Drawing with Phillip Martin
Lesson Plan
Learner Outcomes:
Understand that colors can be transparent and opaque
Realize that color can be used as a perspective tool
Realize that the contrast of value causes the eye movement over a picture
Appreciate line is used to represent the world around us
Understand that positive and negative space is used to enhance aesthetics
Realize that overlapping is a way of showing perspective
Appreciate that texture is used to enhance realism
Appreciate that texture is used to enhance aesthetics
25 ink pens
25 black colored pencils
2 sets of quality colored pencils
25 art erasers
25 rulers
Transparent, Opaque, Perspective, Value, Line, Positive and Negative Space, Texture, Overlapping
In this lesson students experiment with three different techniques for drawing. For each of them, they complete a small drawing. Then, they select one technique for a larger finished drawing. I give the students several periods to experiment with a technique before starting each rendering. They may do the same drawing for all of the activities (and it would make for a very interesting project). However, if they prefer to do different drawings, that is also permitted.

Helpful hint: This project takes a long time. It may be better to have the students do three finished smaller drawings and skip the larger final piece.

To begin the process, create a grid over the print out or photocopy you plan to illustrate. (If the students have never done this, I suggest this lesson be the first step. It is a valuable skill.) The smallest side of the grid should have eight to twelve boxes. After the grid is created, produce a proportional grid on half of an A4 sheet, as large as you can to fit the shape of your picture. If you plan to do the same drawing three times, you only have to make one grid. If you choose to do different drawings, you'll need to produce a grid for each. When the grid drawing is complete, trace it onto quality paper to begin your first project.

Inking Unlike dipping a pen into ink, this project is much less messy. Students use a regular ball point pen. Don't press hard. Use light strokes of the pen. The effect is very soft and beautiful as seen in the rose at the top of this page. Click here to see a larger version. It's so beautiful!

Trace the drawing onto your quality paper. (If you have light boards for tracing, that is magnificent! I usually send kids to the classroom windows or the overhead projector. Hmmm . . . why does my overhead project light burn out quicker than other teacher's lamps?) Then, you need to look closely at your research to decide where the darkest and lightest areas are for the artwork. This picture will be rendered completely with hatching and cross-hatching. Lots of cross-hatching! In order for it to really look good, you need to create gradual blending.

Drawing The second project is with Black and White Colored Pencil. (You could buy drawing pencils, but I think it works just as well with regular colored pencils.) Again, trace the grid drawing on to quality drawing paper. Again, plan where the dark and light areas are located. With a regular pencil, gradually shade and lightly color the piece. Note where the dark and light areas are on your research as you color. Try to replicate the research. Add as much detail as possible.

When the drawing is done to satisfaction, it is time to color is with the black colored pencil. Begin by outlining the work as you would see in a coloring book. Then, shade up to the line. You don't want to see the line in your finished piece, but you want the crisp, clean edges that outlining can give you. Remember that you need to have darks and whites as well as all the values in between. If it lacks contrast, your drawing will not have the aesthetic look that it needs. If the drawing does have contrast, it will be as attractive as the bridge scene below. Click here to see a larger version.

Colored Pencils My students thought it was boring to color things twice! Well, I had news for them! Ann Kullberg, the artist who wrote Colored Pencil Portraits, Step by Step, colors ten to fifteen times! Not even I would suggest that students do that, but they are expected to color five times for this project. And, one of her tricks is to color in a small circular motion instead of a straight line. A good colored pencil drawing will require careful observation. Look for highlights and shadows. And, then, use several different values of color. A leaf can have light green and yellow blended into the coloring as well as dark greens and blue. The more colors you blend together, the richer your piece will be. Click here for a close up of the frog in colored pencil.

Helpful hint: It is possible for an entire class to use one or two really good sets of colored pencils for this project. The key is sharing (the "S" word in my class) and the pencil sharpener. A regular wall mounted sharpener or an electric one can eat a pencil in one period. Tell the kids how expensive the pencils are. Instruct them that they can only sharpen them with hand held sharpeners. And, check the box after each period to make sure all the pencils are returned!

Final Project After students have experimented with the three techniques, select one of them to do I a larger, finished A4 size project. Enlarge the drawing with a grid so that it is as accurate as possible, and then begin with the media of choice.


Copyright 2000, revised 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.