Art Essentials: VALUE/ Amazing Introduction to Value Using Pencil | Jennifer Moorhead | Skillshare

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Art Essentials: VALUE/ Amazing Introduction to Value Using Pencil

teacher avatar Jennifer Moorhead, Artist, Art Professor, Entrepreneur

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Understanding Value

    • 3. Value Scale

    • 4. Setup & Layout

    • 5. Sketching

    • 6. Applying Values (part one)

    • 7. Applying Values (part two)

    • 8. Texture & Shadows

    • 9. FinalThoughts

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About This Class

Class Description:

This is an introductory fine art class about learning the art element ‘Value’ using pencil. Find out why 'Value' is more important to form than 'Color'?

Really have fun learning about value through an easy drawing exercise that only takes 3 minutes to do...that's your value scale. There you will begin to understand the variations of value. Then we will sketch out one simple drawing project and apply values. I will be sharing with you my drawing tips & shading techniques throughout the demonstrations. This is a great beginning to learn how to draw while learning an important art element. Let’s draw and enjoy the creative process.  

Art skills you will learn to:                     

1. Understand how to create your flat line drawings into exciting images that become more realistic and gain attention!

2. You'll learn how to set up your light source to give your artwork a sense of depth.

3. Discover different shading techniques and how to apply values to render shapes.

4. Draw from observation.

Art Materials you will need for the class:

3 Sheets of 9” X 12” (80lb.) paper or Sketchbook

Pencils (at least a 2H, HB, 2B or 4B, and Ebony)

Staedtler plastic eraser

Pencil sharpener

Ribbon (15” X 1”)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jennifer Moorhead

Artist, Art Professor, Entrepreneur



My purpose in life is to share and 'give' my art knowledge to you.  I am confident I can teach you to develop and 'find' your creative artistic 'gift' through my unique fine art teaching methods. 

I incorporate the same fine art methods that I taught in college for over 34 years yet I modify the art exercises as fast-paced, easy to understand, and simple to create. The exercises are all 'hands-on'. This allows you to really explore and experiment with the art methods...while having fun! 


