Art Sketchbook · EDCI 307A

Element of Design: Value

Value – The relative lightness and darkness of an object

We spent two of our art classes exploring the element of value, starting with practice creating a realistic drawing of a mug focusing on perspective and shading. We learned that even something as simple as how we hold our pencil can have an effect on the types of work we’ll be more likely to produce. The lighter the grip, the easier it is to sketch away, letting our creative inclinations flow. This is the class where it became even more apparent just how interconnected all of the elements of design are: Not only was our drawing of the mug an exploration of value, but also of form. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture of the mug, but here is my representation of it:

Drawing of a shaded mug

Following this we started another activity, exploring another element of design, space, but more on that in another post. For now all that we need to know is that we created a “graffiti wall” in front of which we each had to take a selfie. We printed these selfies off in black and white and returned to art class with them the next week to do our second activity involving value.

My black and white graffiti mural selfie

We were given a blank piece of paper and a piece of carbon paper, which we layered under the selfie and secured in place with tape. Then we used either a pen or a pencil to trace over the shaded areas of the original selfie to transfer onto the blank paper using the carbon paper.

All shaded in

I was skeptical about how the copy would turn out because a lot of the shading around my face, especially my eyes and the bags under them, was quite dark. Somehow, the end result actually turned out pretty cool.

Shaded carbon copy of my original selfie

The mentor artist that I’ve chosen for the element of value is Canadian artist Marguerite Smith. The Saskatchewan artist uses detailed shading in her portraits. Smith drew Nel in 1982 with charcoal on paper.

Nel by Marguerite Smith, 1982

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