This project was done with colored pencils and 12x18 Pacon brand construction paper. I have used both the Peacock and Tru-Ray and love them both. The paper is super smooth and the colored pencils show up beautifully.
Prior to beginning this project we reviewed shading/value techniques. Students were given a 1/2 sheet of black construction paper to practice creating a change in value with varying amounts of pressure on the colored pencil. They practiced value scales, value "tornadoes" (my name for mini value scales starting dark to light), and making lines and shapes "glow".