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For this assignment we watch Double Indemnity during class. I pause it on scenes with large shapes for about 10min. Students must draw quickly, avoid using line, and not be distracted by details.

The goal of the assignment is to accurately observe and describe the values in each scene.

Use the side of your compressed charcoal to cover large areas quickly.

Observe in each scene the lightest and darkest values. Only values that are white will be described by the bare paper. Your gonna use lots of charcoal to get the many grays to blacks in each scene.

A paused scene.

A paused scene.

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships.

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships.

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships

Another scene. Don't worry about those panels behind him, just focus on the values.

Another scene. Don't worry about those panels behind him, just focus on the values.

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships

Keeping it simple, avoiding outlines, examining value relationships

There were subtle value relationships in this scene.

There were subtle value relationships in this scene.

Great value observation especially as the head relates to the backgroundv.

Great value observation especially as the head relates to the backgroundv.

Great value observation especially as the head relates to the backgroundv.

Great value observation especially as the head relates to the backgroundv.

Look at the negative space between them! Start with that!

Look at the negative space between them! Start with that!

Using negative space to set up the composition.

Using negative space to set up the composition.

Adding more values.

Adding more values.

Adding more values.

Adding more values.

Finished example.

Finished example.

Finished example.

Finished example.

Finished example.

Finished example.

Finished example.

This is a fun lesson for learning to observe values and how they relate to each other within a composition.

We usually do about 10+ scenes during class.

  • Newsprint
  • Compressed charcoal
  • A film noir