Visual Arts Planning: Light and Dark

If you are a member of AccessArt please use this form if you would like to suggest a visual arts planning topic that you would like help with. You can see all of the current topics in our visual arts planning series here.


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.

Drawing, Making and Playing with Light and Dark

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).
<a href="http://"/show-me-what-you-see/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> 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).
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Painting the Light and the Dark…

Paula Briggs explores chiaroscuro with children aged 6-10. Paula is the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
<a href="" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Paula Briggs explores chiaroscuro with children aged 6-10. Paula is the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
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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).
<a href="http://"/drawing-shapes-to-create-form/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> 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).
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Drawing by Torchlight

Sellotape, water soluble graphite and brushes and went into the landscape to create wonderfully energetic sketches, in just over an hour. 
<a href="" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Sellotape, water soluble graphite and brushes and went into the landscape to create wonderfully energetic sketches, in just over an hour.
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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).
<a href="http://"/drawing-by-torchlight/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> 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).
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Watercolour Washes Inspired by the Tapestries of Henry Moore

Inspired by Henry Moore, children working with washes to explore tone. By Paula Briggs, the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
<a href="http://"/watercolour-washes-sketches-of-vegetables/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Inspired by Henry Moore, children working with washes to explore tone. By Paula Briggs, the director of AccessArt and author of Drawing Projects for Children (Black Dog Publishing).
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Lights | Camera | Action | we all love glow-in-the-dark tape! By Sara Dudman

Artists Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke entice reluctant drawers to take the plunge and draw using glow in the dark tape and LED lights! 
<a href="http://"/lights-camera-action-we-all-love-glow-in-the-dark-tape-by-sara-dudman/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Artists Sara Dudman and Debbie Locke entice reluctant drawers to take the plunge and draw using glow in the dark tape and LED lights!
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The Winter Tree Challenge: A Combined Sculpture & Drawing Project!

This post shares an hour long session at the AccessArt Art Lab, in which the young teenagers (12 and 13 years) worked on two projects simultaneously: a shared winter forest drawing in charcoal, and a sculpture challenge to make a winter tree. The time and material constraints resulted in an energetic and inventive session.
<a href="http://"/the_winter_tree_challenge/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> This post shares an hour long session at the AccessArt Art Lab, in which the young teenagers (12 and 13 years) worked on two projects simultaneously: a shared winter forest drawing in charcoal, and a sculpture challenge to make a winter tree. The time and material constraints resulted in an energetic and inventive session.
Read More

Teenagers Experiment with Glow in the Dark Paint and Rice with Artist Melissa Pierce Murray

Artist Melissa Pierce-Murray works with teenagers with UV reactive paint and markers and glow in the dark paint.
<a href="http://"/teenagers-experiment-with-glow-in-the-dark-paint-and-rice-with-artist-melissa-pierce-murray/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Artist Melissa Pierce-Murray works with teenagers with UV reactive paint and markers and glow in the dark paint.
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Composite Still Life Studies in Candlelight

Students explore the quality of line making, composition and sketchbook approaches in candlelight. 
<a href="http://"/composite-still-life-studies-in-candlelight/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Students explore the quality of line making, composition and sketchbook approaches in candlelight.
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Drawing Skulls in Candle Light

Teenagers learn about chiaroscuro by drawing skulls in candle light using charcoal and pastel. This session was made possible by the stunning loan of zoological skulls on from the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. This post was contributed by Sheila Ceccarelli and AccessArt's Experimental Drawing Class
<a href="http://"/drawing-skulls-in-candle-light-2/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Teenagers learn about chiaroscuro by drawing skulls in candle light using charcoal and pastel. This session was made possible by the stunning loan of zoological skulls on from the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. This post was contributed by Sheila Ceccarelli and AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class
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Drawing Flames

Sheila Ceccarelli leads teenagers through guided drawing exercises exploring mark making to the rhythm of a burning flame.
<a href="http://"/drawing-flames/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Sheila Ceccarelli leads teenagers through guided drawing exercises exploring mark making to the rhythm of a burning flame.
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Drawing Shells Big in Charcoal

Inspired by Paula Brigg's 'See Three Shapes', Sheila Ceccarelli encourages teenagers to explore tonal values drawing shells big.
<a href="http://"/drawing-shells-big-in-charcoal/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Inspired by Paula Brigg’s ‘See Three Shapes’, Sheila Ceccarelli encourages teenagers to explore tonal values drawing shells big.
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Drawing Cloth with Water Soluble Graphite

Adam Duncan, student at AccessArt's Experimental Drawing Class with Sheila Ceccarelli, shows us how to draw cloth looking at 'lights and darks'.
<a href="http://"/drawing-cloth-with-water-soluble-graphite/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Adam Duncan, student at AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class with Sheila Ceccarelli, shows us how to draw cloth looking at ‘lights and darks’.
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Playing with tape, projectors, Wicky Sticks and so much more!

Accessible approaches for collaborative drawing with visually impaired students. By Sara Dudman.
<a href="http://"/playing-with-tape-projectors-wicky-sticks-and-so-much-more/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> Accessible approaches for collaborative drawing with visually impaired students. By Sara Dudman.
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Glow in the Dark Architectural Models – Where Art, Science and D&T Meet

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! By Paula Briggs director of AccessArt and author of Build, Make, Create (Black Dog Publishing).
<a href="http://"/glow-in-the-dark-architectural-models-where-art-science-and-dt-meet/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> 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! By Paula Briggs director of AccessArt and author of Build, Make, Create (Black Dog Publishing).
Read More

The opposite of light

A workshop led by Melissa Pierce Murray in which teenagers consider the associations between words, meanings and objects. The opposite of ‘light’ might be ‘dark’, but it could also be ‘heavy’, or ‘serious.’ The opposite of light might cause us to think of gravity and weightiness; we might think of light and shadows, or of things playful or sober.<a href="" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> A workshop led by Melissa Pierce Murray in which teenagers consider the associations between words, meanings and objects. The opposite of ‘light’ might be ‘dark’, but it could also be ‘heavy’, or ‘serious.’ The opposite of light might cause us to think of gravity and weightiness; we might think of light and shadows, or of things playful or sober.Read More

Sewing Circuits – Where Art, Science and D&T Meet

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 LEDs, switches etc. These “embroideries” could easily then be incorporated into an item of clothing, cushion or toy. By Paula Briggs director of AccessArt and author of Build, Make, Create (Black Dog Publishing).
<a href="http://"/sewing-circuits-where-art-science-and-dt-meet/"" class="shortcode button    "xlarge" style="background-color: "#78608e";color: "#ffffff";">Read More</a> 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 LEDs, switches etc. These “embroideries” could easily then be incorporated into an item of clothing, cushion or toy. By Paula Briggs director of AccessArt and author of Build, Make, Create (Black Dog Publishing).
Read More

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