Being able to show value is probably the most important skill that can improve your artwork. This lesson is a beginner step to understanding how value works.

We will be creating a 3-dimensional picture (showing height, width, and depth) of a dog using lines for value (lightness and darkness of a color to create contour) applied to a painted background.


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Step 1:  Print out the dog picture.

A copy is provided at the bottom of the lesson.

Step 2: Paint the wooded background.

Take the white card stock and brown paint to paint the trees.  Odd numbers usually make a nice composition and you can see 1 tree is at the edge of the page.   All of the left sides of the trees are dark brown for the shadows and the right sides are much lighter.  Vary the length of your vertical strokes and leave some white for highlights.  Add a dark knot, if you like.  Take green paint and paint some grass from the bottom of the page going up.  Add more water to make lighter leaves.  Vary the length of the leaves.  OR use markers and then add water with a wet brush.  Put your background aside to dry. 

Step 3:  Draw lines in each section.

Start drawing the contour lines with your marker and your dog sheet.  Make the lines going up the nose closer together than the other lines around the face.  Turn your paper, if you need to.

Draw lines close together on the nose.
Lines should be evenly spaced on each side of the face and a little further apart than the nose.
Make your lines follow the direction that the hair would grow on a dog’s ears.
Curve your lines on the dog’s body on each side and then make straighter lines in the middle of the body.

Step 4:  Cut out your dog carefully.  

Scissor tip:  Hold the scissors steady, cut slowly, and TURN YOUR PAPER, not the scissors.

Step 5:  Glue your dog to the background.

Glue your dog in the middle of your grass.  Make sure that the bottom edge of the dog is at the bottom of your background.

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Posted by:Karen Riley

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