Sunday, October 23, 2011

the value of value part 2 : Pumpkins!

Then comes creating value with colored pencil or crayon via two methods: method one, finding a light, medium and dark of one color and method two; how much pressure is applied. Most kids are still moderately interested at this point. They like anything with color and can easily follow along as we add form to shapes like apples and pumpkins using correct value.
Every fall I do this pumpkin lesson where we LAYER different values to show form. I think 4th grade and up could do this. Here are the step by steps including what colors we used from the good old .40 cent crayola 20 color box.
Draw a pumpkin, add a cast shadow and a ground-line. Outline brown.
not a great photo but: lightly color the entire pumpkin with goldenrod or dandelion. Color the stem with yellow green, color the cast shadow gray, the ground blue and the sky violet.
time to layer with different tones or values. Start at the middle of the pumpkin. Color the top and bottom 1/4 with orange. Move to the segments on each side of the middle. color the top and bottom 1/3rd with orange. Move to the outer two segments. Color them fully orange. Go back in with the goldenrod/dandelion and go over any areas that were not colored orange. Layer your color. Grab a red-orange/scarlet and color a little bit at the bottom at each segment and the top of the two outermost segments. Re-outline in brown.
Now the cast shadow. Color a layer of indigo over the gray and then some black right under the pumpkin. For the ground do another layer of blue and blue green. Add some of both to the cast shadow area. Last use green and brown on the stem.
Last I have the kids use some purples do the "sky" area so it ties into the cast shadow and doesn't distract from all the work in the pumpkin.

You could also do this with larger sets of colored pencils...some prismacolor scholor pencils would be GREAT for this...but spendy and you would need a lot of sets. I know the kids like this mini lesson because they ask to take their pumpkins home as soon as we are done.


  1. What grade level did the pumpkins and how long did it take?

  2. I have done it with 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th graders. It takes about 30min guided time.

  3. The last 2 years I've shown Kindergarten and 1st grade how to draw pumpkins one section at a time (instead of a circle with a stem) but I've never focused specifically on value so you inspired me! I started a lesson with 2nd grade this week building on the pumpkin drawing skills they learned the last two years but showing them how to add value with color.