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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Neon & Graphite Drawing

Created on November 24, 2021 by ArtisticTouch

Students will create a neon and graphite self-portrait drawing inspired by the work of Niki Pilkington.

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Students will create a neon and graphite self-portrait drawing inspired by the work of Niki Pilkington.

Artistic focus is placed on value, texture, color, contrast, repetition, proportion, scale, unity, realism and creativity.

Necessary Materials:

-Drawing paper 18" x 24"
-Graphite Pencils
-Neon Gel Pens
-Pencil and eraser
-Resource images printed 5” x 7”

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Students will begin this project by determining an appropriate reference image - the image should be printed as a 5” x 7” image in black and white.

Once the image is printed, the photo and drawing paper both need to be gridded to assist in drawing in correct scale and proportion. With both items gridded, students will take an H pencil to lightly sketch the outline of their portrait. While they sketch their outline, students will determine what area they would like to feature with Neon gel pens. (The area that is featured with neon color should not exceed 50% of the entire drawing).

After students have completed the outline sketch, they will work with graphite pencils to begin adding value and visual texture to their portrait; students will need to frequently reference their inspiration photo while they add graphite to their drawing. When the drawing is complete, a full range of value (0-100%) should be evident.

Important Artistic Tips:

-Building value with graphite pencils is a slow process; it is important to use soft pressure initially and understand the letter coding on the graphite pencils.

-Students want to remember that working at a slower, careful pace allows for less errors to be made.

-When adding the neon color, consider a graphic design approach; in other words, what pattern can you use to be able to apply the neon color to your drawing?

Artist Inspiration: Niki Pilkington

Contemporary Art, Realism

Rhythm/Pattern, Emphasis, Line, Balance, Color/Value, Contrast, Proportion/Size, Shape, Texture, Unity/Harmony, Variety

Drawing, Graphite, Ink, Pencil