This lesson was made for one of my mixed classes. It is my advanced art class which is made up of Art 2 and Art 3 students. Instead of separating all the lessons I chose to combine them so we learn the same concepts and challenges at the same time but then do different projects at the end to reflect what they have learned or put into practice. This class is all about understanding and using the elements of art and principles of design to make better decisions and judgements when creating and viewing art.
This powerpoint goes along with my separate papers for the Value, Contrast, and Emphasis lesson. In this lesson I stress how to use these vocabulary concepts to benefit your artwork in m more ways than one. I start with a class critique on the first slide to ask them where their eyes are being directed and then what are the several things that are helping create emphasis on the one part that draws the most attention. The artwork that I have used on the first slide is a well balanced composition but it is also using value changes, directional lines, and multiple contrasts to create emphasis on the one area that has the most visual weight.
I start with talking about contrast in it's many forms and showing several strong examples. I talk about high contrast and low contrast differences in artwork and lead the class through a critique of two artworks that are using multiple forms of contrasts. I discuss through several examples on different slides how contrast creates drama and drama creates visual interest. I use the example of talk shows like Jerry Springer or Steve Wilcos. No one would watch those shows if there wasn't A LOT of drama and fights and paternity reveals and so on. The drama is what is attractive and just like those shows we need differences to have our artwork appear more interesting. For example, having a full range of value or a well spread color palette would be good drama to help an artwork.
I talk about value and how having that full range of dark to light helps in multiple ways. It creates the drama, sends psychological messages when used correctly, and helps illusions of depth look more 3D.
I talk about Emphasis and how it is not good to seclude things but it is good to have a main focus. Emphasis can be created through a lot of avenues but it is best to have your main focus not be overwhelmingly demanding all of the attention of the whole artwork.
I included three artworks that I always have my class critique and write down their responses to practice using these vocabulary concepts in discussing strengths and weaknesses of art.
My art 2 project is drawing with ink and chalks. I have my students start off with drawing the 5 geometric shapes to practice the new shading technique and medium. After that I have them design a balanced composition that uses value, contrast, and emphasis to direct the viewers eye to the main focus but also to balance the space. I have included example after example of all of these talking points. I have put in a lot of student artworks for the ink final project to show how diverse their choices can be. Most of them are mixed medium and I go on to talk specifically about how to layer pastels/charcoals overtop of your ink.
The art 3 project is to create a personality portrait. In this project they must mix mediums and use a self portrait to send a specific mood/feeling or message to the viewer. This can be something very complex like trying to convey the feeling of your opinion not being valued (one of my examples) or it might just be a simple feeling of happiness or sadness. They key to this project is that all of the decisions of the artist must help the message or feeling come across clearly. All colors, images, textures, etc need to enhance the message of the artist to communicate what was intended. I show lots of examples of my own and my students. Both projects' requirements are listed at the end of their section.