The Contour “Color as Value” Still Life in Tempera
Challenge: Complete a
detailed, contour drawing of a fruit and/or vegetable still life, emphasizing value
as shape and positive/negative relationships. Add tempera paint in a specific color
scheme, keeping one hue per shape.
Strengthen the design by adding pattern and other design elements.
Materials: 12 x 18 white paper, rulers,
pencils, erasers, sharpie marker, tempera paint, brushes, water cups,
and paper towels
Shape: 2D, flat; two ends of a line connected to create an enclosed space
Values: the relative lightness or darkness of an area
Color Scheme: using a specific set or group of colors to achieve a desired effect
Thumbnail Sketch: a small sketch recording an idea - very rough, quick; often used to work out a composition
• Remember design considerations when creating your composition
• Exiting off of at least three sides to create a psychological activities or 'good tension'
• Use of a focal point or visual 'lead in' to pull in the viewer and capture their attention
• Balancing the size of shapes, lights to darks, and areas of complexity or activity with rest
• Adding depth and space through the use of clear foreground, background and middle ground relationship
• Emphasize positive and negative space as SHAPES in your overall composition
• Look for and translate the subtle transitions between different values and textures - the more you 'break it up,' the more detailed and rich your final piece will be
• Keep to a specific color scheme to help the piece stay 'integrated' and harmonious
• Practice a pattern or other element beforehand to add to the piece.
- Complete contour studies of various still life objects to practice strategies on translating to 2D; color theory studies
- Use thumbnails to help you practice various compositions and viewpoints on newsprint
- Pick your strongest thumbnail and gesture out your proportions
- Use a strong, continuous, smooth, contour line to capture all the edges, textures, details, and VALUE changes within your still life in extra fine sharpie marker
- Include at least THREE TEXTURES, and translate the different values as shapes, breaking up shapes in the composition
- Pick a color scheme to work with, and practice applying the paint on a scrap piece of paper. Experiment with patterns and pick one to use.
- "Block out" where you want specific colors and patterns - consider balance!!!
- Add paint to your paper, paying attention to neatness and achieving sharp crisp edges
- Go over the lines with extra fine sharpie again (as paint probably covered up the original lines!)
- Fill our assessment