Now you see it...

A LESSON IN -- Edges

In class we continue studying edge quality. In the following drawings watch how students become more sensitive to the variety of edges they see-- and draw!

Each drawing was started without using an outline. Student's rough in the general shape of an object by covering the entire area with a light-tone. Once an accurate shape forms-- the next darkest tone is put down in all the areas judged to be darker than the first, building value one layer at a time. In the example above, observe how a student started (left-top) building value from light to dark until all 5 values were used (right-bottom). 

This exercise challenges students to concentrate differently on the subject-- a rock under direct light. By starting with the lightest tone first consider your edges each time you apply another value layer. 

This week we discussed local value. Local value is determined by the particular lightness or darkness of an object independent of lighting conditions. What a challenge!  This was the first time we looked at color as value. Value plays an important role in the type of edges we see. 

Student's learned to look at edges more selectively using the squint and compare method. This is essential when working with edges, and they must be done together. Squinting helps to simplify your subject, eliminating trivial information and build value relationships.  When comparing one edge to another you are able to make more subtle decisions about how your shapes are connected.

In the final drawing students worked from an arrangement of fruits-- apples, yellow onions, lemons on a white cloth under one major and one minor light source. Using no outline, they blocked in shapes and locations using the "local value" of the object. This still life was very high key, meaning most of the elements were very light in value-- challenging student's to push their tone within a certain range. 


Inspiration for this lesson came by looking at this artwork by Van Gogh and Picasso. In class we used similar subject matter--a group of fruit and talked about how each master handled his edges and value.