Private Art Lessons: Drawing Basics & Fundamentals

I recently was contacted to teach private art lessons again and was so happy to get to revive one of my passions. I have a new student, Aili, who is in 6th grade and loves to draw. She previously had an art teacher (who moved away) so she has a lot of the fundamentals down and a general understanding of art terms and techniques. The first day of class, we did some contour line drawings using various art materials–and the catch was, every time I said “SWITCH” she had to drop one drawing utensil and pick up another one, continuing her drawing where she left off. We also went over ruffing in our design with a contour line drawing and then going back and fine-tuning it with more defined, variable width and texture lines. Our final drawings were of a still life of found objects I put together. I drew for the last 10 minutes of class with her and we compared our sketches at the end–they were both pretty awesome.

Our second class Aili got some presents (aka Art Supplies) including a hard-box carrying case, a sketchbook and some fine point illustration pens in 3 widths. We focused on different techniques that work well with pen & ink including stipple, hatched lines, cross-hatch, and scribble. We also learned how to transfer outlines from a photograph to drawing paper without having to use tracing paper or a grid. I call it “the cheating method”…and it involves graphite-ing the back of your printed photo image and then centering it on the paper you are to draw on and tracing over the edges and details with a pen. The hardness of the pen tip transfers the graphite on the back of the photo image to the drawing paper lightly enough to easily erase but still see. We then used some of the techniques we practiced with the pens to create a pen & ink version of our transferred photo image.

Here is a sample of the worksheet Aili did testing different pen widths using the hatch, cross-hatch, scribble and stipple techniques…

Here is a close up on the pen & ink piece she did
(its unfinished–her homework over break is to complete it!):

Here is the still life mixed-media piece from our first class:

And here was our fun “SWITCH” mixed media contour-line drawing warm-up:

I look forward to our next class time together!! I am thinking we’ll do something with colored pencils…!

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