Relief Drawings

When I started my Art 1's on value we began with value scales using 5 different types of value: blending, stippling, hatching, cross-hatching,  and scribbling. I wanted them to see how light affects shadows and see how real value is created. So, I uncovered a lesson I hadn't taught since my student teaching year. It was extremely successful and so I decided to dust off it's cobwebs. You can find the link here on Blick's website. I only made a few modifications.

2 - 9"x12" drawing paper
stick glue
light source (we used our smart device flash lights)
1-12"x18" 80 wt drawing paper
kneaded erasers 

We began by discussing high lights and shadows, how they are created, and how we can replicate them. Then, I led students through a PowerPoint discussion on what a relief is and how the changes in value show us what is closer or farther away from us in a relief. Students were a little nervous when I told them we would be creating a relief and then using it to create a value drawing. Then I pulled out the paper and demonstrated how they could create a relief with it by manipulating the paper to make different forms. I stressed that they would have to draw all the forms they created. This stopped some students from going too over the top and encouraged others to challenge themselves. Students used one piece of 9"x12" paper as the base and the other to create the forms. Their goal was to create at least 5 different forms. This step took only one 90 minute class time. 

Once the reliefs were created I demonstrated how to use a light source to create interesting shadows. I set up a cart and used my iPhone flash light as a light source and had a student take a picture with the class iPad. You could also take the pics with a camera and use a lamp. I found that the iPhone flash light created the best variety of shadows. I explained how fill up the whole frame and position the light source to create an interesting image. 
Students with smart devices could take a picture themselves while telling me where to position the light source. I would show them 4 different angles for the light source so they could see what the shadows would do and they picked the best one. They could draw directly from their phone or I could print out the image for them. Students who didn't have smart devices used the class iPad and printed out their image. I don't have any windows or enough lights to set up around my room so this was my only option in order for everyone to have a different and unique composition. The students loved making these creative decisions. After the pictures were taken students sketched out their relief in their sketchbooks. This allowed great practice time and allowed me to over see their creative picture taking and print images.

The next day I explained how to begin the drawing by addressing proportion, space, and placement of objects. The drawing stage took two 90 minute class periods. I stress to my students to draw lightly and have a strong finished drawing before adding value.
After the drawing stage we were able to address the value. I demonstrated how to look for the darkest values first just like we did the value scales and then continue to lighten from there. We also discussed how some shadows have values that fade and others are solid. 
I could not be more proud of the results from this project. I believe it really helped students see the actual value changes in relation to light source and form. They truly do have a better understanding of light source and value changes. 

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