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Embed code for: DRAW 01 Lesson 02 Photography-Values (AS Scales) NAR
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Teacher: Timothy Chambers
Art Photography l Value Scales
Welcome back to Drawing Essentials here at Iguana Art Academy!
Did you enjoy your Benchmark
assignment? Were you in the groove?
Did you find it challenging or easy?
I can’t wait to begin to give you tools to help you improve and enjoy your drawings more than ever. Let’s get moving with today’s lesson:
Art Life: Swing by my studio
Lesson, Pt1: Photographing Your Artwork
Lesson, Pt2: Observation & Values
IMOFA: Drawing Masters exhibition
Assignment AS2: Value Scales
I teach painting workshops now and then. Whether students are new at art, or they’re old pros, we have a great time. I enjoy teaching for the joy it brings to students and also for the insight it brings me.
Students learn everything from basic drawing essentials to advanced skills such as painting portraits outdoors. Students range from middle schoolers to elderly and everywhere in between. It’s never too early nor too late to learn.
A recent charcoal portrait. Most of my commissions have been in oil or pastel, but charcoal drawings have a simple, “classic” feel to them that is quite appealing.
Charcoal portraits are easier and faster than paintings.
I believe that you can tell a lot about an artist from his or her drawings, more than you can in their paintings, kind of like seeing behind the scenes. Also, they say you can’t fake good drawing.
draw this still-life >
I assume you all completed last week’s assignment, AS1: Benchmark Drawing. Be sure to upload a good image of your finished drawing to the IAG. Also, keep your drawing protected in a safe place. We will be taking a look at it again later in the course.
If you haven’t completed it, do so quickly, before you watch this lesson.
GETTING THE TRUTH…
We will get to our drawing lesson in a moment. However, I want to give you a few tips on how to capture an accurate photo of your art assignment. You can view these tips anytime on the
https://www.iguanaacademy.com/student-resources/Student Resource page on iguanaacademy.com.
The feedback you receive is only as good as it is accurate, and that all depends on whether your images are true to your artwork. In other words, you want helpful, truthful feedback on your work? It all begins with a truthful (accurate) image.
Grab your camera before you begin. Locate and test the features on your camera you learn.
You can also find your camera’s owner’s manual, usage tips, and more by searching online.
Here are a few examples of good and not so good photos of an assignment. You can see the importance of producing a good photo of your work for feedback. Can you identify the problem with each photo?
Poor scan (bitmap/black & white)
Too dark, shadow across artwork
Too far away from camera
A few more examples of photos that could be improved. Can you identify the mistakes?
Shadow from camera on artwork
Flash, uneven lighting
Bad angle (camera not square w/ work)
A few more creative ways for your artwork to miss a great first impression! Can you identify the mistakes?
Too light, faint
Blurry , camera out of focus
Oops! Keep your artwork away from liquids…and breakfast!
Here we are! Good photos and scans to work from! There is a good range of tone from dark to white, the sides are straight, the light is even, no shadows, and no coffee spills!
Any additional tweaks (cropping, color, brightness) can be done with a photo editor. Visit the Student Resource page on iguanaacademy.com for editing tips.
Good camera photograph of the artwork
Good scan of the artwork
I will walk you through the process of taking great photos of your work.
PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR ARTWORK
Obtaining great reproductions of your artwork lies in creating a good setup.
What’s a setup? Not the bad kind (as in “Hey, you set me up!”). A setup is the way and conditions in which you photograph your artwork. Here’s what you need:
A camera or a scanner
A steady hand or a tripod
Let’s take these one at a time: LIGHTING… BRIGHT lighting.
For your camera to record the details of your artwork, such as that nifty bit of shading you did, it needs light. A LOT of light.
Just as you see more detail in daylight than you do by candle light, so does the camera. It can record more details in the highlights, the shadows, and everywhere in between.
Here are a few tips regarding your light source:
For your camera to record the details of your artwork, such as that nifty bit of shading you did, it needs light. A LOT of light.,
Not every day provides good lighting to photograph your artwork.
As the chart to the right shows, bright days are good, overcast, rainy, stormy days are not.
TIP #1: The brighter the day, the better the detail and contrast in your photos!
TIP #2: Shoot under a porch, indoors near a bright window or door, not in direct sunlight, to get nice, even lighting.
The second part of getting a good reproduction is ensuring your artwork is in good shape and in a good position for the light and camera.
Make sure you take care of your drawings. Keep them protected from wrinkling (water) or crinkling (poor handling, the dog, the baby).
Cameras notice everything.
Keeping your drawings in your sketchbook is
a great way to keep your drawings clean,
wrinkle-free, and dry.
The last part of getting a good reproduction involves all four items of setup: the lighting, artwork, camera, and tripod.
