You can see all current topics in our visual arts planning series here.
If you are a memberof AccessArt please use the form at the bottom of that page if you would like help to integrate visual arts around a particular theme or topic.
Here are a selection of AccessArt posts to help you explore themes around light & dark and tonal value, from traditional chiaroscuro techniques in drawing and painting, to the exploration of light with high tech materials.
Please feel free to add links to other resources, or share your experiences and ideas, via the comments box below.
Show me what you see
Paula Briggs introduces children to seeing and exploring tonal value with charcoal and white chalk. Paula is the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
See Three Shapes
Paula Briggs teaches children to use light and dark to explore three dimensional form. Paula is the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
Drawing by torchlight
Children enjoy drawing in the dark with torches in charcoal. By Paula Briggs, the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing)
Sheila Ceccarelli leads teenagers through guided drawing exercises exploring mark making to the rhythm of a burning flame.
Drawing shells big in charcoal
Inspired by Paula Brigg’s ‘See Three Shapes’, Sheila Ceccarelli encourages teenagers to explore tonal values drawing shells big.
drawing with glow in the dark tape
Artists Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke entice reluctant drawers to take the plunge and draw using glow in the dark tape and LED lights!
Composite still life to candlelight
Students explore the quality of line making, composition and sketchbook approaches in candlelight.
The winter tree challenge
Young teenagers work on two projects simultaneously: a shared winter forest drawing in charcoal, and a sculpture challenge to make a winter tree.
Adam Duncan, student at AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class with Sheila Ceccarelli, shows us how to draw cloth looking at ‘lights and darks’.
Painting and Mixed Media
Painting the light and dark
An extended project that looks at using paint to help communicate tonal values.
Painting Artist Retreats
Sellotape, water soluble graphite and brushes and went into the landscape to create wonderfully energetic sketches, in just over an hour.
Inspired by henry moore
Inspired by Henry Moore, children working with washes to explore tone.
Exploring with glow in the dark paint
Artist Melissa Pierce-Murray works with teenagers with UV reactive paint and markers and glow in the dark paint.
the opposite of light
A workshop led by Melissa Pierce Murray in which teenagers consider the associations between words, meanings and objects
Glow in the dark models
A project using a mix of traditional and smart materials to construct architectural models. The children designed imagined, habitable spaces that glowed in the dark!
Tape, Projectors and Wicky tape!
Accessible approaches for collaborative drawing with visually impaired students. Working together with feeling, sensing, sticking, video and light projection, this post describes some ideas from a workshop day at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Devon.
Sewing electrical circuits
In this session each child worked on a piece of cloth, held in an embroidery frame, to create a sewn circuit using conductive thread to connect the components. These ’embroideries’ could easily then be incorporated into an item of clothing, cushion or toy
Which Artist: Liz West
Liz West is an Internationally Acclaimed Visual Artist who uses light as a tool, controlling the amount, shape, form, size, colour, strength and quality to fill architectural or fabricated structures.