Understanding Value: Still Life

Understanding Value: Still Life

still life

Grades 4-5

Materials: Paper, charcoal, still life objects, lamp, pastels, pencils. Examples of medieval and Renaissance art.

Objectives: Students will observe light and shadow and learn to use these observations to make their drawings appear more three-dimensional. Elements: line, shape, form, value, composition, space, color.

Introduction: Compare and contrast a medieval work of art with a Renaissance work of art. Identify which one looks more three-dimensional and why. Introduce concept of chiaroscuro.

Step 1: Allow the students to experiment with charcoal, scribbling on paper and making light, medium, and dark marks in their doodles to get a feel for the medium.

Step 2: Observation: have students look at the still life arrangement and identify which direction the light is coming from. Have them describe which parts of the still life are the brightest, which are most in shadow, and which are in-between.

Step 3: Students do a contour drawing of their view of the still life.

Step 4: Students identify which parts of their drawing should be the darkest and shade those in using dark marks.

Step 4: Students identify which parts of their drawing should be the lightest and shade those using light marks.

Step 5: Students identify which parts of their drawing should be in-between the lightest and the darkest and shade those in using medium marks.

Step 6: Have students sketch the objects again without doing a preliminary contour drawing, trying to draw light and shadow instead of objects.

Step 7: Have students sketch the objects again using color pastels, blending black and white with color to produce shading effects.