Value and Shading... life without outlines

Seeing in Values

We see dark to light and all the gradations in between, and the gradations or shades are what we call values. The artist finds the value, the darkness or lightness of a surface, and takes that information to render the form. This is what gives size, shape, and depth to the form of the subject. We are all familiar with shadow and light, but it is the gradations of different value levels that give us a sense of form.

There are three things to learn in this sub-unit

  1. Value [tone]

  2. Shading with graphite pencils

  3. Light and shadows on forms

ACTIVITY: skill development

Refer back to your contour line drawing of the Styrofoam cups.

  1. Using Charcoal, add in the shadow areas of your drawing

  2. Use a finger/tissue or blending stump, blend out the shadow to form a gradation to the lighter areas. Use white charcoal if needed to bring some lighter areas back

  3. You can add in shadows on the table top.

Activity: skill development

  1. lets start with looking at graphite pencils and value - watch the introduction to graphite video and complete some value scales in your visual diary using 2b 4b 6b pencils.

  2. What to avoid when shading - watch the video..

  3. Now to shade a sphere. This will be demonstrated to you in class - if you are away you can watch the video and read through the slideshow


no dark lines until it looks correct - if you need to erase your drawing too dark!

Exploring different media


You can explore

  • willow charcoal,

  • soft charcoal

  • charcoal pencil.

ensure you spray with fixative when done!

White pencil on Black [reverse value]

A bit of a challenge here --- same concept as graphite pencil but you are shading in the light

Colour Pencil

The secret is layers layers, blend blend blend. You will need a worksheet to practice on ....


Using line to create value

Hatching is a drawing technique in which value created through a series of thin strokes or lines that are more or less parallel. other ways to create value with line can be seen here.

Watch the video and create your own value scales using line in your visual diary.

Pen drawing

learning to shade with non smdging matgerials is fun. My preference is scribble - but you can use any method you prefer

Activity: Applied knowlege

Positive and Negative space &values

You are to create two value study drawings. These are designed to develop your observation and shading skills

1. Folded paper- positive and negative space

Scroll through the Slideshow on Positive and Negative space to the left, Then watch the video on shading Positive negative below. After Watching the video, select a page from the negative space value reference PDF to render as a drawing. You need to pay attention to both the positive and negative space during the contour line drawing phase... erase heavy lines BEFORE shading

Positive negative space powerpoint with video secured and link.pptx

2.Paper Twist

tape one end of strip of paper to a piece of board. twist the paper until it starts to curl up. Tape the end down and render this sculpture as a graphite drawing in your visual diary. Watch both the slideshow and video on paper twist on this page.

Paper Twist.pdf

Extension - Draw like Ed Ruscha. Using a strip of paper, bend it into a word or your name. photograph it in strong lighting and then render it into a greyscale drawing