Lego Charcoal Drawing HS Art Lesson

Lego Charcoal Drawing HS Art LessonMy level 1 and 2 HS art class is working on drawing observation skills. This is a fun, but challenging assignment! They had to create a 5-6 block Lego sculpture with uneven edges. They drew in pencil first and then rendered with full shading with black & white charcoal pencils on toned paper.

This lesson is written by Michelle C. East © 2017


  • