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Blending values


From: Jim Robinson (robinsj_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 18:23:38 PDT

I have a question for all who teach shading using a range of values. Do you allow students to blend only with the different pencils or do you allow them to use tortillions, tissues, fingers, etc.?
For several years I allowed students to use tortillions only to find that they relied on them so much that their value range was only showing middle grays. It didn't matter how frequently I reminded them to use a variety of lights/darks. For the past two years I told students that they must only use pressure differences and different value pencils to achieve a full range of values. No "crutch" like a tortillion could be used. I know that all people like to shade different ways and I do encourage this by showing samples, but I guess that I am just asking for any opinions from the experts.
Some of the projects I do to teach shading:
    1-Using a 2-B pencil, create a five-step value scale using only pressure differences
    2-Using a 2-H, 2-B,4-B, 6-B pencil, create a ten-step value scale
    3-Using a small (about 2" x 3") black/white magazine image...copy the values as seen in the clipping
    4-Using all pencils, draw a series of cones, spheres, cylinders, cubes, etc. from observation with a
        direct light hitting the objects.
Thanks for any responses!
Kim in PA or