Art Class Lesson Plan

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Art Class Lesson Plan Powered By Docstoc
“SA Artists” Meetup Group (
             Jesse Alonzo – November 2009


     1. Background:
     I’ve been drawing since I was fifteen. I have no college level art
     training. My formal training is limited to my own personal studies
     and my studies in high school mostly under my favorite art teacher
     Mrs. Frey at Roosevelt High School. I’ve done lots of drawing but
     never considered it as a profession since my work has been in other
     areas besides fine art. I think though that my experiences in the
     military (9 years USAF) and current profession as an
     environmental engineer has taken me places and enhanced my
     drawing experience.

     2. Class Overview:
     Drawing is fundamental to all many of the fine arts – painting,
     sculpting, etc. While I have experience with drawing I’m not a
     painter or sculptor. This class will cover basic drawing techniques
     that I have developed over time for drawing from things in real
     life or photographs (my own photos or significantly changed stock
     photos). Going through all this properly would probably take a long
     time (like years). I know you all want to get down business and this
     is a basic class so we’re going to go over it quickly (approximately ½
     hour) and maybe do some quick practice so you have an introduction
     to the basic elements.

     3. Style:
     I don’t know if the process or style I use has a formal name but I
     call it “FREEFORM” or “NATURAL” drawing. That is, I do not
     advocate the use of grids (but some scaling is necessary),
     projections, or “direct copying” techniques. While the drawing
     process I use is my own, the basic elements are for the most part
     universal. I’ve tried to include all of the elements that need to be
      4. Class Project:
      Today we’ll be working on a still-life drawing. There are certainly
      many other subjects to be studied such as humans/animals,
      landscapes/nature, architecture/buildings, materials, etc. We’ll
      start with a simple still-life arrangement which I hope will
      encompass many of the fundamental elements of drawing.

      5. Objective:
      I certainly don’t claim to be an expert with all these elements and
      continue to learn from people and books that specialize in certain
      techniques and methods as I create new works. My objective is to
      pass on what I’ve learned from my teachers, personal studies, and

      6. “Class Rules”:
      There are no major rules for this class. Setup where and how you
      feel comfortable. Come and go as you please. The format will be
      loose so feel free to ask questions. Many of you are accomplished
      artists so this may be a review. Please feel free to add any
      pointers you may have as we go along today. Let me know if you
      need anything.


      1. Choose a Subject
            a. Objects
            b. Figures
            c. Landscapes
            d. Combination

      2. Observe Subject(s)
           a. Shapes: Break down into basic shapes (cones, spheres,
              cylinders, etc.)
           b. Light: Notice how the light falls on the subject matter
           c. Positive and Negative Space
           d. Relation of Objects/Parts
           e. Mental picture of the composition
           f. Details
    3. Draw Outline Shapes/Forms
          a. Draw Positive Shapes/Forms
          b. Use/Draw Negative Space

    4. Fill In
           a. Shading
                  i. Block In
                 ii. Refined Shading
                iii. Rough High Lights

          b. Final Highlights/Shading
                 i. Darker Tones Define Materiality
                ii. Crisp Highlights Define Form

    5. Finishing Touches
          a. Look All Around (e.g., Left-Right, Top-Bottom, Spiral)
          b. Make adjustments
          c. Clean up (with eraser, add final touches, etc.)
          d. Crop
                  i. Final Sizing (pick a size)
                 ii. Matting
                iii. Framing


    1. Tools: The tools you should have if you are to pursue drawing
       seriously are as follows:

          i. Pencils:
              I. Hardness scale: 9H,…3H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, …9B
             II. Types
                      a. Wooden
                      b. Mechanical
                      c. Pencil Lead Holders
                      d. Graphite Sticks
                      e. Sharpeners: Handheld, auto, pointers
ii. Erasers:
     I. Kneaded
    II. Pencil Type
             a. Retractable
             b. Peel-Off
   III. Soft Rubber
             a. Triangle-shaped
             b. Rectangle-shaped

iii. Straight Edge/Angles/Measuring
      I. 45°-45°-90°
     II. 30°-60°-90°
    III. T-Square
     IV. Metal Ruler (with non-slip cork strip)
      V. Yardstick

iv. Drawing Surfaces & Easels
     I. Drawing Boards
             a. Pressed wood (thin w/handles & clips)
             b. Drafting boards w/straight edges
             c. Drawing/Drafting Tables w/inclined surface

    II. Easels
            a. Table-top
            b. Free standing

v. Paper/Board
    I. Drawing Tablets/Books
           a. Large (e.g., 18” x 24”)
           b. Small (e.g., 8.5” x 11”)
           c. Extra Small (e.g., 5.5” x 8”)

    II. Sheet Paper/Board
            a. Paper (various weights)
            b. Paper Board
2. Shading – Light & Shadow (aka, Chiaroscuro): A critical element
   in drawing is representing light and shadow. There are certain
   shading techniques are utilized to achieve the illusion of 3-
   dimensional form on 2-dimensional surfaces. There is also a
   division (or range) of light and shadow that should be
   understood but not necessarily memorized and can become

       i. Shading Techniques
           I. Hatch/Cross-hatch
          II. Smudging/Rubbing

      ii. Range of Light & Shadow
           I. Highlight
          II. Light
         III. Shadow
          IV. Core Shadow
           V. Reflected Light
          VI. Cast Shadow

3. Perspective: Perspective is what allows a drawing to most
   accurately represent a three-dimensional object on a two-
   dimensional surface. It includes:

       i.    Foreshortening
      ii.    Sizing
     iii.    Spacing
     iv.     Linear perspective
               I. One Point Perspective
             II. Two-Point Perspective
            III. Three-Point Perspective

This subject matter is very advanced and must be studied and
practiced. For this course we will discuss it briefly but will use a
more intuitive approach in this introductory drawing session.
4. Materiality: I’ve seen this grouped with other elements such as
   shading or perspective but I think it is so crucial that it
   deserves separate treatment.

5. Composition: The composition of a drawing really depends on the
   type of drawing (still-life, figure, landscape, etc.). A few of the
   fundamental elements to consider are as follows:

        i.   Geometry (e.g., circular, rectangular, triangular)
       ii.   Light/Shadow (how the light falls on the subject)
      iii.   Position (where objects are positioned in the piece)
      iv.    Pattern (e.g., repeating, symmetrical, irregular)

6. Tips/Tricks: Here are some miscellaneous tips and tricks that
   I’ve picked up through my experience.
         i. Draw at a time when you feel most alert and relaxed
        ii. Listen to music
      iii. Draw “what you see” not what you think you see! Take
            time to look at the object or photo. (At first you may
            spend more time looking at the object than at your
       iv. Use tracing paper to cover parts that you are not working
            on to avoid unintentional smudging
        v. Use dividers to “scale up” a drawing (e.g., one thing is 3
            times larger than another)
       vi. Work in a place with good lighting – artificial light (lamps)
            or natural light
      vii. Practice - draw as often as possible and as wide a range
            of subjects as possible
     viii. Draw through – draw lightly through to the other side
      ix. Make “thumbnail sketches” for complex drawings
        x. Fill the space (background, vignette, shading, etc.)
      xi. Continue to study the elements of drawing (books,
            classes, etc.)

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