5th Grade: A Challenge

Last week and the beginning of this week brought a close to the Animal Color Wheel Project. Working from outlines rather than a photo seemed to be just the change everyone needed to help them along with the drawing of such complex creatures. There are still two animals that haven’t been glued to their backgrounds yet. It should only take a few minutes next class to finish that up, so on Monday, I’ll upload a picture of the completed group.

For the last few days of this week, we moved on to a new challenge: drawing values in reverse. Most art students only learn to see value through the dark parts of an image. They know to shade that part in. But this next project will teach them to not only work with a new, difficult material, but also see the light values as well as they see the dark ones.

We will be using black construction paper, white colored pencils, and white chalk pastels. Instead of shading the dark spots, they will be looking at the highlights while leaving the dark sections blank. It’s tricky at first, so we started by drawing spheres. When everyone understood how that shape worked, we moved on to faces. Students sat in a triangle and drew each other’s faces, and then they added in the appropriate value. It was significantly harder than drawing a sphere, since they have to find the values in something that is alive, rather than a black and white image. However, the point of the exercise was to practice seeing value in a different way, which means it’s okay that they don’t come out perfect. Practicing is how we learn.

Also, everyone will be picking their own images for the actual project next week, so they can pick a difficulty level they’re comfortable with now that they’ve had some experience with the process.

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