<< I was wondering if anyone has a great idea on how to get high school
students to draw darker. I have a problem with my 9th - 12th grade
students being afraid of dark values. >>
I have used a couple of methods to get a good value scale in pencil drawings.
Tell them that there are 50 values of gray in the pencil value scale. The last
ten don't use a pencil and the first ten are as hard as the pencil will go
down on the paper. These values are produced with two pencils, #2,or HB pencil
and a darker pencil 6-B. By using the HBO pencil start the gradation by
pressing hard and using a series of oval like strokes that cover the area but
don't look like lines. As you progress outward, lighten the pressure and start
to move back on the pencil with your hand so that the pressure on the pencil
point is less and less. By using a paper towel folded like a triangle, rub
the graphite outward to produce the lightest grays and fade slowly to white.
Next take the 6-B pencil and go back to the beginning and repeat the first
part of oval strokes that are pressed hard and then blend into the existing
gradation. When you have made it as dark as the pencil will go, stop, and see
if the gradation is smoothly changing values or if it has harsh changes.
Repeat the process to smooth it out.
I have them create spheres, cones, cylinders, etc., and make gradations before
they start to render. When they see the darkest area in a still life or?
that they want to draw, tell them to make the gradation from as dark as the
pencil will go to the white of the paper. If they did the practice piece
right then it will be easy for them to create it on the drawing.
San Jose, CA