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Drawing from plasters

January 11, 2018

I’ve been looking forward to this from last year and it’s just as fun as I’d hoped!i started buying a set of plasters last school year and ordered a few more and swing arm lamps this year. The result is a transformed art room into a more studio environment. Now each table can have a still life and set their own lighting. I’m using this as a unit on learning how to shade. The benefits of the plasters are that the color doesn’t get in the way of seeing the shading, they hold Stiller than a live model and they don’t go bad like flowers. 

Shading is much easier to see on the white plaster. I have the students start with a line drawing. Lines represent where value changes. So next you start adding in the correct gray scale values. Some of them end up being light where you would expect it to be dark or dark where you would expect it to be light. You just have to carefully observe and record. Light often changes around edges picking up reflected light. All the lights and plasters are from I love that store. Terrible name though. 
Here’s a couple of drawings from today that show what we are shooting for. The tools are also important. We have a range of pencils from 2H to 6B. We have cotton swab blenders, rolled paper blenders, kneaded rubber erasers and pencil erasers (the kind you can sharpen like a pencil). By alternating between these tools you can get smooth dynamic pencil rendering. 

If you are ready to take your shading to the next level you might want to give this a try! 

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