Introduction to ‘Tone” by Hester Berry

By Hester Berry

This resource is one of four resources created by painter Hester Berry which aim to introduce some basic drawing and painting concepts to primary-aged children and their teachers. See all the resources in this series here.


“Tone” is the word we use to describe light and dark, or light and shadows.

 'Inside the Cabin at Bucks Mills', acrylics by Hester Berry
‘Inside the Cabin at Bucks Mills’, acrylics by Hester Berry


We can use dark or light paint to make our pictures look as if there is light shining within them, or to make them look as if objects, people or places are in shadow.

Tone can also tell us other things about things in the painting. Here are some ideas for discussion with children:

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