Micrographic Art Project Instructions
Optional Project- Sounding Off With Micrographic Art
For ease of classroom management with diverse learners and younger
students these step by step instructions are given in this document. The students still
have a lot of options to choose from (including topic, subject matter words and phrases,
and color). The best examples of micrographic art I found were at this link:
http://gawno.com/2009/05/micrography-text-art-and-typography/. (Warning: Most of the
examples on this site are excellent, but a few are inappropriate for the classroom.
Copy the appropriate works to a portable drive (at home) for use in the classroom. Make
sure you scroll all the way down the site to find the best examples- a few of the
examples were not loading up. Print and run off copies of this art style example for
student use in the classroom. ).
After the Interview and Ranking Activities, you and a partner will discuss and
study the examples of micrographic art that your teacher copied for you. Discuss what
messages you think the artists were trying to communicate in each artwork. Pick a world
or global issue that you would like to address in this project. A good artist is a well
informed artist. You will research this topic or concern to obtain facts and information to
support your views. This information should be kept in a project folder. You will then
search for reference images (on the computer or in magazines) that might be used in a
work of art that communicates your viewpoint. Keep these image(s) in your folder too.
Do not collect and save images that are blurry, in low contrast, or small in size. Low
contrast images can be scanned into a computer and manipulated with photography
software if needed. Small images can be enlarged on a photocopier. Complete the Art
Project Plan and Checklist Form using the Art Project Map and Rubric for the Art Project
to guide you.
Now you are ready to plan out your composition. Limit the number of images that
you use (most of my students only used one). Photos must be clear (high contrast) and
in black or white (or large enough to photocopy).
Use your research articles, dictionary, and thesaurus to write down some key
phrases and words that will help communicate your views in your art work. The use of
specific word and phrase content along with the right images will invoke a desired
response from your viewers.
Now you can plan out your composition using all your reference material. Is the
composition eye catching? Does it send a clear message or invoke a specific response?
Did you make good use of positive and negative space? Does the distribution of light
and dark values work effectively to move your eyes around the composition?
If the drawing subject(s) presents a difficult challenge, you may use a grid to help
draw in the outlines. Draw lightly in pencil to start. After your contour drawing (coloring
book style rendering) is finished, you will move on to the next step. Carefully add some
light inside guidelines that define the forms. These lines will also help guide you with
your writing. Advanced or older students will use guidelines that gradually progress from
narrow to wide. Your task is to use words to determine values by increasing or
decreasing the concentration of letters in an area. Words can be written with stencils in
some areas. This type of art is described as micrographic. It is similar to a pen and ink
drawing that uses stipple to determine the value of an area by increasing or decreasing
the concentration of dots in an area. Perhaps your teacher will let you study the
Before you begin, study the rubric for the final evaluation of this project. Start by
studying your black and white reference photographs or photocopied references. With a
pencil, begin in the darkest areas of your composition (using smaller letters) by tightly
concentrating the phrases, words, and letters into this area of low value. Work your way
Micrographic Art Project Instructions
to lighter values by gradually decreasing the concentration of your letters, words, and
phrases and gradually increasing the size of the type. All lines, shading, and values
must be created by letters. When you are finished with this step, or when you feel
comfortable, switch to your pen and begin working in ink. The final project will be
completely rendered in ink. Colored inks may be used.
Optional- students can then add light watercolor washes. I only suggest this to
students if I think their artwork will be enhanced by this step. Students must test the
color value before applying paints to the project. The teacher should demonstrate how to
make tints with watercolor paints.