Welcome to The Helpful Art Teacher, an interdisciplinary website linking visual arts to math, social studies, science and language arts.

Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Highlights, Midtones and Shadows: Grayscale

Before you begin this  exercise, Click here to read my post Learning how to shade a face.

To get started you will need:
A printed copy of  the worksheet below,

An HB, 2B and 6B pencil
An eraser
A blending stomp (or piece of tissue paper, wrapped around your finger) to blend the light and dark tones


Hints: Do not press hard. Work in layers. If you want to make a tone darker, shade over it to add a second or third layer.

When using a blending stomp, always go from dark to light.

Imagine you are applying make up on an actual,
three-dimensional face when you shade and when you blend the tones. In other words, follow the three-dimensional form of the face. If you are having trouble, reach up and feel your own face as you are shading. Imagine the direction your pencil would take if you were drawing on it.

How to evaluate your work:

Have a friend hold up your picture and stand 10 feet away. Squint your eyes slightly. If you can figure out easily which half is the photograph and which half is your drawing then your picture is not done yet.

Click her to read my post; Rubric for face shading unit. Use the rubric to evaluate your work.

Try a few more of these half face worksheets:

You should spend anywhere from half an hour to forty five minutes shading each worksheet.

The first worksheet already has parts of the face lightly drawn in
so that you can concentrate on shading. Make sure to finish it first,
 before moving on to the other faces.

Shading half a face is only the beginning,
a practice exercise to get you warmed up.

  Click here to read my post; More on drawing faces

Here is another useful worksheet. Using what you have learned about shading a face, make the picture on the right match the picture on the left.

I created the worksheet below to help my students avoid some common drawing errors. They used it as a self assessment checklist before turning in their work. 

Student Art Gallery
The pencil drawings below were all created by middle school students by folding a photograph of a face in half, drawing the other side of it, flipping the photograph and then completing the drawing. 

We did not use the sample half faces above. Instead students searched the Internet and printed out the complete face of their choice in grayscale. 

The trick, when folding the photograph, is to make sure the crease goes down the middle of the nose and lips regardless of whether the paper is folded exactly in half. Please note that this method only works when the person in the photograph is directly facing the viewer.  

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