STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space

Students create a colourful still life by drawing three to four objects of different sizes, shapes and textures. They use coloured pencils to colour the main part of the composition, and add a soft watercolour background.

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 10

Subject

Visual Arts

Vocabulary

balance composition contour drawing depth harmony horizon line light source overlapping shape space still life texture

Materials

Pencils Still Life Objects Water Containers Coloured Pencils Watercolour Paints Paint Brushes Crayola Marker and Watercolour Paper

Steps

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step One

Step One

Choose 3 objects, small, medium and large. Each object should be different in height, shape, texture and colour. At least two objects should overlap and sit on different planes. Arrange them in a composition that would fit into a triangular shape. 

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step Two

Step Two

Create a contour drawing of the objects.

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step Three

Step Three

Add details to the contour drawing. Draw in the horizon line, also known as the eye level line. The placement of this line tells the viewer that the objects are either slightly above the viewer's eye level, right at the viewer's eye level or slightly below the viewer's eye level. The composition will be most effective if you place the horizon line either one-third or two-thirds of the way up from the bottom of the page.

 

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step Four

Step Four

Look for areas where the light hits the objects and draw them in lightly with a pencil. Choose coloured pencils to work with. Blend colours light to dark, following the light source. Use analogous colours in the objects to create an sense of depth, for example, yellow-orange, orange, and red-orange. 

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step Five

Step Five

Colour the shadows with a grey coloured pencil. Use dark grey closest to the objects. As you get further away from the objects the grey gets lighter. Always follow the light source. 

STILL LIFE WITH COLOURED PENCILS – Form, Colour, Space - Step Six

Step Six

The last step is to paint a very light wash with a large flat brush. Colours should not be too bright or compete with the colours in the objects. 

Learning Goals

      Students will be able to:

  1. Create a still life drawing using coloured pencils and a watercolour wash background;
  2. Use three objects to create a variety of textures, size and colour;
  3. Use placement of objects to create a sense of balance;
  4. Use overlapping to create a sense of depth;
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  6. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Have students research the history of still life paintings and then create a different still life using torn construction paper.
  2. Have students design a displayof the still lifes that includes the finished works and the objects.

Prepare

  1. Download images of still life paintings and drawings from the Internet. 
    Fruit
    Objects
    Jars
    Drawing
    Cezanne
  2. Gather books about still life, for example, Still Life (Big Series Art), by Norbert Schneider, Still Life (Taschen Basic Art), by Gian Casper Bott, In Art: Still Life (Enjoying Great Art), by Deirdre K. Fuller
  3. Collect many objects such as fruit, bottles and plants and encourage students to bring in interesting objects to be used in their work.

Introduction

  1. Analyse one of Cezanne's still life paintings, for example,
    Cezanne
  2. Discuss the use of space in arranging still life objects. 
  3. Demonstrate how to arrange objects in a triangular composition.
  4. Encourage students to try a variety of objects in different compositions.
  5. Allow students time to practice drawing various objects.
  6. Observe students as they work and provide assistance with placement of objects and the light source.
  7. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a still life drawing using coloured pencils and a watercolour wash background.
  2. Use three objects to create a variety of textures, size and colour.
  3. Use placement of objects to create a sense of balance.
  4. Use overlapping to create a sense of depth.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Guide students through the steps in this lesson.
  2. Encourage them to try at least three compositions before deciding on the one they will draw.
  3. Observe students as they work and encourage them to look at their work from a distance during the process. Remind them to:
    - keep a consistent light source and shadows
    - keep objects in a triangular composition
    - think of colour combinations they will use
    - think about how they can use line and colour to create implied texture
  4. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Once all drawings are complete display them for a group discussion. Remind students of the challenge.
  2. During the discussion include reference to:
    placement of objects
    - triangular composition
    - illusion of depth
    - implied texture
    - colour schemes

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - STILL_LIFE_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - STILL_LIFE_self-assessment.pdf)