artist and maker

march in the art room - exploring tone

This month we were looking at tone and how it helps us to describe light and shadow//texture/shape of an object we are drawing. We began by looked at a series of photos of a boy sticking his tongue out. The photos ranged from colour through greyscale to black and white. We used the black and white photo for reference and using compressed charcoal drew the boy. In a purely black and white image, all the mid tones are eliminated and we are just drawing the shadows.



Next, using a small still life of a tin can and pool balls, we made a drawing on black paper with white chalk which gave us the chance to draw the light instead of the shadows.



Now, with a clearer understanding of tone, everyone choose a black and white photo of a bird, in order to make a sketch of it before we began work on our final piece. Once everyone was happy with their sketch, we all collected acrylic paint and a palette. The instructions were to mix one colour and then to produce a second shade by either adding white or black. Everyone did the same with a second colour producing four shades.


These were applied thinly with sponges. The children enjoyed this as it was a bit like being back in nursery! The paint was thin enough to dry the canvases with a hair dryer and after that everyone sketched in their bird and branches before using a sharpie to produce the dark tones. Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos of the final pieces as most people took theirs home but the paintings were very successful.