first factor in a true art lesson is choosing the basic equipment with
which you are most comfortable. There are a variety of pencils, paper,
chalks, and charcoals available. For younger children, you might wish
start with a large pencil that is easy for little hands to grasp. For
mature artists, choose a black pastel chalk in pencil form or a
art pencil. Graphite pencils are soft and hard. A soft pencil makes a
line than the soft pencils. Charcoal pencils generally come in hard,
and soft. Experiment with the textures of different papers. Different
of paper and pencil grade will produce effects that are quite varied.
either the pencil or the chalk, you will want an eraser. For pencil,
usual soft rubber pink or white eraser works fine. For chalk and
drawings, the suitable eraser is a kneaded rubber gray square.
To begin, try
drawing. First, arrange a few items on a table. Looking at the items
and the paper less, attempt to sketch just the outer lines of the
as if you were moving your fingertip along the outside edges of each
Do not shade in at this point. Just concentrate on the outlines. Next,
try another contour drawing, but use a softer or blunter pencil this
Compare the two drawings. Notice the change in the thickness of the
when you changed pencils.
enjoyed using the most, draw the contour of the items a third way. This
time, scribble the outline in short strokes. You can vary the strokes
short straight lines to circular patterns. This type of drawing is a
freer. It encourages spontaneity. And it seems to add depth to the
Remember that younger children enjoy scribbling. This is good practice
in eye/hand coordination. Don’t push for perfectly straight lines on
contour drawings. Praise the process! Try to avoid the temptation to
to” or “fix” a child’s drawing. Help the child observe the items on the
table and capture them in his or her drawing as an individual and
effort. There is not a “right” result. As children mature and hand
improves, the nature of the art work may also develop and change. Let
happen naturally and enjoy watching!
artist: Concentrate on observation. The idea
to experience what is seen and transform it kinesthetically (through
of the hand) into another form or perception. Experiment with
in holding the drawing utensil. It is natural to grip the pencil as you
would when you are writing. But also try holding the pencil,
or charcoal as an orchestra conductor holds a baton. The variation will
produce a different type of stroke.
Art as a
Cross-Curriculum Teaching Tool: Because art
the student to be more aware, i.e. to see and notice more, it is a
companion to other lessons. For example, choose items to draw that tie
in with other subject lessons. If you are studying the four food
use a banana, apple, and orange as your table items. If you are reading
a literature assignment that described the leaves on a particular tree
or a grassy knoll, create a table arrangement of those items. To
expand the theme, try a creative writing paper that compares the
to how the author might have envisioned the scene when s/he wrote the
Choose an artist to study. Check out a library book about that artist.
Visit an art museum to see the artist’s work.