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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Yarn Drawing

Created on August 31, 2016 by MCoheaHSArt

Teaches composition, contour line, shading and texture to beginning art students by drawing from direct observation. Students drop a length of yarn onto a table and using a viewfinder find a pleasing composition to draw. Focus on the lines the yarn makes on the table and use the edges of the cardboard viewfinder to accurately plot the contour lines. Shading and texture add to this art work.

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2 sessions; 40 minutes per session

SWBAT compose an image using a viewfinder
SWBAT accurately plot contour lines
SWBAT Quickly create large areas of shadow.
SWBAT create 2 varieties of texture.

1. yarn cut into 3-4 foot lengths.
2. cardboard viewfinder (-this is just two 2"X8" paper strips taped together to make a right angle)
3. drawing paper
4. 2b and 4b graphite pencils

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. take a length of yarn and drop it into a loose pile on the desktop surface. Make sure the yarn color strongly contrasts to the value of the table surface.
2. using two right angle paper viewfinders, orange them so that they are the same shape as your drawing paper dimensions and lake them over the yarn pile in a pleasing composition. (photo attached).
3. Using the visual edges of the viewfinder to plot the position of the yarn, carefully copy the contour lines of the yarn.
4. Shade an overall contrast of the table to the yarn using a gestural shading method.
5. Using hatch marks create the texture of the wood on the table.
6 Shade the yard so that the strand look like they are over and under each other.

Students will fill out and exit slip with the following questions.
1. How did using the viewfinder help you to plot your contour lines.
Were you able to successfully create the texture of the yarn and the texture of the table?
What is another way you could have made this picture? (ex. white pencil on a black paper, charcoal...)

"Drawing on the Right side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards

This art exercise gives beginning students a quick success -learning to capture contour lines. It helps them to move mentally from symbolically drawing what they "think" is supposed to be there, to drawing what their eyes actually see.
Drawing the dark table also helps them to perceive the value of shading, and the ability to create a large amount of shading in a short amount of time (gestural method of shading).


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[9-12 Proficient] Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems


Color/Value, Contrast, Line, Texture