Challenge 5: Shading

Drawing is a skill you can learn once you decide to activate your potential. This challenge will take you to the next level. All you need is the courage to add dark values to your work. Making dark drawings can express ambiguity and emotion.



By the end of this challenge you will be able to: 


  1. Draw a value scale for reference

  2. Describe objects with your pencil using light and shadow

  3. Demonstrate different ways of shading a drawing

  4. Make a drawing in the style of the callalily video of anything that inspires you in the plant world. It could be flowers, trees, grasses, cacti.  Use the entire value scale in this drawing.

  5. Create a dark portfolio quality drawing that is about social change, protest, or persuades the viewer in some way.

Materials: charcoal (if available, or a dark pencil), pencil, unlined paper



Watch my video on how to succeed this week.


Playlist and Draw Alongs


Make a Value Scale Using a Ruler



Draw along with the video below to better understand how to compose your drawing



Drawing With Charcoal 


How to Draw and Shade a Callalily 





Reading Assignment: 5.1 Shading Techniques

Do you see how using dark tones makes the drawings more powerful emotionally?

5.2 Prerenaissance Discussion

Watch the Art History Video - Rembrandt, below.  After watching, talk about what fascinated you here. 10 points



5.3 Message on Challenge 5

Send me a message that you are working on Challenge 5 and let me know if you have questions or problems.


4 Light and Shadow Prep Drawings


Value Scale


Draw 11 rectangles in a row on your paper. Shade the one on the right as black as you can color it. Leave the one on the left white. Gradually shade all of the boxes in between at 10% increments until you have all of the shades of gray from white to black. 

Selfie Portrait

A selfie portrait that uses the entire value scale. Look through your collection of selfies and choose one to draw. Get out your value scale as reference. Look deeply at the photo you are about to draw: do you need to crop it or is it well composed? Where are the lights, darks, and grays? Use a grid if it will help you draw more accurately.

Paper Mountain


Draw a mountain. Rather, make a paper mountain out of a brown paper bag and draw it, using the entire value scale.


Social Change, Climate Change, or Any Current Topic That You Feel Passionate About...

Plan and draw an image about social change, climate change, or any current topic that you feel passionate about. What do you want to say to the world? Make it dark and pop a few lights as your focal point.


5.4 Submit Light & Shadow Drawings

Sign, date, and title your prep drawings and submit them . 


Light and Shadow Portfolio Assignment

Draw a dark and moody landscape. Go out and shoot some photos, or get several images from the web and combine parts of them into your own creation. Use the entire value scale. Make your drawing as dark as the examples in the charcoal video and the shading reading.

5.5 Submit Light & Shadow Portfolio Quality Drawing

Sign and date your drawing and submit it. Comment on the process you went through on this assignment and grade yourself according to the rubric. 


Reflection & Revision

5.6 Light and Shadow Critique

Then, upload your portfolio drawing to the 5.6 Light and Shadow Critique. Talk about your process of creating this drawing, obstacles you faced and overcame them. Address what you would do differently if you did this drawing over again. Then, critique 3 of your peers' portfolio drawings by commenting on something done well or suggesting an improvement.

5.7 Submit Revised Portfolio Drawing

Take a look at the critique comments you received from your peers and me, and make some revisions to your drawing to improve it. 5.7 Submit Revised Portfolio Drawing.

Short & Simple Title