Animal Value Drawings

The Elementary Art Students really impressed me with their Animal Value Drawings this week. For some students, it was the first time they had ever drawn.


We started by talking about value and looking at the different kinds of light on a round object. We quickly practiced drawing a round object to make it look dimensional.

I then passed out black and white photos of animals and some vine charcoal. Some students brought in their own photos. The students started by lightly drawing an outline of the animal’s basic shapes.

We then toned the entire animal medium gray with vine charcoal.

After that, we squinted at the photos to see the dark and light areas. We added the dark areas focusing on the shapes of the areas and not the lines.


We then talked about where the light was coming from and we erased the lighter areas.

Finally, we sparingly added white highlights.


We had a lot of fun and created some great art work:




Zentangle Hands – Middle School Art Class

In our Middle School class we learned about Line Technique to create 3 D dimension and texture.

We started the lesson by giving each student a sketchbook. We looked at examples of sketchbooks and how they can be used (although there are no rules!). Each week we will take a few minutes to copy what we are learning into our sketchbook and to practice. During the week, the students are encouraged to mark it up and bring in whatever they have created to the next class to share if they feel comfortable doing so.

Hatching, cross hatching, and other line techniques:

Line can be used to apply tone (light and shadow) to a drawing. This can be done by altering the:

  • Gap between the lines
  • Lightness / darkness of the line
  • Thickness of the line

There are many line techniques that can be used to create tone. Common techniques include:

  • Small dashes
  • Hatching (long, parallel lines on an angle)
  • Cross-hatching (parallel lines at right angles)
  • Stippling (dots)
  • Scribbles
  • Small crosses
  • Small circles

The angle that these techniques are applied may remain constant within a drawing, or it may change in response to the angle and direction of the forms.

Application: 3 D hand drawings

We started by practicing different line patterns that we use to create different effects in our art journals. Please have your student bring these to each lesson and we will add to the journals as we go. They are also encouraged to mark-up their journals during the week and bring them in to share what they have created in class.

We practiced line by creating 3D hand drawings.We added a cool background to our hands and warm colors on the hands to make them look even more dimensional.

We then drew  Zentangle hands.


Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art. We looked at how you can create different textures by using different lines.

Take it Home:

Each student was given a sketchbook. Each week we will add a new art concept to the sketchbook. The students are encouraged to mark it up during the week applying what we talked about in class and whatever may inspire them during the week.

Zentangle Hands

Zentangle Hands

JLEL9258 JLEL9261 JLEL9263