Lesson 4: Tone 1: The four rules of shading

Children learn and apply the four rules of shading; to work evenly and neatly, in one direction, with straight edges and no gaps

Before the lesson

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Learning objective

  • To apply even layers of pencil tone when shading

National curriculum

Pupils should be taught:

  • To develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design
  • To improve their mastery of Art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]

Success criteria

Cross-curricular links

Attention grabber

Main event


Pupils needing extra support: May struggle to shade neatly to the edges without leaving any gaps and would benefit from working more slowly.


Pupils working at greater depth: Should move on to drawing their own shapes and shading these in.

Wrapping up

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding


Created by:
Paul Carney,  
Art & Design specialist
Paul has 22 years experience of teaching art as a specialist subject in both Primary and Secondary schools. He is a council member with the The National Society for Education and his expertise has led him to deliver CPD for…
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