Art Lesson Plan: Shattered Values - Pencil Shading

Shattered Values

Submitted by: Marianne Galyk
UNIT: Drawing - Values - Pencil Shading
Lesson: Shattered Images Value Study
Grade Level: High School - adaptable to Middle School (Elementary adaptation)

(Adapted from a lesson by Ken Vieth in his book From Ordinary To Extraordinary)



Understanding of

  • Values

  • Repeated patterns

  • Grids and enlargement

  • Cubism


Click images for larger views


pencil value drawing      pencil value drawing



Examples of cubist works - also see lesson plan on Crayola Portfolios series



1. Have students select a subject and produce a contour line drawing. Limit the size of this drawing to fit a 5 X 8 inch (12.7 x 20.3 cm) piece of paper. Encourage students to choose a single object such as a car, insect, person’s face, fish, etc. Subject could be taken from a magazine photo.

2. When student has drawn their image, lay the transparency grid over the image and demonstrate to the students how to enlarge their image to 2x its original size using the grid method.

3. At this time, show the students examples of cubist works by Braque and Picasso, and give background on the movement.


Prints of Braque and Picasso

4. After you have given the students this information, have them figure out a way to break up/divide their image in a linear way before value is added. Give them examples of shattered glass, waves of water, spiral of a seashell, or geometrical division of shapes such as squares or triangles. These new lines will overlap the enlarged drawing of their subject. This will make their initial line drawing more visually complicated. The effect is to create many more shapes, like a giant puzzle.

5. Have students create two value scales, one in divided squares, and another which is graded evenly from black to white.

6. Have the students experiment with filling the shapes in their image with a range of black to grey. Have them look at each shape and decide which area should start with the richest black and which should be the lightest gray.

7. Have students fill the entire paper with values including both the positive shapes and the negative background shapes.

8. Class critique - relate finished work to cubist work studied.

9. Optional - have student do same composition in color. See example.


Student Handout:

Shattered Values Assignment

(Adapted from a lesson by Ken Vieth in the book From Ordinary To Extraordinary)..

1. Select a subject of which you can make a contour line drawing. Focus on a single object, such as a car, insect, person or fish.

2. Enlarge that subject to fit 12" X 18" inch (30.5 x 46 cm) paper using the grid method.

3. "Shatter" the subject in some way by breaking it up with lines or shapes or patterns of some sort. These lines will overlap your first drawing. (There are numerous methods you could use…be creative. Think of various ways that lines break up objects: shattered glass, wavy lines of water, spiral lines as seen on a snail shell, geometrical divisions of shapes.) The objective is to create more shapes in your drawing, like a giant puzzle. (Look at examples of Cubism for inspiration.)

4. Create two value scales on the worksheet with Ebony pencil. One will be divided into separate grays in the boxes, and one will be a blended value scale from black to white in the long box.

5. In your drawing, focus on each individual shape you have created, and apply the entire range of value (from black to light gray) in each shape. Proceed from shape to shape, deciding which part should be the richest black and which should be the lightest gray. Sometimes you may want to alternate from one shape to the next. You may also want to vary the direction of your shading inside your object from that outside your object in order to emphasize it.

6. Fill the entire paper with values, including positive shapes of the object and negative background shapes.

7. Critique your work. Compare and contrast to cubist work studied.


Assessment - Rubric:


Assessment Rubric

Student Name:

Lesson: Shattered Values - shading with pencils

Class Period:

Circle the number in pencil that best shows how well you feel that you completed that criterion for the assignment.




Needs Improvement

Rate Yourself

Teacher’s Rating

Criteria 1 – Student chose an appropriate subject to draw and successfully enlarged that drawing using the grid method.


9 – 8


6 or less

Criteria 2 – Student understands the concept of value in art, and can use a pencil to express a full range of values from black to light gray. Completed drawing shows that range.


9 – 8


6 or less

Criteria 3 – Student used creativity to "shatter" the drawing in order to create new shapes over the original. Filled these shapes with value in an interesting way that enhanced the original subject.


9 – 8


6 or less

Criteria 4 – Effort: took time to develop idea & complete project? (Didn’t rush.) Good use of class time?


9 – 8


6 or less

Criteria 5 – Craftsmanship – Neat, clean & complete? Skillful use of the art tools & media?


9 – 8


6 or less

Total: 50

(possible points)


Your Total

Teacher Total


Student Comments:


Teacher Comments:


Student Worksheet:

Name _______________________________ Date ______________ Period _______



1. Use Ebony pencil to create 10 values going from black to white with 8 grays in-between in the boxes below.

Value Scale



Black White

2. Use Ebony pencil to create 10 values blending smoothly from black to white with 8 grays in-between in the box below.

Blended Value Scale

Black White


National Standards:

1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

2. Using knowledge of structures and functions

4. Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

5. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks

Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art

Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art

Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works


Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions

Students describe the function and explore the meaning of specific art objects within varied cultures, times, and places

Students describe meanings of artworks by analyzing how specific works are created and how they relate to historical and cultural contexts


Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems

Students analyze relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture, justifying conclusions made in the analysis and using such conclusions to inform their own art making

Students reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art


Elementary Shattered Values - Submitted by Jan Hiller - Grade 5

Students trace their hands 3 times, overlapping is fine. Then they draw 3-5 lines from one side of the paper to another, breaking up the largest spaces. The students shade each space with colored pencils. I encourage my students to figure out their own 'rule' for shading - for example, darkest towards the middle of the page or darkest towards the bottom. Then they pick out a color group and shade! We start this early in the year and keep it available to work on as other projects are completed - instead of 'free art.' (from post to Art Education list serve 9/1/05)



Add to or Comment on this Page:

More To Explore