Drawing and Painting: Day 1

Today we focused on the property of Value as we began two projects:  1. A silhouette landscape painting using tempera paint,  2. A pastel drawing of pears from observation.  As students began work on their paintings, the goal was to explore Tints (color + white) of the color blue in subtle gradations to create a glowing effect in the sky of the landscape.  Remembering to mix colors rather than always using them straight from the tube can be difficult for experienced and blossoming artists.  And yet, it is the nuance of color that comes from mixing different hues (color), values (light and dark) and intensities (level of brightness) that helps create captivating and complex works of art.   We had to get used to using very small amounts of blue as we mixed so that we did not change the value of our color too quickly.   We also explored Shades (color + black) as we prepared a blank paper which will be turned into the silhouette of the land next week.   These projects are off to a great start!

Next, we continued our exploration of Value by beginning pastel drawings of pears from observation. We used an image of pears with clear highlights and shadows as our source so that we could more easily identify the range of values that were present.  Students then used pastels to sketch in and roughly block in the color of their pears. Next, they developed the shadows using a combination of black, blue and brown, and enhanced the highlights by working in white and yellow.  Some students even got so far as to complete their stems and backgrounds.   Pastel can be tricky because of the ease with which it smudges but students worked hard to control the smudge and to use it as a way of creating more realistic looking fruit.