Value drawings with charcoal

By June 13, 2015Art In Action

Hello Artist Friends!

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I had to share these amazing value drawings using charcoal that my teen class did last week. They are amazing artists! We talked about how value makes a drawing interesting. You need to have a balance of lights, darks, and medium values in your artwork. The first week we worked on this, I had the students draw a seashell on dark paper with a white charcoal pencil. I had them focus on just the highlights. Next, I had the students draw from a still life on a medium gray paper. They were able to use white and black charcoal pencils to add value and highlights.

This week I had the students draw from a still-life  again. I set up cloth and plants and let them choose shells to put in their composition. We discussed value again. For this project, we used light gray paper, and black charcoal sticks and pencils. I encouraged them to draw their composition adding darks and medium values as they went. Then, they went back and used their erasers to “lighten” up their lightest values. They did an exceptional job! Each of these techniques helps artists develop a sense of value.

Try a value still life at home. Set up plants and interesting objects on a cloth. Place a light on one side of your still life. Get out some gray construction paper and some charcoal and get loose. Charcoal drawings don’t have to be perfect! Make your darks dark and your lights light and you’ll end up with a really interesting drawing!

Keep drawing! And remember, everyone’s an artist.

-Laurie White

Author Laurie White

A Few Things To Know About Me:, I am the mother of 7 kids (with my awesome husband, Aaron), I am a former elementary school teacher, I am a volunteer art teacher at the elementary school and a private art teacher in my home, I am crazy about Matisse, I love children’s books…. One day I may illustrate one of my own, but for now, I will appreciate all the lovely illustrations out there, I need a little chocolate everyday, I need to create something everyday, I am a breast cancer survivor!, I LOVE kids, I LOVE teaching, I LOVE art!

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