Glass Objects and Light Bulb White Charcoal Drawing Lesson

Glass Object Still Life White Charcoal drawing

Teaching observational drawing skills to high school students is a VITAL part of any art curriculum! I am always looking for new interesting and challenging objects for them to draw! Over the last couple of years I have been collecting glass light bulbs, specially clear ones, for the project with my HS 1 & 2 class. I had taught the glass object still life drawing for many years and decided to take a break from it, and was inspired by Mrs Tiffany Fox at Lake Norman High School to bring it back this year.

Want an incredible art teacher to follow on Instagram? You need to follow mrs_tfox Lake Norman High School! She has AMAZING artwork from her students and is obviously an incredible teacher!!

Supplies: glass still life objects (clear and opaque light bulbs in various shapes, vases, goblets, crystal), white and black charcoal pencils, black drawing paper, blending stubs, hair spray or fixative *

Objectives:

• The student will learn the observational drawing technique of observing the “Degrees of Curvature” of line.
• They will learn to draw lines, circles and ellipses by using fluid motion of swinging from the shoulder and elbow.
• They will apply knowledge of symmetry, spheres, ellipses, point of view, and angles of line and apply it to a small still life drawing.
• Students will learn charcoal techniques and render the drawings with full shading.

charcoal-drawing-techniques-lesson-plan-worksheet-Delivery:

How to Draw Symmetrical Objects

Draw Symmetrical Light Bulb

Line of Symmetry or Central Axis Line: An imaginary line dividing the center of an object it into two mirror-image halves. The object may have slight differences on either side of the line, but for the most part will be the same.

How to Draw Glass Objects

  1. Refraction is the visual distortion that happens when the glass is compressed, curves or is filled with liquid.
    1. An object viewed through a glass container filled with water (or some liquid) will also experience the visual distortion as a result of refraction.
    2. Refraction visually causes an image to warp, bend, twist, curve, change in value, or change proximity to you (appear further or closer).Refraction Tips for Drawing Glass Objects
  2. View as glass objects as simple shapes & lines. Review observational drawing skills: degrees of curvature (See Styrofoam Cup Lesson). Tips for Drawing Glass Objects
  3. Draw the outline of the glass object on a piece of paper very LIGHTLY first.
  4. Draw in the details slowly and carefully looking for patterns, lines and shapes.
  5. Carefully observe distortion that happens to the details on the back side of the glass.
  6. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color or object. Render the drawing with a full range of values. Use the black charcoal pencils to darken the black paper.
  7. Tips for Drawing Glass Objects:
    1. Most importantly remember that glass is transparent. You can see objects and details through it.
    2. Objects and details visible through the glass will likely have some distortion because of refraction.
    3. VALUE: Light and shadow play an important role in drawing glass objects. There may be light areas within or around shadows!
    4. Glass is usually shiny or glossy-reflective making ONLY the HIGHLIGHTS pure white. Everything else will be a gray or black value.Tips for Drawing Glass Objects

Activity: Sketchbook Drawing of symmetrical objects and light bulbs

Projects

Video of Glass on Black Paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9LtX9i9H4g

Project Objective: Accurately draw the glass objects and effectively use the medium to show surface quality, value, and depth.

HS Art 1 & 2 Project:

Light Bulb White Charcoal on Black Paper Drawing

Light bulb white charcoal on black paper drawing

Instructions:

  1. Have students set up and photograph their own light bulb still life. Add a spotlight to give more value contrast.Light bulb white charcoal on black paper drawing
  2. Lightly draw the still life onto black paper with either a pencil or white charcoal pencil.
  3. Use the white and black charcoal pencils to render the drawing with value showing surface quality, highlights, shadows, and to create depth.
  4. Add black charcoal to background to darken the black paper.
  5. Coat with a light coat of hairspray or fixative.

Light bulb white charcoal on black paper drawing

HS Art 3 & 4 Project:

Glass Object Still Life White Charcoal on Black Paper DrawingGlass Object Still Life White CHarcoal drawing

Instructions:

  1. Have students choose and arrange their own glass object still life with 4-6 objects.Glass Object Still Life White Charcoal drawing
  2. Lightly draw the still life onto black paper with either a pencil or white charcoal pencil. *Optional-have students grid the drawing-especially if it is an enlarged drawing.Glass Object Still Life White Charcoal drawing
  3. Use the white and black charcoal pencils to render the drawing with value showing surface quality, highlights, shadows, and to create depth.
  4. Add black charcoal to background to darken the black paper.
  5. Coat with a light coat of hairspray or fixative.

This post is © Michelle C. East – Create Art with ME. If you choose to reference ANY part of this post (written word, photo or graphic), please link back to my blog Create Art with ME. *Amazon Affiliate Links were used in this post. I ONLY link products I use and love!

Glass Object Still Life White Charcoal drawing

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    • I totally agree with you! Artists need to always be stretching their skills and this is an excellent exercise for doing just that! As an artist and art educator, I usually do a project first so I can work out exactly what needs to be taught throughout the lesson. This one was challenging and engaging for me and I felt my personal skills grow!