The digital camera improves student learning.Last winter, I found the digital camera particularly useful as an aid to improving drawing. I created a large still-life setup in my classroom and taught a lesson on chiaroscuro chiaroscuro (kyärōsk`rō) [Ital.,=light and dark], term once applied to an early method of printing woodcuts from several blocks and also to works in black and white or monotone. technique. We visited Mark Harden's Artchive (www.artchive.com/ ftp_site.htm), looking at specific chiaroscuro drawings by Leonardo daVinci, Albrecht Durer, and Michelangelo. We discussed the characteristics the artworks had in common--light moves through the artwork from one side to the other; shadows on objects are on the side opposite the light source; and shadows fall from objects, pointing away from the light source. We made small viewfinders out of 3 x 5" (8 x 13 cm) cards. Students used them to select and frame areas of a large pile of objects I found at home, flea markets See computer flea market.
yard sale of used items at low prices. [Pop. Culture: Misc.]
See : Inexpensiveness , and school.
The Art Process
First, students produced a number of small sketches with an emphasis on close-cropped composition. Next, students chose the most interesting of the small drawings to indicate the area of the still life from which they would create the actual chiaroscuro still-life drawing. They developed a rendering of the still life using black and white charcoal charcoal, substance obtained by partial burning or carbonization (destructive distillation) of organic material. It is largely pure carbon. The entry of air during the carbonization process is controlled so that the organic material does not turn to ash, as in a pencils on a gray ground. Instead of selecting a middle ground paper, students achieved this by rubbing rubbing,
v creating friction and heat by drawing the hands across the body at varying speeds, rhythms, and depths. Benefits include muscle elongation, tension release, and increased flexibility. and blending vine vine, climbing plant or trailing plant. The grape is often called "the vine." See also liana.
Plant whose stem requires support and that climbs by tendrils or twining or creeps along the ground, or the stem of such a plant. charcoal into 19 x 22" (48 x 56 cm) white charcoal paper. This way, they prepared their own materials for production from the beginning of the project. Also, students made various shades of Noun 1. shades of - something that reminds you of someone or something; "aren't there shades of 1948 here?"
reminder - an experience that causes you to remember something gray ground with smudges and unique gradations of value. I fixed the ground that afternoon, so that students sketched a line drawing first. During the second day, most students worked with the low-lights and darkest values. Many students were working with the lightest values and highlights by the third day of production. On the final days of the project, students worked back and forth between the dark and light values, adjusting contrast and adding detail where necessary. I cautioned some students to keep the gray ground of the paper for one of the middle values in their still life.
We encountered a problem several days into the project. Many students complained that objects in the still life were moved. Fortunately, I took digital photographs of the still life from every conceivable con·ceive
v. con·ceived, con·ceiv·ing, con·ceives
1. To become pregnant with (offspring).
2. angle, which we consulted to set things right.
I also noticed that some students were having difficulty with perspective. Instead of rehashing an old lesson, I asked students to compare their drawings to the digital images of the still life. Then, we compared the photograph and drawing to the actual still life as viewed from the same position. We laid the pencil (normally held at arm's length arm's length adj. the description of an agreement made by two parties freely and independently of each other, and without some special relationship, such as being a relative, having another deal on the side or one party having complete control of the other. for sighting lines) directly on the photograph in order to show that a line at eye level is actually parallel to the bottom and top edge of the picture plane. Students easily made the jump from photograph to sighting the actual still life with a pencil, and continued to make further adjustments without the aid of the photograph.
We critiqued the drawings during a classroom discussion, referring to the original criteria presented at the start of the lesson. These included:
1. a well-planned composition in which the still-life objects fill the picture plane,
2. a complete range of values,
3. a consistent use of hatch marks
4. a consistent use of perspective throughout the drawing, and
5. the use of the contrasting white and black charcoal pencils on the gray ground of the paper to render the still life in chiaroscuro technique.
I based the grades for this assignment on individual student evaluation and journaling, small group evaluation, large group evaluation, and my evaluation of how well each student met the objectives established at the beginning of the project.
It was difficult to fix the ground on all 40 papers. I did that between classes, outdoors, during the dead of winter. But, I really enjoyed watching and listening to students as they used the digital images to help one another analyze the perspective in their drawings and to help make adjustments in shading See Phong shading, Gouraud shading, flat shading and programmable shading. . Some students changed the perspective from the original view, a creative decision that worked to the benefit of the drawings.
At first, some students struggled with the idea of working from the middle ground of the paper toward the dark and then the light values. Others had difficulty achieving a full range of values in their drawing. One student noted, "You have to think backwards in a way. I'm used to making dark areas on light paper. Half the time on this project, I have to make light shades on darker paper." The finished drawings, however, demonstrated that most students gained a proficiency pro·fi·cien·cy
n. pl. pro·fi·cien·cies
The state or quality of being proficient; competence.
Noun 1. proficiency - the quality of having great facility and competence in the chiaroscuro technique through the actual process of creating the drawing. That process included the use of the digital camera as an aid to understanding the science and art of visual perspective.
Students apply media techniques and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks.
John Bittinger Klomp teaches art in the Penn Manor School District The Penn Manor School District is a school district of 5332 students educated in 10 schools in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is a member of Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit (IU) 13. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania Lancaster, is a city in the South Central part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is the county seat of Lancaster County. With a population of 55,351, it is the 8th largest city in Pennsylvania, behind Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, .