Start with good lighting: indirect sunlight or bright part of day
Set your camera to its highest resolution setting: FINE or LARGE
Set your camera about 4-6’ (1.8m) from the artwork
Turn off the camera’s flash (flash creates “hot spots”)
Make sure your camera is lined up with your artwork so it’s not crooked or distorted, looking like a trapezoid, as explained on the next page…
4-6 ft / 1.8m
Too close. This gives you a ‘fish eye’ look, where the sides tend to bulge out.
Distorted. Camera is not lined up directly in front of the artwork. It’s too high, too low, or more to one side or the other. This makes your artwork look distorted, bigger on one end than the other.
Just right! The artwork looks straight, square, and not crooked.
Set camera about 6ft/ 1.8m from the artwork.
If you have a good camera and a lot of light, you can get away without using a tripod. For small works, follow these steps:
Set your camera’s shutter at 125/second to avoid blur
Stand firm and lean over your artwork, “squaring up” as we just discussed in the previous slide
Focus the lens on the work
Hold your breath, then snap the picture!
You can also set up your work vertically upon a chair, against a wall, etc.
Follow the same steps: get firm (motionless), square up, focus, hold your breath, and shoot.
For point-and-shoot cameras, you may have to move closer to your work to avoid using digital zoom* (poor quality).
Get as far as you can with optical zoom*, then shoot.
*See your camera’s owner’s manual for details about digital and optical zoom.
Be careful that you don’t get too close to your artwork, as it will cause distortion.
Final tips for good images of your work:
Read your camera’s owner’s manual or ask someone to help you know its controls.
Shoot in bright light, but not direct sunlight (too many shadows and blows out your highlights). On a porch, near a bright window or patio door. Never a flash.
Stand it against a wall, in a chair, or lay it flat on the ground.
The camera should be about 4’ to 6’ away from your work.
Look in your camera’s viewfinder and try your best ‘square up’ the camera as best as you can. In other words you want your drawing to look rectangular, and not like a trapezoid.
If you see shadows, glare, or reflections on your artwork, adjust to get rid of them.
If your work doesn’t fit the camera frame exactly, that’s okay. Simply crop close on the two sides closest to the edge, and then center the other two sides.
SCANNING YOUR ARTWORK
For small artwork, a good scanner can yield good results for you. Follow these steps:
Lay your artwork face down on the scanner glass (see below)
Open your scanner’s software program (see user’s guide)
Set your scanner at 200 dpi and grayscale (for graphite drawings)
Save the image to your personal art folder on your computer
Edit at PicMonkey, Photoshop, etc. and submit your work!
picmonkey.com is free )
Q Define what “values” means in the art world
A Values are an object’s lightness or darkness; its “shade”.
Q Define what “values” means in the art world.
My dad reminded me often that a strong drawing or painting depends upon good values more than upon color.
You can see values quickly by squinting
…squinting your eyes makes the details disappear a bit so you can concentrate on the big shapes and the values!
Behind every color is a value of gray... Try seeing if, by squinting, you can see the values in the color image. Let’s turn out the lights and see if that changes things.
John Ebersberger, contemporary
Makes a big difference, doesn’t it? That’s because every value, every color, relates to those around it.
Every color consists of a hue and a value. Hue is the color, the value is the brightness.
Guiseppi Arcimboldo, Vertummus, 1591
Understanding values gives you a tool to work with. Your painting can be low key…
Leonardo daVinci, 1504
Or your painting can be high key. Values determine the brightness of a painting.
Margaret McWethy- Peonies and Conch, contemporary
The key of a painting has much to do with the mood of a painting.
Timothy Chambers, Haley (left), Joshua & Cayla (right)
Let’s look at a VALUE SCALE:
Nine steps from white to dark. Dark varies depending on what you’re using: e.g. paint produces a darker black than pencils.
Use a value scale to help you determine the value of the objects you’re drawing or painting:
You can also use a value scale to help you see the key of a painting. This is a high-key still-life.
Using your value scales, what values would you give to the objects below?
Does changing the page color affect what values you’d give to the objects below?
It helps to have the gray background for comparison, doesn’t it?
Look through the holes in the value scales to really nail down the right value.
Take a guess what the different areas of these photos would be value-wise:
You can use a value scale to help you see the accurate values.
What value numbers would you give to the different areas in this photo? Notice how the red seems so bright, though it’s not value-wise, as you can see in the black-and-white photo.
For this week’s assignment you’ll be creating a value scale. You’ll use a worksheet like this one.
The goal of the value scale is to see the value range of whatever medium (pencil, paint, charcoal, crayon, etc.) that you’re using. For example, paint can get quite a bit darker than pencil. For this assignment, you’ll be using three pencil grades along with a black crayon for comparison. The key to a good job is 1) patience and 2) comparison. Let’s start our value scale by establishing our darkest dark:
By beginning with our darkest value (#9), we establish right away how dark we can get with this medium. A medium is the material you’re working with, such as pencil, acrylic, oil, pastel, etc.
