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Lesson 6: Adding White (Mixing Tints/Pastels)


Line and Mark Exploration

In this lesson, you will see what happens when we add white to different colors. How do you think the colors will change?

Grade Level

Pre-K & K


Oil Pastel



  • Unit & Lessons

Materials and Tools

  • Set of oil pastels 
  • 9 x 12” paper 
  • Paper towel


Step by Step:  

  1. Open your oil pastels. 
  1. Take out the primary colors and the color white. Do you remember all three? (red, yellow, blue) 
  1. Start with the white oil pastel. What happens when you make a patch of white on the paper? Can you see it? 
  1. Next, make a patch of blue.
  1. Now, let’s try a new patch of white next to the blue. What do you think will happen when the white touches the blue? What kind of blue did it make? 
  1. The white oil pastel might have blue on it now. How can we clean it? Let’s wipe it off before trying it with another color. 
  1. Try the same thing with red. Try a patch of red, then add a patch of white next to it. What happened to the red? What do you think is the name for this new color?
  1. Wipe off the white oil pastel and try the same thing again with the yellow. What color did it make? 
  1. Try a new patch of blue. What happens if you keep adding white to it? 
  1. Describe these new colors? They are lighter when we add white. These colors are called tints or pastels! 
  1. How many different tints can you make?

Prompts for Independent Art Making: 

We made tints of red, yellow, and blue. Now try making tints of green, orange and purple. Can you remember how to make these colors? 
Make a drawing using tints? 

Artists for Inspiration: 

Frank Bowling

Gary Bower

What tints do you see in the first painting by Frank Bowling? How do you think the artist mixed these colors? Do you see places where they smudge or overlap? 
What tints do you see in the second painting by Gary Bower? Do you see any colors that are not tints? 

Reflection Questions

  • How do you think you make a color lighter? How do you think you make a color darker? 
  • What new colors did you make? 
  • Which tints are your favorite?  


Oil Pastel, smudge/smear, mix, blend, primary colors—red, yellow, blue, mixed colors—green, orange, purple, brown, tints, pastels, pink


Frank Bowling

Gary Bower