Step Four: Upon completing their pieces, students will place them side by side on their desks for comparison. Students should make a few notes on separate paper to address the following questions:
Which piece looks the most realistic?
Which work has the most depth?
Which piece catches your eye first? Why?
Which piece gives you a sense of emotion? Why?
Which method did you enjoy more, and which piece looks better to you? Why?
Step Five: Teacher will ask students to share some of their works and answers to their questions. Students should come out of the discussion with the understanding that a focus on value lends itself to more realistic, depth-filled pieces, while a focus on color may flatten a painting out but can have more of a sense of mood or visual interest. Students should also understand that it is an artist’s choice whether or not to have high contrast or dominate colors, as these are tools an artist uses to express his or her style.
Assessment: Ask students to bring in samples of work that emphasize either color or value. Post samples around the room, and open the next class by asking students to write a critique of several of the pieces, noting what elements the artists chose to use and how those choices contribute to the effect the works have on viewers.
Now your students can see the works of other artists with a trained eye, and evaluate for themselves how artists are able to achieve their differing styles!