Sunday, October 14, 2012

Introduction to Shading, Value and Contrast.

Ana in Period 5 demonstrated a strong grasp of how to use an ebony pencil to shade a value scale, then she shaded a sphere, and finally she shaded a sphere with one colored pencil.
These three exercises helped to review and in some cases teach the important skill of shading to my 8th grade Visual Arts students.
Hi everyone!  We are working hard on a series of exercises to help us understand the ways that artists can use value to create contrast in their work.  Value is simply a range of light, medium and dark.  By applying varying pressure on one's ebony pencil, shadows, medium tones and highlights can be added to a flat circle to create the illusion of a round sphere.  Most students found that this technique was easier to achieve with an ebony pencil rather than with one colored pencil.  The ebony pencil was more forgiving because the lead could easily be blended with an index finger or a paper stump tool.  The colored pencil was more waxy and did not blend or erase as easily.  Some students were worried about their work looking scratchy and the transitions betreen light, medium and dark values were more difficult to execute properly. Working on small paper 4 x 6 is recommended since the students may become easily frustrated if asked to work larger at this age level and skill level. Just use a gluestick to mount all thre exercises onto a piece of black paper and you have a nicely organized introductory project! 
I am looking forward to sharing the rest of this unit with you soon.  I have even stepped out of my comfort zone and ventured into using "Portraits" as subject matter.  You know many of my lessons are nature based, or inspired by animals or other cultures.  I thought I would challenge myself and give "people" a try for the next lesson in this unit.   So far so good and I'll try to post our progress shortly.

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