distance learning art lessons for value and shading

Distance Learning Shading Lessons

This post will describe and provide guided tutorials for five distance learning shading lessons that can also be done in a traditional classroom or at home.

I have been back at work for two confusing weeks of professional development training for our “new normal” (anyone else sick of this term already?). Our student start date was pushed back and the eyes of our parents and communities were on us.

Two weeks seemed like forever and one second simultaneously. At the end of this time I knew I would be mad at myself if I didn’t have so much accomplished, however everyday a new seemingly impossible task with thrown our way.

Basically, I had to be prepared to teach face to face but socially distanced, have Canvas (if you don’t know what this platform is be thankful and don’t ask any questions) up and ready for distance learning (which could happen at any time) have fourteen days of emergency paper and pencil plans ready in case I needed to quarantine, send out digital units for art students who chose Virtual Learning for the semester, create a packet of offline learning that is comparable to what the distance learning students will be doing if and when we shut down, and be ready to send work home to students who have to quarantine.

If you are wondering, the run on sentence is intentional. I think it is an accurate representation of my life right now.

Driving to work the first day back I decided that I was not going to let myself dwell on the negative or what I can’t control. I am fortunate to love my career and have really supportive coworkers, fellow art teachers, parents and administration. I’ll save my personal beliefs and fears for another post on another day. I am still on the fence about how to use my voice. Do I remain positive and inventive, or do I say enough?

I’ll keep you posted.

An obvious choice for a paper and pencil work is focusing on value and shading. I LOVE shading and my students always respond to it with excitement. Kids understand that knowing how to shade will make your drawings look awesome. Nothing elevates a drawing like adding some value.

I tackled many of the tasks described above with this in mind.

All of the lessons I plan on using in whatever scenario will start with this:

Value Scale & Shading Exercise

value scale and sphere shading
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This is my re-vamped value scale and shading exercise tutorial. I have an older tutorial that did not have a voice over that I would use to reinforce what we did together in class. This updated tutorial is useful because I wanted to have a really detailed resource for students that would NOT be physically in my classroom when learning this skill. I still plan on using the older tutorial for a visual review in the classroom.

Overlapping Values Artwork

Overlapping Values Shading Exercise

This Overlapping Values drawing exercise will be useful for ANY of the distance learning scenarios listed above. It’s also really fun and rewarding and would be a great “what do I do when I’m finished?” assignment for face to face instruction. This can be done very simply with one shape and three values, or you can make it more complex. Overlap as many times as you feel comfortable shading and change your shapes up, too!

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Shaded Rock Pattern

This tutorial is great for students who are quarantined or as a whole class distance learning shading lesson. I have been in person this entire school year with the exception of a few weeks, so I also use it as a “what do I do when I’m finished” activity. I’m using inexpensive pencils and paper, so if you have drawing pencils the results will be even better!

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Eye Self-Portrait

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My first Distance Learning Unit (when or if we transition to that…#2020) is this Eye Self-Portrait Artwork. Students love drawing eyes and making them come to life with shading. Adding self-portrait symbols only increase the personal authenticity of this artwork and lead to great conversation starters about self-portrait artists. Frida Kahlo is my favorite. Students love to pick out the symbols she used and they never overlook her uni-brow.

After students complete the value scale and sphere shading assignment, we will move on to drawing eyes.

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Once these exercises have been complete we will move on to the background and self-portrait symbols. I plan to break each task into bi-weekly 20-30 minute chunks that students can manage doing at home while/if we are in distance learning.

In a traditional face to face classroom, I still plan to teach this Eye Self Portrait Lesson:

Eye Self Portrait Colored Pencil Art Lesson

How to Shade Water Droplets

how to shade water droplets

Want students to feel successful with shading? Try shading water drops.

This is the first shading exercise I am using for students at my school site who are doing virtual learning for an entire semester. They will be facilitated and assessed by a non-art teacher that is employed by my district. I think this will be a fun artwork to help students to feel successful with just a pencil. It is also very parent and non-art teacher friendly since I will only be providing the content and not facilitating the process.

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Perspective Drawing Distance Learning Shading Lessons

Not everyone enjoys teaching perspective, but I think they make great sketchbook assignments. I don’t teach a whole unit based on perspective drawing but I love having it up my sleeve for extension activities or secondary sketchbook exercises.

The two tutorials below use shading and are in my bag of tricks and waiting for whatever my 2020 school year throws at me!

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Art teachers: I am here for you. This year will be a whirlwind and we are in this together.

What distance learning shading lessons are you planning to teach in 2020? I’d love to hear from you!

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