My Drawing I students are in the midst of the apparent torture that is value studies. I put a lot of emphasis on value studies, because frankly, aside from line, it is the most fundamental element of drawing well.
The photo above shows a simple still-life, where students had to study a single kernel of popcorn, and render it on both white paper and black paper. The challenges were to blow it up to touch all four sides of the paper, and also to invert their thinking when they had to switch to black paper. They HATED that exercise.
But they LOVED my Mystery Portrait Project, where they created grids to blow up a photo of a "mystery celebrity" from 8x10 to 16x20. The photos were cut up into 1x1 squares, numbered and coded, so the students didn't know who they were drawing until almost the end. And sometimes they still didn't know who they got after they finished (but I'll forgive them). The point of the exercise was to pay attention to the values in each individual square, without getting caught up in trying to make the drawing "look right." When they were able to trust the values they saw, the drawings turned out, well, amazing. See for yourself:
As we continue our adventures in drawing, I hope to post more work. I love my job. It's hella fun.
Til next time,