Turning Shapes into Forms

Applying one of the Basic Elements of Art

Learning Some New Techniques

You will learn to show value (the lights and darks on the surface of an object) on a circle so that the circle becomes a sphere. You will explore a variety of techniques and media as you practice.

The Joker

Notice the contrasting values. The value in this portrait ranges from black to white. This makes the image more interesting and more noticeable. This gets your attention and keeps it for a while.

Contrast?

There is some contrast in the value of the drawing. However, it is not as strong as the previous one. This is a nice little drawing but will not hold your attention nearly as well as the one of The Joker.

How would you describe the value range in this drawing?

Is the contrast strong and noticeable or weak and subtle in this drawing?

This drawing has a strong sense of contrast. What else has the artist done to make this drawing more interesting to look at?

Blending with Graphite

Graphite (pencil) is a good starting place when learning to use blending to show value.
Some things to keep in mind:

1--ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, NO SMUDGING WITH YOUR FINGERS.

2--STAY WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE SHAPE OF YOUR OBJECT.

3--FOLLOW THE CONTOURS OF THE OBJECT YOU ARE DRAWING AS YOU BLEND.

4--USE YOUR VALUE SCALE CONSTANTLY WHILE YOU ARE DRAWING.

5--CONSIDER YOUR LIGHT SOURCE AT ALL TIMES.

Observe and Record; Watch the Demonstration; Apply Learning

Follow the directions, try the techniques and don't smudge with your fingers! I promise you will get great results.

Question: Why can't I blend or smudge with my fingers? I was taught that way before. It looks better to me.

Answer: You have, unfortunately learned an incorrect method for blending. Your work will not develop quickly, nor will you be able to show all 7 values in your value scale by smudging with your fingers. Your work will look dirty and well, smudged. Trust your teacher. Try it her way!

Question: Why do I have to show really dark areas. I work light and I think my art looks better that way.

Answer: For an object to turn or look like it has dimension, you need to show a range of 7 different values. These values range from black to white, with 5 different gray values in between them. Even though you may think the lighter shading looks prettier now, you will soon begin to recognize the difference. Again, trust your teacher and try it her way. Your art will be so much better and you will be thankful you gave it a shot.