Sunday, 14 October 2012

Drawing Tonal Starter for Tonal Drawings

I just wanted to share a teaching resource that has had a large impact upon the way I teach KS4 (14-16 year old students)drawing, more specifically tonal studies and the way my students learn. This teaching resource can be found here: as a freebie. It's called
'Drawing Tonal Starter' and is used as a freebie in my store for others to assess the general quality of my products. If you do view this and like what you see please leave a rating and feedback.

The way I use the resource (I am assuming at this stage that the students work has already been drawn out accurately from a photo using the grid method and is ready to be shaded):

I begin the lesson by explaining that this little piece of paper will improve students' abilities to assess, develop and increase the quality of their work by themselves if they use it. I then have them fill in the 10 blocks on the tonal ladder (scale) going from white, through the grey spectrum until they reach black their darkest shade, using a 2B pencil.

This stage is very important for me as a teacher to check and make sure the gradations of tones are correct. Individually I check each students Tonal ladder asking them to lighten or darken the shades as is necessary.

I then ask the students to start shading their drawings starting with the darkest tones first and gradually working lighter. This gets them looking at the image that they have been drawing from to spot the areas of tones and the shapes that they make. Stress to the students that they need to be shading with the side of their pencils not the tips. In fact, the side of the 2B pencil should be just off of the paper (approximately 20*). This will allow for a nice smooth pencil stroke and gradual blending of the tones. Furthermore, make sure the students are using a sharp pencil!

Here is where the Tonal Starter really helps out. As the students develop their tones have the check their own to see how accurately they are achieving their tones by folding over the of their tonal scale (so the tones that they have shaded are right at the edge of the paper) and place it over top of the area  of tone on the photograph they are working from to locate which number on the tonal scale it actually is. Then have the student place the same Tonal scale over the area of their drawing (as they did with the photograph) to see what tone they have shaded in. If the tonal number on the drawing matches the photograph they have shaded correctly and can move onto the next area. If it is a higher tonal number they will have to use their rubber to lighten the overall tone and vice-versa if it is lower tonal number.

Here are a few images from my Yr. 10 class where they were looking at an artist by the name of Karl Blossfedlt. I was very pleased with the outcomes. It took these students approximately 8 - 10 hours for these studies.
I hope you enjoy and I look forward to hearing your comments!


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