Saturday, August 18, 2012

2nd Grade Value Pumpkins

 Last year one of my goals was to really work on achieving a bigger value range with students, starting with 2nd grade. This 2nd grade lesson was definitely more skills-based than creativity-based. The students each drew a pumpkin then followed along as I showed how to use a variety of colors to achieve value.  It was great to see the students concentrating on adding more value on their own in subsequent art projects.
To add color, we worked light to dark starting with white crayon at the top of each section, and working downward, blending each successive color- white, yellow, yellow-orange, orange, pink-orange (there's no "red" in construction paper crayons for some reason.) It is important to color in each section separately and NOT across all at the same time. After the first layer, we went back and added more white at the top following the curve of each section, then blue at the bottom, following the curves up. Next, we added a shadow below the pumpkin. Students who had time were able to add any details they wanted to the background but for some reason I don't have many photos of pumpkins with backgrounds. You'll just have to use your imagination. :)
We used construction paper crayons on purple paper. I'm sure if we had used oil pastels, we would have been able to blend the colors more, but the few times I've used oil pastels with my students, EVERYTHING just ends up dirty. I'm not just talking about messy hands and tables, those I can handle. The oil pastels and the artwork just looks dirty when the little bits of other colors get mixed in. Still, I should probably give oil pastels another shot.


  1. These are beautiful! The kids did a great job using the different values to color in their pumpkins! Construction paper crayons are now my new favorite media. They look great on colored paper and the colors are nice blended together. I used them last year for a lot of projects! :)

  2. These look wonderful! Can you tell me how you watermark your pictures?

    1. I decided to write a blog post about it! I created a custom brush in Photoshop. It saves a lot of time.

  3. Thanks so much! :)

  4. I love construction paper crayons too! These really are lovely. Discovering the highlights, midtones, and shadows of a simple object opens the door to using these skills in more advanced subject matter.

  5. Hi Katie

    I did your lesson plan with the third graders yesterday. Fabulous! This is my first time working with construction paper crayons and I am very pleased with them. Thanks for posting.

  6. I love this lesson plan. I recomended in my blog. Thank you!!