Art at the Library: February 10th


Materials: Assorted pencils for shading ( sets sold in an art store with 6H, 4H, 2H, B, 2B, 4B, and 6B, eraser. ALSO, students need to bring 3 objects from home that they value. (Nothing dangerous, if your child is having trouble thinking of something, brainstorm with them about a vacation or a favorite place they might have something from. Maybe something they received as an award. Try to have at least one thing that has some volume to it (a sea shell, rock, trophy, etc. vs. a certificate or ribbon that is flat).


This lesson is all about visual communication, drawing from life and perspective.Still Life drawing

Step by Step: Introduce lesson with power point: Drawing from Life and why it’s an important skill for everyone


  1. Set it up: Get a white piece of fabric, a small lamp, and your 3 objects. Arrange a composition, thinking about how light affects the objects, where highlights and shadows are created, and what you want the focus to be.
  2. Take a picture: Because we are humans and we make mistakes, it’s always good to have a backup plan just in case our objects fall over, we don’t finish, or you move your drawing position too much over time. It’s important to look at the angles of the objects to one another when you are drawing from life, and the picture is our fail-safe if something happens.
  3. Draw: A few good rules of thumb include: GENERAL to SPECIFIC and Start LIGHT until you know it’s RIGHT. Map out the places of your objects first. then shapes of shadows, and use your drawing pencils from high number H’s to High number B’s. For example, 6H is the lightest in a pencil set usually and 6B is usually the darkest before an Ebony pencil.
  4. Additional tips: I like to have a white eraser that I can cut to make sharp so I can go back to make my highlights really bright on objects (especially for objects that have reflections!) Also if you are smearing or smudging your artwork as you get darker pencils, you can put a clean piece of paper under your hand as you work, you can put on a utility glove (if you have one) or you can cut/poke a thumb hole and pointer finger hole into a zip-lock bag. It sounds dumb and looks funny, but it works! When the work of art is completed, ALWAYS spray graphite or charcoal with a workable fixative to keep from smudging or getting discolored over time.

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