The Value of Value

This photo montage basically sums it up!

Mount Olive Value Collage 2

We were back at Mount Olive Intermediate School with two fabulous artists: Matt Johnson (4th photo down on right) and Matthew Smith (5th photo down on right). Both these guys sure can draw and teach!

The collaborative lesson was about one principle of art: value – which means the presence dark darks, light lights, and all the middle grays in order to create visual interest and to begin “sculpting” the illusion of depth and form on a flat surface .

Let me be clear here: these students are only NINE years old!

Matthew Smith emphasized having a light touch while layering pencil strokes, and he showed students how to add small areas of white paint to make the highlights pop. Matt Johnson demonstrated methods of refining grays with a kneaded eraser, and encouraged students to stretch their drawings to every corner and side of their papers.

Besides having one hundred and ten engaged students making art all at the same time, we had five fantastic participating teachers. The Principal, Tammy Barnes, and Assistant Principal, Demond McCoy (center photo, holding the framed poster of Leonardo’s study drawing of three plants) were on hand to help set great examples of creative administration in action.

The teachers really did their “homework” by having students create traditional value scales of their own before we even began the lesson. The students arrived ready to create, and create they did!

Days like this make me want to get up and do it again tomorrow!

Funding for this project was made possible by an Arts in Education grant from the Alabama State Department of Education. The Alabama Alliance for Arts Education is providing on-site professional development.

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