Monday, January 20, 2014

Little Abstracts using Value

I have been thinking about having 5th graders do this lesson for about a year and a half, so I'm anxious to see how it goes!!

The idea started when I got a new camera and spent several weeks snapping pictures of interesting shapes, textures and patterns. My thought was to have students sketch these in black and white focusing on value.

Indeed, that is what kids will do as step #1. I have a variety of photos (printed in color) that students will choose from and draw using Ticonderoga Laddie pencils.
This photo is of a part of the ceiling in my brother's log home in Montana.
I used pencil to sketch it, pressing hard for darker values. I found that many students found this skill challenging as they worked on last week's art project, so this will give them some added practice. I like the idea of changing color to black and white here.

Once students have their 3" X 3" pencil sketch, step #2 will be to glue it on a 6" X 6" white board. They will draw the lines from their small sketch onto the board, extending them however they like to the outside edges. They might choose to extend the lines as they are on the original sketch, or they may choose to extend them in different directions, creating a new design/composition.
In this sample, the extended lines pretty much follow the original directions. 

The last step is to interpret the new design using complementary colors. Students may choose to use "flat" colors or to use value and shading to give their design the illusion of 3-dimension.
The sample above uses both colored pencil and watercolor. I think that going from black and white to colors different from the original photo adds an opportunity for additional creativity to this project.

Here is another example from Step #1 through Step#3:
These are plates stacked in my friend, Nancy's kitchen.

Here is the pencil sketch.

Lines meander out from the original sketch to the edges of the  6" X 6" board.

The new shapes are colored with colored pencils using shading to mimic the black and white sketch.

Yellow, the complementary color, is used for the large top and bottom areas.
 Here is an example of another sketch (the stones in my fireplace) colored using watercolor markers. This does not have shading in the colored area, but flat color instead.
I'll post the results later this week when we have lots of what I hope will be wonderful mini-abstracts to share!!

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