Category Archives: Class 10

Class 10 + 11 | Value & Emphasis


The Elements: basic components used as part of any composition, independent of the medium.

  • Value:Signifies the relative differences of light and dark
    • Achromatic: Value with the absence of hue (color) and saturation (intensity).
    • Chromatic: Value demonstrated by a given hue.
    • Grayscale: The full range of values simplified into a graduated scale.
    • Low-Key: When the values of an image are predominately dark
    • High-Key: When the values of an image are predominately light
    • Narrow Range: When the values congregate around the dark, middle, or light part of the grayscale.
    • Broad Range: When the values are spread over the dark, middle, or light part of the grayscale.
    • Shadow: Dark area of an object as a result of a disruption of the light source.
    • Highlight: Portion of an object that receives the greatest amount of direct light
    • Chiaroscuro/Tenebrism: Forceful use of contrasting lights and darks, creating a dramatic mood.

The Principles: basic assumptions that guide the design practice.

  • Emphasis:The special attention or importance given to one part of a composition. Emphasis can be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.
    • Dominance/Hierarchy: The expression of visual and conceptual order that communicates degrees of importance of the various parts of a composition. This can also be achieved through placement, contrast, size, etc.
    • Focal Point: The elements or objects on which the viewer’s attention is focused.
  • Contrast: Occurs when elements are unrelated or dissimilar in value, size, shape, etc. Increasing contrasts can create dominance.


Lab – Class 10

Note: — if you missed class on Friday, please see Prof!

Value-Added Portraits: Value Range Evaluation Exercise

  1. Designate a new section of your Creative Process Book and write ‘Value-Added Portraits’.
  2. From magazines or online sources, find examples of  photographs, paintings, or graphic design with the following qualities:
    • predominately within the high-key value range (2 examples)
    • predominately within the low-key value range (2 examples)
  3. Compose a minimum 2-paragraph description, with specific references to the images, indicating how the key sets the mood of the composition. Also notice and report how the forms in the composition create highlight and shadow relationships, some may be abrupt other may have a gradation of value from light to dark. How does this contribute expressive quality (mystery, drama, success, joy, etc) of the compositions?

Image Research Exercise

  1. We have been given a research task with specific guidelines:
  • Questions to ask before you begin your search:
    • What is the purpose of the OpenLab website and what kind of people are they trying to reach?
    • What is the purpose of the slider?
    • What should the images communicate?
    • What is the best way to visually represent News, Getting Started, Help, and About?
      • Example Brain Dump for HELP: hand, helping hands (need a hand?), map, confused face, person lost, lost signs, help signs, arrows, trail markers, etc….
    • What is the purpose of the images in relationship to the text?
    • How do we determine which image will work best for each section?
    • What dimension and resolution should the images be? (optimized size: 748×361 pixels, 72 dpi)
    • What kind of value range will work best?
    • Can we take any old image off the web and use it?
    • What do the different types of Creative Commons licenses mean? Which one is appropriate for this type of use?
    • Do we need to credit the photographer?

    How to Submit your Projects

    1. On the back lower right-hand corner of each work, write the following in pencil:
      1. Your full name
      2. ADV1100 + your section number
      3. The name of the project and exercise.
    2. Protect your work by creating an envelope using tracing paper and drafting tape (NOT masking or scotch tape)
    3. Make sure you create an envelope that is easy to open and close. (DEMO)

    Lab – Class 11

    Value-Added Portraits: Value Scale

    • Create a Value Scale (a graduated scale of achromatic gray tones).
    • On a piece of 9×12″ bristol, use this guide to create 4 scales starting with 2 steps and ending with 9 steps ranging from black to white in even, progressive increments.
    • You may want to do a few practice runs on a piece of scrap bristol. Try mixing black and white in a variety of proportions until you get a progression from light to dark and the paint application is smooth and free of brushstrokes. REMEMBER: That adding 50% black + 50% white may not get you a perfect middle value! All mediums are different, you need to experiment. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it!
      Achromatic Value Scale
    • Label (in good handwriting) your 9-step value scale with black, low dark, dark, high dark, mid-value, low light, high light, white.

    Painting Tips:

    • Mix a very small amount of water thoroughly into the paint, for each value you create. The consistency should be like whole milk or cream. Before you apply paint to paper make sure it’s completely mixed in the palette to produce a flat consistent appearance. We want flat, blocks of paint with no streaks or brush marks.
    • Wash your brush after each value is mixed and applied. Keep two containers of water, use 1 for washing your brushes and 1 for adding water to paint. Use a paper towel or rag to get excess paint and water off the brush before mixing a new value.
    • Use non-stick tape along the edges of each square to create a sharp painted edge. Wait for the paint to dry completely before removing.
    • If your completed scale is not accurate and does not produce even, progressive value increments, repeat the exercise.
    • Escape Hatch: If your edges end up being very sloppy or uneven, you may also cut out and remount the value steps on a fresh piece of bristol.

    Homework Class 10

    1. Complete the Value Range Evaluation Exercise.
    2. Materials needed next class: CPB, 9×12″ Bristol, pencils, eraser, cutting mat, knife/scissors, ruler/T-square, tubes of black and white gouache, brushes, rag, palette, water container, drafting tape. (NEW supplies!! — see supply list!)
    3. Print out this document and bring it to class.
    4. GRADES: Project #1 grades are available. Visit the Check Your Grade page and register for a password. If you did not submit your email in class, then you will not be able to check your grade.

    Homework Class 11

    1. Complete the Value Scale exercise.
    2. Materials needed next class: CPB, 9×12″ Bristol, pencils, eraser, cutting mat, knife/scissors, ruler/T-square.