of it that is, put it to good use at school. And thus, the jingle bell project began.

I have some real jingle bells for kids to look at, but also found a good image of colored bells on Oriental Trading Company's website. Blown up on the Smartboard, they are a vibrant reference with highlights and shadows. Students have worked with oil pastels before making tints and shades, so that part isn't new. This study also introduces the idea of using analogous colors for back shading and variety, as the bells have reflections from lights and surrounding objects.

Rather than try to sketch in the black cut-out spaces, I find it easier to color the bell as a sphere, with several layers of oil pastel, creating the highlights and shading. This can either be a short task or a long, thoughtful one, depending on the observation skills of your kids!! Once the sphere looks "real" it is just a matter of drawing the black spaces in with the black oil pastel.
After cutting out the jingle bell, kids glue it on a contrasting color of cardstock with the pieces of ribbon and use the side of scrap cardboard to stamp the pine needles with tempera or acrylic. Voila!!
ps. We aren't really doing this BEFORE Thanksgiving, just getting ready.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!


  1. What a great project for tints and shades and light and shadow! Love the addition of printed pine needles and ribbon. I've got to pin this! Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Mary. I was thinking it would be fun to do with ornaments, too:)

  2. Oh my gosh. I seriously agree with Mary!! Pinning!

  3. A great idea to work on before Christmas. I'm pinning this too, many thanks.

  4. What an awesome idea.
    The shades and tints bring life to these jingle bells.
    I love the pine needle touch.

  5. HELLO...You´re kindly invited to know about me at:
    Best Regards,

  6. These are beautiful!

  7. These are brilliant- great lesson in observational drawing- shiny objects are so tricky to draw!! Your kids did a fantastic job!