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RE: Blending values


From: Rebecca Stone-Danahy (RebeccaStoneDanahy_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 19:21:11 PDT

Hi Kim,
I personally don't let the students smudge with blending tortillions or tissues. I empahsize that the pencil has the point for a reason...and they need to use it. I insist that they blend the pencils (6B-6H) in such a way that the value itself is a solid range. I count off if I can see pencil lines or white spaces. I also insist that they have a full range of the brightest light to the darkest dark. Although, time consuming, until the students really learn to "see" amd mimic value ranges, their artwork is not believable. I figure that after they can match value perfectly then they can decide upon technique later. I start with value scales and basic ranges in a still life and then get down to the nitty gritty.
By the way, I teach high school. I am picky but I do get good results from them. After pencil, we proceed to colored pencil and do the same thing. Most students look forward to this as they really do want to understand how to use colored pencils accordingly.

Becky in NC

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Robinson []
Sent: Mon 9/9/2002 9:23 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Blending values

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