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1. Introduction: Welcome to my class. You're gonna be learning to draw amazing values. Why is value more important to form and color? That color can look very deceptive. It can look like there's a lot of value, too, but it's not. If you look at the color wheel on the left, you can see all your vibrant colors and on the right, it's done all your values of those colors. And if you'll note that there very few values and the colors, I'm Jennifer More hands. I'm a former art professor over 34 years, and I have created a unique teaching method. I'm taking all of things that I taught my students in college, and I formulated a class that is the same art concepts but making it very simple for my philosophy about artists anyone can learn. But you have to have the right teacher and learning the correct skills, and I'm here just to do that for you. This class is for beginner and let me show you what you're gonna be learning. We'll definitely be drawing from observation because that is the way to really learn how to draw its to draw what you see. We're going to start out with sketchy apply values to Craig Dap, drawing tips and shading techniques and really learn how to call attention to your work. It's a great class for beginner, so come join in and let me teach you how to draw. 2. Understanding Value: in this segment will be covering understanding value in relation to pure color. What is value? The definition of value is the lightness or darkness of tones or colors. Why does the lightest value black as the darkest the value halfway between these extremes is called middle gray. Here's a diagram of an eight value value scale. It's not including the white or the black on this, but it's given you overview. This is a pretty typical one that you would view. But then you say to yourself, Well, color has value to it. Here I place the color wheel. You have your primary colors being yellow, blue and red, your secondary colors and your tertiary colors placed here. If you look at all these, it has such an exciting impact on your eyes that it's really hard to decipher the different values in a particular pure color. Now here's a Dia graph showing you these pure colors in black and white. And as you can see here, there are very little differences of value off the color itself. I think it's fascinating to see them side by side. Now you know that the yellow versus the violets going to really have a difference to it. But the green also has a variance even more so than the violet. And if you look in your yellow in your yellow oranges, they almost become the same. Very interesting. So you really knowing the value, scale and understanding that will help you understand color. So this is like primary thing to learn. Now I place this diagram of the colors in black and white and show you a scale underneath it. Here we have the white and the black, and then we have the about seven variances right between it in the values. And if you look at the value scale, there are very few being used up there that you could come across so there's so much more to value. So when you're adding white and black to a color, you're really changing it dramatically, and that would be your shade. If you're adding color to color, it's a tone. Value creates form. Value creates things that you can see. Now let's take it one step further. I have to value scales both you've already seen in this segment. If you look at the one on top, it's a higher intensity value scale. There are more lights to it and then the bottom one has a lower intensity value scale. They're more darks in there very hard visually to see a lot of those dark variations. Now we have a basic understand the value scale. So let's get moving on to the next segment. We're going to draw value scale. Yea, get your pencils and paper together. I'll see in the next segment. 3. Value Scale: in this segment, we're gonna be drawing the value scale. I'm sure you're asking yourself. Well, why do I have to do value scale already? Get it? The reason for this is when I taught students in college and they didn't do the value scale and did a drawing, they would miss out on so many values in there and only come up with, like, black and white and maybe one or two values in between. And it lacked that wonderful depth that could be created. When you do your own values scale, you could refer back to it and you look at your drawing you Oh, yeah, I can visually see that. And you yourself have done it that it really makes a connection. So it's really important to do this value scale. We're going to begin this value scale dividing now eight units. I've drawn out my unit by one inch by one and 1/4 inch, try to do at least an inch by inch. It'll be a lot easier to view it. And to be able to see the variations of the values, I'm starting out with my darkest value. First, the reason I'm doing this I have something to compare to. So in my widest white, my darkest stark, I'm also starting out with hatching lines, which is basically diagonal parallel lines. I'm using my ebony pencil only for this particular space. I'm building up these lines. I'm going in different directions. I'm lifting my pencil off. I'm not like scrubbing it into it, but I'm making marks. You could begin on either side of the scale. I'm choosing the lighter side and I'm going to start with my two h that I'm gonna work up to my HB and then I'm using a four B or you can use a to B and you'll see I'll be adding pressure to make it darker. You'll be able to view that with the techs. So really look and understand and draw with this and get your value scale altogether. Now, how easy was that? It only took about three minutes. Now you've got your value scale. You're ready to go stay with me in the next segment. We're going to start sketching 4. Setup & Layout: welcome to the class for first going to start out setting everything up and the layout of what we're going to be drawing. I