An assignment my students seemed to really enjoy was creating these warm value scales and then painting paper lanterns cast in light and shadow. We worked on black heavy paper. I hung clip lights from a chain of metal hangars that hung onto the drop ceiling frame to get some dramatic lighting...as dramatic as it would let me. Art teachers can never throw anything away. I've saved the paper lanterns in a tray deep in my closet. Here are some samples of student work.
And of course I get students who SEE differently! Isn't this really interesting? This artist was terribly focused and, initially, quite proud. When he saw it hanging next to the others he became puzzled but was truly unable to express what it was that troubled him. He really could not discern what he had done differently from the rest of the class.
Do we need more realism? Or is this way of seeing a gift? Is it a problem?
That goes to the heart of my teaching...