Floating Forms

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In the 7th Grade classes we spoke about Shape and Forms, Light and Shadows and Value, Chiaroscuro and Lighting in Art. The main topic was about creating the sense of volume and depth on a 2-dimensional surface. We analyzed the topic of shadows with the light source, the cast and the form shadow and how to draw three different kinds of Chiaroscuro. All these topics were summarized in a mixed media painting with “floating forms”.

First we drew the form shadows on some solids. You can draw the solids but you can also buy the template of these solids in a printable pdf format here below.

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We choose the source of light (up left) and then we drew the form shadows. We used three different ways of shading drawing three kinds of Chiaroscuro: shading changing the pressure of the pencil, crosshatching and scumbling.

After that we painted a value scale of a color on a drawing sheet. We used tempera paint, starting from the lighter color ( big amount of white with a small amount of a pure color). Then we added the pure color a little at a time, painting fast with flat paintbrushes and mixing the colors on the paper, before they dry. In the last part of value scale we added a small amount of black, in order to obtain darker colors.

When the painted background was dry we cut out the shaded forms and we paste them on the painting randomly. The visual effect would be as if the forms in the painting seem to float or fall slowly from above.

In the last step of this mixed media work we drew the cast shadows on the white surface below the solids.


Shading Forms: 3 worksheets

Video Tutorial: Van Gogh at My Place


2 thoughts on “Floating Forms”

  1. Hello, I purchased these last year, but haven’t used them b/c the size looks smaller on the document than in the example here. Can you instruct me on how to print these? Do you resize them when you print? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Kat. I think the drawing paper is bigger than an A4 standard sheet of paper. It’s 33x24cm, so the forms seem smaller. Anyway, I think you can print the file with a lower percentage: you can set the percentage (size of print) on your printer software. It depends on your printer’s setting


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