Torn Paper Portraits – A Value Study

1812065790_733a4f84f0In this lesson, you will “paint” with torn paper using a limited number of values found in a gray scale image. Using torn paper instead of direct painting requires visually dividing the gray areas into separate shapes and defining each shape individually. Working directly on top of your image will eliminate the need for preliminary sketches and will keep the image constantly in view to best “copy” the values. A black and white portrait will be taken of you for this assignment.

To begin paint sheets of drawing paper (9″ x 6″) four different values from very light gray to very dark gray (white and black will be provided). Look for an even gray scale values to match the gray scale found in your portrait photograph. Select matching values from a limited palette of pre-painted grays on paper created in class.
Tear the paper into pieces and use small amounts of glue to position the pieces directly onto the image. It’s difficult to decide where to begin, so you may wish to specify doing all the black areas first or doing the white first.  As the photo becomes covered by the paper it will be more difficult to see the details, so it would be best to start with facial features and do the background last.

Try and match the gray values they see in the photo beneath. Use a variety of sizes of torn paper swatches, and to layer them over each other rather than try to position them next to one another.  The rough, white edge of the torn paper adds a dramatic line quality and should be used within the piece. No scissors or cutting materials will be used.




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