Reviewing Art Elements, Part 4: Draw an Imaginary Person

This lesson served as a final project (one-day) at the high school, and simply as a comprehensive exercise at the middle school.


  1. Use the manikin as a model.
    • Three students per manikin
    • All three students agree together on a pose
    • After it is positioned, do not move the manikin
  2. Draw the outlines/contours of the manikin
    • Draw what you see
    • Have the body fill the paper, but small parts may go off the edges
    • Draw lightly
  3. Create an imaginary clothed person
    • Base it on your drawing in step #2
    • Color the drawing, using a range of value to show shading and roundness
    • If time, draw an appropriate background

manikin photo manikin sketch
imaginary person from manikin model

UPDATE 01-05-07: Student Work

I will try to get more photos, but for now I will post this 7th grader’s drawing without comment.
Student Work - from manikin

UPDATE 01-13-07: Student Work

Here are four drawings from high schoolers.

Student Work - from manikin Student Work - from manikin Student Work - from manikin Student Work - from manikin

Reviewing Art Elements, Part 3: Color and Texture

I based this fun art activity on this lesson plan from

I have copied the basics below in case that link every goes dead:


  1. The teacher may prepare a sample(s) ahead of time for showing to the class. Begin with a brief discussion of weaving and what it is (the interlacing of threads to form a continuous piece of fabric). Write vocabulary list on board and discuss. Show example(s).
    • Weaving — The process of forming cloth or fabric on a loom by interlacing yarn or thread (or, as in this case, paper).
    • Loom — A frame for weaving yarn or thread into cloth or fabric.
    • Warp — Threads running lengthwise on the loom. The warp is placed on the loom prior to beginning the weaving process.
    • Weft — Threads that are weaved across the warp threads to form the web.
    • Web — The cloth or fabric produced by weaving.
  2. Distribute materials and tools.
  3. Students fold one sheet of paper horizontally.
  4. Draw a line about one inch from the open end of the folded paper. This is the limit of cutting.
  5. From the fold, make irregular cuts up to the line. Cuts need not be straight. (The irregular cuts make a more interesting finished product.) Unfold and lay it flat. This will serve as the “warp” and the “loom.”
  6. Measure and cut from the second sheet of paper, one-inch wide by nine-inch strips. These will serve as the “weft.” Tip: Teacher may precut the one-inch weft strips.
  7. Begin by weaving one “weft thread” over one “warp thread” then under the next warp and over the next, etc.
  8. Continue this process alternating over and under with each weft thread. If the previous weft thread went under the warp thread, the following row will begin by going over the warp.

figure 1
figure 2

Instead of construction paper, I had students use the textured and decorated paper they had painted a few weeks back when we first covered color and texture. My students really got into it, and afterward I taped the student’s work next to each other on the wall, resulting in a sort of crazy quilt.

Below is my demonstration example, using some of the paper my students painted:

paper weaving

Reviewing Art Elements, Part 2: Form and Value

I got some fantastic results from some of my students ages 11-18 on this one. I’ll post them up later when I grab some student sample after the holiday break.

I purchased 10 artist’s manikins which are about a foot tall from IKEA. They run about $6 each. I arranged one manikin per table in a twisting or energetic pose (each table seats six students.) I admonished students not to move the manikins.

Materials: white letter-sized copier paper, regular writing pencil (2H)


  1. Select a portion of the manikin on your table to draw.
  2. Draw this portion large to fill the paper. Go off the edges of the paper. Draw the outlines lightly.
  3. Create form and contrast by filling in the drawing with a full range of value. Draw what you see.
  4. If you have time afterward, fill in a contrasting background.

Here is my demonstration drawing, done in black colored pencil so that it could be seen clearly across the classroom:
manikin in full range of values

Assessment criteria:

  • Drew large
  • Drew only a portion
  • Drew a range of values
  • Followed the steps in order
  • Optional: drew a contrasting background

UPDATE 01-05-07: Student Work

These are some of the best work from my high schoolers:

Student Work - manikin Student Work - manikin Student Work - manikin

And from my middle schoolers:

Student Work - manikin Student Work - manikin Student Work - manikin

Reviewing Art Elements, Part 1: Line and Shape Game

I borrowed this idea from Cheri Harrell at

Here is my formal lesson plan.

Here are the guts of the activity. Most of my students enjoyed the game a good deal.

  1. Instructor displays three posters. One shows images of the following types of lines: vertical, horizontal, slant, curve, wavy, zigzag, and curlicue. The second shows types of geometric shapes: circle, oval, square, rectangle, triangle, trapezoid, parallelogram, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon. The third shows a variety of organic shapes, some recognizable (such as a banana shape,) and some not. Each of these items is given a name which is written clearly under it.
  2. Instructor describes the rules of the game:
    1. Each student begins with a pencil or pen and a sheet of paper.
    2. Each student is to create a scene or abstract composition.
    3. Each student is given a turn to call out any shape or line they want.
    4. All the class must use that shape or line in their drawing. If someone calls out a line or shape a student had not planned to use in the art, they have to figure out some way to use it anyway.
    5. Students have 10-30 seconds to include the line or shape before the next one is called.
    6. If there is time after the game, students color the resulting picture.