The Art Project:  Pencil Drawing

This art project is based on Dorothea Lange’s photograph “Migrant Mother”. Most of the best photographs and even artwork is in black and white. With this project we will try to focus on the different values (the many different gray tones between black and white).

MATERIAL NEEDED: Paper, pencil, eraser, scissors, glue and old magazine.


Step 1
Find an old magazine that it is OK to cut pages out of it.

Step 2
Look for black and white photographs in the magazine. Choose one that is simple and you like.

Step 3
Study the picture and notice the different values of grays. Drawing is about seeing, so notice the relationship of the lines as well.

Step 4
Cut the picture if it’s too big or if you want to draw just part of it.

Step 5
Once you have the picture you want to draw, cut it in half. Glue one half to a piece of paper, leaving enough space for you to draw with pencil the missing half of the photograph.

Step 6
Now take your pencil and start drawing with very light lines the missing part of the photograph.(Since this project is mainly about learning to see the values, you may be able to trace the missing photograph by holding under the paper you are going to use to draw, so it joins the photo part that is glued already. By holding it against a window during the day, you see the picture lightly and you can draw the main lines of the photograph piece. A glass table with a light under can also work.)

Step 7
Notice the lightest parts of the picture and the darkest parts of the pictures. Slowly, (almost in a circle motion, not lines) shade the lightest parts of the drawing first (Note: You may not even need to shade in some areas if they are really white due to highlights).

Step 8
Shade the medium parts of the photograph and then the darkest. Use the eraser very softly so as not to damage the paper if you need to.

Step 9
When finished with the drawing you can use hair spray as a fixative so it will not smudge.




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