have ah, maybe of what 15 inch long ribbon to work with so I can do curves and twirl it around to make it very interesting. So you want one long enough and I havent wide enough so I can really see it to draw it. Well, I want you think about the background to put it on here. I have a white sheet of paper. Also. This is helps you that you have it mobile, so you can set it someplace and move it around without destroying the image shape here that I have I ribbon sitting on is the exact shape that I'm going to be drawing up. This will help me keep things in a realistic proportion. So I can definitely see the distance from the sheet of paper. It gives you a little more consistency of what you're drawing with. Let's begin putting our ribbon together in a way that we want to draw this. We have a sheet of paper. You want to utilize this much spacing on that paper? Not too dis bunch it up in the centre, but to let it expand out a little bit will be standing in this particular exercise because you eliminate a lot of perspective from the side. Think about all the curls and what's going on in your piece. Trying to make it is interesting that you can like what's going on there. It fills up my space created a lot of interest in there. One thing I strongly encourage you to do is to draw from observation, not to take a photograph of it and try to draw from that. It eliminates a lot of the variations that you can't see that you'll be able to view from your eyes. And trust in your eyes will really teach you how to drop on to show you this slide. If you were sitting down, this is where your perspective element really shortens this dramatically, and I'm going to show you this side by side of how different the composition looks. So stay what's standing up because you control your composition very effectively. Now the last thing that we're gonna be doing in this segment is one of the most important things with value is your light source Consistency. Your light source is very important. Trying to do your outdoor lining next to window. That's gonna have a lot of variations from day to day. So you wanna have a set up, that you can put it in one location, keep it there like my lighting that you see here. I have two lights. They're coming from the side in the back, but it has a consistent light. You can move your light source around just to kind of figure out what's gonna look best for your particular ribbon that you placed. Notice my windows in the back. I have my blinds down, so I'm not using my outdoor lighting. So this is could be a very controlled environment for my drawing. You wanna have highlights on their enough darks, you will see shadows. We're gonna get as many variations that we can work with this. And at the very end of the drawing, we're gonna add just a minimal amount of texture. Mr. Overview. What? We're going over this segment Your ribbon? At least a one by 15 and driven. Any color your background. A white border paper nine by 12 is my suggestion the paper should be the same. Size is your background, such as I had worked with the nine by 12 a light source making sure is coming from one direction texture and will be working with that towards the end. Once you're all done with this, you've got everything. Piece together, come to the next segment and we're going to start looking at our values and what we're going to be doing with this. 5. Sketching: in this segment we're gonna be sketching. I am just thrilled to get started with this. I place my paper right next to the ribbon so you could see me draw on what I'm doing. We're going to just do a little bit of line work to begin with. I'm just using my HB pencil. My middle pencil lead weight on this. So will be easier if I made a lot of mistakes. Will be easier to take off with my eraser. I'm going to hold my pencil in this fashion because I'll have more control with it. Instead of trying to use my wrist, I'm going to be using my arm. I'm going to just do the lines of the ribbon just to get a placement of it. So it's kind of like bending and looping around and coming through here, coming around this way across and looping up and over. So it's giving me an idea toe work from and to have a placement for the rest of this segment. I've speeded up the time lapse on this so you could just get an overview of what I'm doing by sketching. I really look at the angles as I'm going through and always take my pencil measuring of that with off the ribbon you'll find as it bends around in certain angles, it will be a little bit wider. Remember, this does not have to be perfect or exact. You're just using these loops as something to work with to really create your value. Really? Trust your eyes is you notice in this point here and almost looks like an X. So drop what you see. Really? Really. Trust yourself. I'm gonna do some checkpoints will be looking at space and shapes in between. This one looks good. It feels like it may be. Come in here a little bit more. Then you notice in here, I'll look at one side to it and figure out that what does this end? So it gives me a clue of how long I should make that ended the ribbon to the length of how that loop is so comparing and analyzing your piece along the way is really the way to draw . I'm starting my beginning stages of adding value to my drawing. If you'll notice I'm ending a little bit of pressure to my pencil, which is great in a darker line, these lines air, adding, to mention to my drawing. You'll notice where the darker points are in the drawing. I'm pushing down on as well as crossovers where lines cross and meat together. - My joins fairly complete enough to start my values. So our next segment, we're going to start putting them in. 6. Applying Values (part one): you've done your value scale, so let's apply the values. Get your pencil sharpened. Make sure your papers on your sketchbook make sure you're working on a hard, clean surface so your lines come out very smoothly. The segment is