Gradient Picture

This is a fun and interesting art project that demonstrates how colours can be blended to create a gradient effect. Using a black image to create a contrast also teaches children about silhouettes and what they are. The finished pictures can be hung around the classroom in a display.

Gradient Picture

Skill Level


Time to Make

1 hour 30 minutes

Adult Supervision Needed


How to Make

  1. Take a piece of white A4 card and arrange it so it’s portrait on a flat, protected surface. Choose your colour spectrum and we went for red, orange and yellow.
  2. Take your foam brush and paint a strip of pure red horizontally across the top of the paper, then another. The paint colour will naturally get a little lighter as the foam brush sheds some of the paint as you apply it to the paper.
  3. Next, without washing the brush, dip it into the lighter shade of red, Paint the next couple of strips in this colour, overlapping the last strip you painted in red to blend it.
  4. Next, take a very light coating of orange paint and lightly paint onto the paper, overlapping the last red strip, blending the red and orange together. Paint another couple of orange strips so the colour looks lighter and lighter.
  5. Add another couple of strips of lighter orange, using our picture as a guide, so you can see the change in the shades from pure red to pure orange. Repeat the previous steps, blending the orange with yellow.
  6. When the paint is dry, cut out a simple fir tree from black card. Stick to the centre of the painted background with glue dots, as shown.

Top Tip

When you mix the transition colours, make sure you mix a little bit of the next colour in with it to soften the blend so if you're mixing a lighter red, add a tiny bit of orange as well as a very tiny amount of white.

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