pairings: teaching tone

we begin with a high quality black and white digital image that shows a wide range or grey scale, tones, and dimensional volume. students use a scale of 1 to 10 with variations to mark the scale of tones on the images. these are circled in red, above.
we work in thumbnails. 2" x 3" moving from contour, to numerical tone maps to charcoal thumbnails of the drapery. we use small view finders made from note cards to frame our views and mark our place. once a view is decided, we work for two full studios and a night drawing the drapery as we see it. the variation from student to student is amazing.


from these large drawings, each student focuses on spatial aspects that they discover in their work. light, translucency, layers, shadows, landscape, valleys, air, water, cuts, scars, crevices, canyons, solids, voids and so on. they make new drawings from their imagination. we talk about what they see in them.
we evaluate our new variations. we write and then we translate to three dimensions. each student isolates an aspect of this drawing that has a special interest: a cut that creates a silhouette or form in the drawing that can be explored as occupied space. we make the next variation: a 5" x 8" note card model. 

and then we study the model's effects in light, using our cameras, the sun, and other light sources. we change our point of view and imagine we are very small. we notice the variations, the effects that a line "as a cut" can make when coupled with light. we look at the shadows. we count the scales of dark tones and light tones, just as we began. and we end with a photo series.

student work from common first year,  Georgia Institute of Technology School of Architecture. 2011