The Value of Value

Grade 9 students learned about value today.  In art, value is the lightness or darkness of a colour or tones.

After watching the introductory video, we began to look at the art of Baroque artists Caravaggio & Gentileschi.

We discussed the strong differences between extremely light areas and the darkness in the background.  We also appreciated the subtle changes in value in areas such as the muscles on Holofernes’ arm.

The two artists who created these paintings captured a very intense scene, because we as the viewers aren’t distracted by problems with their technique.  We are able to appreciate the story, because the artists’ method of communicating is clear.  There are no issues with their shading or proportions.  These artists had taken years to practice with their materials (such as paint) and techniques (such as shading with value), and we are able to benefit from their skill development.

So, today, we began to practice our skills with value.  Grade 9 students created value scales using pencils, charcoal and chalk:


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Some more fun with #value #NipRockArt

A post shared by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

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Even more #value scales! #NipRockArt

A post shared by Colleen Rose (@colleenkr) on

There was no pressure to make these scales look great.  In this class, practice means play.  Experiment.  Make messes.  No grades.  Have fun.



Tomorrow, we’ll play with value + colour!

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