Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing – Value Through Line

chex-mix-cross-hatching-drawing-headerAt the beginning of the year I usually start with observational drawing skills lessons with my 4th grade and up classes. This year I wanted to freshen up my plan for 5th grade  and decided to pull out my Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing Project that I used to do with my middle school art classes.  I also added composition and grid drawing methods to my original lesson plan. Inspiration for the grid and composition aspect of this lesson came from Wayne Thiebaud Candy Compositions by Emily Valenza. Please check out Emily’s blog, she has excellent lessons and resources! Here’s how we did our project…

Objectives: After lesson on creating Value with Line Hatching and Cross-Hatching Lesson Plan & Worksheet, students will learn and apply the Rule of Thirds composition technique. They will use the grid of the Rule of Thirds to enlarge the composition onto a larger sheet of paper. Students draw a still life using the Chex-Mix snack and create value with line in their drawings by using hatching and cross-hatching techniques.

chex-mix-still-life-2Materials: assorted Chex-Mix in snack size zip-lock bags (check your classroom allergy list for possible issues), card stock cut into small rectangles, printed with a 2×3” Rule of Thirds grid, glue, 12×18” white paper 90lb, Ultra Fine Tip Permanent Marker or Pen & Ink (for older students)

Pen & Ink Lesson Plan and Worksheet


  1. What is composition and why is it important to a piece of art: Composition refers to how the artwork is put together. It is how the artist INTENTIONALLY used the elements and principles of art to create the artwork. The placement of objects within the picture plane is not an arbitrary act, but is the result of calculated decisions.
  2. What is emphasis: The North Light Dictionary of art terms defines focal point as the center of interest in a picture. Also called the Focal Point
  1. Rule of Thirds: a compositional method for placing the focal point in a 2D piece of art. Although most often used in photography, the rule of thirds is a simple and effective way to arrange the point of interest in a drawing, painting, print or other 2D media.
    1. Paper or canvas is divided into thirds both horizontally & vertically.
    2. The lines intersect at four points. These are called focal points.
    3. The center of interest/focal point is placed at one of the points.

rule of thirds grid compositon


  1. Experiment with multiple compositions before gluing (remember to overlap some pieces and to place your focal point on one of the four intersecting points).
  2. When you have your final composition, mark guidelines by lightly trace around the outlines of the Chex Mix pieces. This is so that when you pick up the pieces to glue them, you will know where they go.Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing - Value Through Line
  3. Glue the Chex Mix pieces to the card stock grid.Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing - Value Through Line
  4. LIGHTLY draw the Rule of Thirds on the final paper with a pencil.
  5. Draw contour lines (no shading yet) of the pieces on final paper.
  6. Use Ultra Fine Tip Permanent Markers to add FULL shading (highlights, shade, shadows, cast shadows) to the composition.Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing - Value Through Line
  7. Optional: Add color to the Chex Mix pieces & the cast shadows with watercolors! We LOVED the POP of color this added to the drawings!

chex mix cross-hatching drawing drawing observation skills composition rule of thirds

Student Artwork coming soon!

If you choose to use any of this post (written or photo), please link back to my blog Create Art with ME.

Additional Observational Drawing Skills Lessons:

PVC Pipe Charcoal Drawing

Small to BIG – Enlargement Drawing

Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing – Value Through Line

Sliced and Diced Form Drawing

Body Proportions – Wooden Mannequin Drawings – 2 Lessons

LEGO Colored Pencil Drawing

Sea Shell Pastel Drawing

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