Temescal Canyon

High School

Advanced Drawing and Painting  



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Table of Contents:


Value Key models

Value Keys provide an important way of understanding how the overall choice in value can impact the way a work of art is perceived and understood by the viewer. Understanding the reasons for choosing certain values can provide considerable control over the understanding a viewer will have of a work of art.

Learning about Value Keys and their uses

  1. Read the packet information on Value Keys paying special attention on how to identify them and what emotions they evoke.
  2. Complete the steps listed below to add the Value Key Models addition to your sketchbook

Making the Value Key models

  1. Collect the necessary materials
    1. Two 5X7 sheets of Bristol board
    2. Scissors
    3. Glue
    4. Various paper media (magazines, extra gray paint swatches, etc.)
  2. Cut, tear, or collect a variety of different values from you paper media. The values should be “achromatic” or they should NOT have ANY color in them, just black, white, and grays. They should also be “non-objective” or NOT containing any images of recognizable objects.
  3. Arrange the shapes and items you’ve select into an interesting composition on a small sheet of Bristol board. (Remember, it makes a picture more interesting when you use the principles of design such as rhythm, pattern, and an area of emphasis or focal point.)
  4. Make a note on the back of the Value Key model you’ve just made listing which value key it is. Reflect on the value key information to ensure you have correctly identified the value key.
  5. Repeat step “3” and “4” in a different Value Key. (Ex. If your first value key is a high major your next model may be of a low major or any other value key BUT high major.)

Mounting the Value Key Models into your sketchbook:

  1. Cut out the “Value Key Info” from the photocopies given out in class in a creative way that retains the page’s readability.
  2. Glue in these papers sequentially (in order) starting on a blank page following your tint/shade scale.
  3. Glue the Value Key Chart following your “Value Key Info.”
  4. Turn to the next two blank pages in your sketchbook.
  5. Glue one Value Key Model on each blank page making sure they are well glued down to prevent dislodging from the frequent turning of pages.

Authoring the Value Key Models Page

  1. Label the pages of your sketchbook that contain your value key information, value key chart, and value key models “Value Key Models” at the top neatly.
  2. On the pages containing value key information, make at least 10 annotations calling out important information. i.e.- near each major value key note the distinctive qualities that define that major value key in a new and different way.
  3. Complete the “Value Key Chart” connecting specific human emotions to certain value keys. Additional information on human emotions can be found here. You should use your Value Key Information to determine the related value keys.
  4. On each page containing a value key model answer the following question correctly in full, complete sentences, and in a visually creative way: (Hint: use your Value Key charts)
    1. Which value key is modeled here?
    2. How can you tell?
    3. What emotions can be understood or inferred from this value key?