Which value do you think we do next? Hint: #1 is white (paper color)…
Which value to do next?
Well, let’s ask ourselves which one would be easiest?
Well, let’s ask ourselves which one would be easiest? How about #2?
Just a smidgen darker than white?
Next easiest would be #8, making it just a bit lighter than #9…
Can you geuss what’s next?
Once you have a value down and looking pretty good, then it’s easy to put a value next to it that’s just a tad lighter or darker.
One more to go…!
There! Nine values, step-by-step!
Wait a minute, though. Let’s check to see if there’s a gradual flow from Value 1 to Value 9. Seems there’s a little bit of a ‘jump’ from 1 to 2…
So, we can lighten #2 a bit, using our kneaded eraser to ‘lift’ the pencil off the paper. We can also go back and darken other squares, as we did here with on #7.
Notice, now, that the scale flows evenly from 1 to 9. There are no sudden ‘jumps’ from one value to the next.
The kneaded eraser is a great tool. It cleans by simply stretching it! Then press it on the paper to lift the pencil off of it. No need to rub back and forth (this only wears down the paper, anyway, so avoid doing that if you can help it). Avoid kneading it too much, as the oils from your fingers will render it ineffective.
More tips: take your time. You can see the difference patience makes in the two value scale examples here:
Try shading by making tiny little ‘circles’ –i.e. shading in a circular motion instead of back-and-forth or up-and-down strokes. Also start with a light stroke and gradually build up the tone until it’s darker.
Another tour of the infamous Iguana Museum of Fine Arts. Their collection is virtually humongous, and covers a wide variety of art.
This week we will take a walk through an exhibit of beautiful drawings and paintings from the past six centuries.
Grab your student IDs and let’s go.,
A Young Hare, Albrecht Durer 1502
Large Tree and Castle by Titian early 16th c
Portrait Bust of a Young Man by Raphael, 1510
The Dream by Micheleangelo, 1530
Study for Napoleaon at the Battlefield of Eylau, by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros 1807
On the Bench by Mary Cassatt 1882
Venice 7 by James McNeil Whistler late 19th c
Sitzende Tanzerin by Edgar Degas 1880
Reading, by Anders Zorn 1889
Portrait of Mrs. George Swinton , by John Singer Sargent, 1906
A Gorge In The Mountains (Kauterskill Clove) by Sanford Robinson Gifford- 1862
The Valley of the Shadow Inness by George Inness 1893
Early Evening Winter by J.E.H. Macdonald, 1912
Morning Shenandoah Valley, Appalachian Trail at Bears Den by Timothy Chambers, 2015
New Day by Timothy Chambers, 2016
Ice Floes by Claude Monet, 1893
Self Portrait by Henri Matisse 1945
Henri Matisse’s Self-portrait is an interesting way to end the tour, no doubt. Henri has done some wonderful work far more interesting thatn this self-portrait. However, it does go to show you that when you become famous, even your napkin sketches may be someday celebrated.
It was another great show, though, wasn’t it? All those great paintings we’ve seen over the years all began with a…drawing. Yep, a drawing. My dad reminded me often that before I could run, I needed to learn to walk. In other words, before we paint, we need to learn to draw. Of course, that’s why you’re here, right?
One more thing. We wouldn’t be enjoying those beautiful drawings right here if it were not for someone taking great photos of those drawings. So make sure you take the time to present your work in its best light by putting forth your best effort in photographing and editing your work.
VALUE SCALE ASSIGNMENT
AS2: value scale
Assignment Goal: to understand value steps and ranges for different materials.
Materials: Value Scale Sheet, 4H, HB, & 6B pencils, black crayon
Here are the guidelines for this assignment:
Complete the four value scales on the worksheet (file “Value Scale.pdf”), each with a different grade pencil (6B, HB, and 2H/4H) and a black crayon as marked on the worksheet.
Shade carefully and well. Take your time. See how smooth you can shade each square. If you shade too dark, press your kneaded eraser onto the paper and ‘lift up’ what you’re trying to lighten or remove. Rubbing too much will wear down your paper.
Steady! See how gradual you can make the scale from 1 to 9. Each step should be a steady, even step from one square to the next. If you see a sudden ‘jump’, then adjust the squares to obtain an even flow.
Punch! When you’re done, cut along the bottom of the 6B scale, then use a hole puncher to punch a hole in the bottom of each square of the 6B scale (at each dot).
Assignment is due by Saturday evening.
Relax, have fun, make this the best value scale you’ve ever done.
week we will take a walk through an exhibit of beautiful drawings and paintings from the past six centuries.
Henri Matisse’s Self-portrait is an interesting way to end the tour, no doubt. Henri has done so