How to darken pink color

Lighten and darken

The picture with the lightened opaque colors offers the viewer a strong contrast to the forest with its darkened colors! The owl and the cat for handicrafts expand this teaching unit and enable the students to have a haptic reference to the topic.

Teacher information

The darkening with black and the lightening with opaque white represent an essential extension of the work with opaque colors. Our examples deal on the one hand with the topic of darkening and the background design of the habitats of owls. On the other hand, the subject of lightening is about highlighting the experimental character when dealing with colors and cling film as a special feature. As bonus material, the lesson includes the instructions for a cardboard owl, which is painted with darkened colors, and for a cardboard cat, which is painted with lightened colors in contrast.

Information on primary colors

The basis of our consideration is the 12 color wheel. In it all colors are arranged in a circle. This simple representation is sufficient for a basic understanding, but there are of course many other colors. The opaque colors are mixed with white or black. It is always important to use the mixing pots in the opaque paint box, as opaque white and black in particular can heavily contaminate the colors. So when mixing, separate paint pots are always used.

The schematic representation in the 12 color wheel shows that the mixed colors become increasingly lighter with white and darker towards the inside with black.

Material for the teaching unit "Lightening and darkening"

What is needed:

  • Opaque paint box K12
  • Hair and bristle brush, No. 10, 12
  • fresh water
  • Drawing pad
  • Glue, scissors
  • two cardboard rolls (v. toilet paper)

Download templates at a glance:


It's that easy:

By adding black, the children should first get a feeling for how the individual opaque colors are changing increasingly. The primary colors are ideal for this, as they are the basis for all other mixed colors. The mixing bowls in the lid of the paint box enable clean mixing. To do this, three pans are required: the first is the original color, the third is black (white when lightened) and the colors are then mixed together in the middle.

The darkened three primary colors magenta, cyan and yellow at a glance. The clear change in the colors after adding black is clearly visible. The middle row shows that just a few drops are enough to darken the original color.

The clean approach of mixing with three pans enables the children to produce a wide range of colors without contaminating the colors in the paint box in the long term.

Free mixing

Darkening the colors in the box is particularly useful for introducing color theory, but only allows limited painting fun. This is because this bound mix creates a uniform color. A different color effect can only be achieved by mixing freely on the drawing pad. Only two mixing bowls are required for this. One is given the original color, the other black. Now the brush is washed thoroughly in clean water before it is stirred into the paint. Before the actual painting process, the brush is briefly dipped into the black bowl and then painted on the sheet. When applied, the color shows its amazing effect. So it initially appears monochrome. As you continue painting, the two colors mix on the sheet and the color of the brushstroke changes as you paint.

Left: Uniform color that was mixed in the mixing bowl. The color black comes in an additional cup. | Right: Mixing paint painted with a brush that has been mixed on the sheet (Free Mixing)

If you paint with several colors, the original colors are each put in a mixing bowl. The color black comes in an additional bowl. Now the brush is alternately dipped in the corresponding color and in the black cup. The color mixes on the paper and simply looks livelier.

The background for the image of the owl in the forest was also created in this way.

All background colors were created using the free mixing method.

Lighten / three-dimensional impression with cling film

It's that easy:

In the case of lightening, the mixing sequence of the colors is reversed, as opposed to darkening: first, opaque white is put into a mixing bowl and only then is the original color added. When darkening, a drop of black can change the color very significantly, whereas a lot of white is needed to lighten it. In the following two images, the colors were lightened using different methods. The picture above looks more expressionless. Here the colors were simply applied with a brush and mixed with opaque white on the sheet (free mixing). In addition, dabs of color were created by gently "shaking out" the brush. The vivid impression of the second picture is created because after applying the color cling film was placed over it and lightly “massaged in” with the fingers. Here the special visual effect is created by the experimental character.

In both pictures, the colors were lightened with white, but the use of cling film immediately creates a much livelier, three-dimensional impression.

Lighten / work with stencil

The following example illustrates how a mountain landscape is created by just lightening the colors. To do this, a shade of blue in different levels of brightness is first mixed in the lid of the paint box. The sequence of opaque white and subsequent original color must again be observed. Then a sheet of paper is torn lengthways and serves as a template. This is applied to the picture at a distance of approx. 6cm and the area below is painted with different levels of brightness. It begins at the bottom of the paper with the strongest color and ends with the lightest landscape. For the sky, the lightened body color is dabbed on with a sponge.

The clear effect of a mountain range is created when the opaque colors are lightened one after the other. To support the effect, the finished picture is given a black passe-partout.

In the following picture example, too, all colors were lightened with opaque white. If, as in our example, only lightened colors are used in a picture, the scene looks southern and looks like a holiday. The colors look so delicious that one is inclined to nibble on them.

The holiday flair is created in this picture by the exclusive use of lightened colors.

Owl's burrow

As a supplement and to enable the students a haptic reference to the lesson, we present two animals as handicraft suggestions that are easy to make and are painted with lightened and darkened colors. The owl consists of two toilet paper rolls and two glued-on eyes. For the wings that are made from a second roll, we alternatively offer a download template.


  1. Press the cardboard tube together on one side, thumb-width apart.
  2. According to the drawing, cut the upper edges at an angle of approx. 2.5 cm.
  3. Bend the two middle parts that are created inwards.
  4. Now paint the front half of the body with opaque colors, which should all be darkened.
Press the cardboard tube together at the upper edge and cut into it. The picture on the right shows how the resulting tabs are bent over.


  1. The second roll is cut lengthways.
  2. The roll height is reduced to 6cm.
  3. Now round off the two upper corners.
  4. Coat the gray area (according to the drawing) with glue and stick it in the middle of the rear owl body.
  5. Now paint the back body and the outer wings with darkened colors.
  6. Alternatively, you can also use our download template "wings".
Apply glue to the gray area and glue it to the owl's back. Then the owl is painted.


  1. Cut out two slices in the size of 1 € from the remaining pieces of roll.
  2. Draw on the pupils and the eye rims with fiber-tip pens.
  3. Glue on the eyes. Due to the slight rounding of the cardboard, the eyes adapt well to the body.
  4. Finally, the owl's beak is painted on.

The cat

The cat consists only of a toilet roll. Both the ears and the base of the neck of the animal are incised and folded in the same way as with the owl.


  1. Cut the cardboard tube at an angle of approx. 2.5cm on both sides (according to the drawing of the owl body) and then fold the long sides to the middle.
  2. The cat should be painted with lightened opaque colors. For this, all colors can be used on the condition that they are each mixed with opaque white. The technique of free mixing is also an option here, as this method can produce surprising color effects.
  3. When the colors have dried, the contours of the eyes, whiskers and mouth are drawn with the fineliner.
  4. Now the eyes are painted with a lightened green so that they shine nicely. The nose and the tips of the ears can be decorated with a small dab of lightened red (it turns pink).
  5. At the end the cat receives a bow made of red bast. This is fixed to the cat's body with a drop of glue.

Tip: The cat is ideal as beautiful packaging for special occasions.

Download template

The owl is very easy to make using the cardboard tubes. Alternatively, the wings of the owl can be made with our download template, which contains three pairs of wings for handicrafts. However, you should print them out on construction paper so that the wings fit better with the cardboard owl later:

Download templates for wings for the owl craft idea.