fast forwarded, but I will be explaining things as we go along right here. I'm erasing all my sketchy lines and then I'm applying contour lines. I'm using one line. Describe the edge That's a contour means it's one continuous line to describe form. Although my lines are not gonna be all continues throughout, it is gonna be a consistent one line, a tip about drawing. It's always a process. We first began with the sketchy and it gave us placement. Now we're cleaning up the lines. Redrawing that again or always improving our drawing process is really what art's all about . I'm starting out drawing my values used by HB pencil. Going to be looking at with the darkest areas are in my ribbon, and that's what I'm going to start working on. I'm gonna put my hatching lines in there. The reason I'm not using my darkest values if you go too dark too quickly, it's very hard to remove it and you're inviting to always be working backwards here. We're placing them. I'm able to visually see them and then I can always apply on more darks. As I go along. The next segment is applying value part to just keep going because you're doing great. 7. Applying Values (part two): glad you're with me For the second part of applying values, we're going to start out with the same process of the hatching lines and continue what we've been doing. It's so important to be looking more earthy object that you're drawing in the paper that you're drawing on. You really want to look at those values. This helps you and teaches you and improves your drawing skills immensely. Here's a helpful tip for making your object look three dimensional, especially when it's rounded. You have a reflective light. It's hard to see, but it is there, and it will make your image really pop out. Here we have the light source. Highlight mid tone core value reflected light in cash shadow. Your light source is coming through to give a devil in highlight on your object, but you also see kind of a light grating there. Then you go into formulated into your middle tone, and then the core shadow itself. But down below is a reflective light that comes through its from the light source that goes underneath the object. A highlighted and then you'll see your cash Adul being very dark next to it and gradually getting lighter as it goes out. Why do you need a HB pencil? The HB pencil is the most wonderful pencil toe work with because your softness of your bees or so soft they ride on top of the paper, your H is really almost make marks on your paper. Almost almost engraved marks. You have be very careful when you're pressing down on it. If you press down too hard, you put your bees on top it will. You'll see the white lines come through, but your HB combines both together. It kind of blends it through. So if you've seen too much of a distinction between the darks and the lights, come in with that HB, and that is the really excellent blending tool. You'll have an edge to your ribbon, so don't forget about that. Incorporate that also imply that three D imagery at this stage of your drawing it should be time to use your evident pencil. It's time to put in your dark dark. - The next segment is on texture and shadows, so this is going to be the finalisation and detail ing. So keep going because you are almost done 8. Texture & Shadows: Here's the final segment on texture and shadows. If you'll note I'm doing my darks but going up to the very edge of its you're not seeing the line so much on the edges, but I'm blending it in as much as I can. - I'm adding texture here by long gating my cross hatching lines that will show more of the surface texture of the Britain. I'm doing a little bit across Contour in here. Meeting my lines are are going in the same direction as Thea actual objects. So I'm bending my lines along with that. You don't need to do this. You could do it if you'd like to. You can still just do all of it and one diagonal line direction. You definitely get that feeling of three D and having a bend around. We're just introducing a little bit of the texture. No, it's not all the way through, but just gives you a hint of having that we've in there. The shuttles are a little tricky here for this ribbon because, as you saw in the sphere, the sphere was actually sitting on the table. If you'll see their parts of this ribbon that I've lifted off the surface. Therefore, you'll see some white areas, so the the shuttle's not necessarily be right next to the ribbon at all times. This is for you to really look and observe. This is my smearing technique using my eraser. Once I've placed my line work down, I take my eraser and smear so it has a really nice finish to it. Then I come back with my racer and do some subtracted work, really erasing some of it away. So it looks very playful. We are finished. I can't wait to see your drawing in the project gallery. Please post it. I'd love to look at it. 9. FinalThoughts: my final thoughts. No, it wasn't that class Easy. I bet you really enjoyed it. And again, I can't wait to see your work. So please post it up in our project gallery. And next, I'm gonna show you a little bit about the classes that I'm teaching ID. Let me to check out my profile page in their describes by classes that I'm teaching the design elements as well as the principles of design. And it gives you a little update of classes that I'm recently teaching and then a little overview about myself, my art background, as well as by entrepreneur ships. Art exhibits, some drawings from my classes, and I'm teaching as well as paintings from my classes. At the very end, I have all the classes that you could click into right away. Since you guys are really good with values I thought you might enjoy this collapse is drawing the personality of your pet easy subtracted method in charcoal. Charcoal is wonderful to work with, and I use the eraser with it and get those white white. So it's kind of fun. Just values. I hope to see you again very soon.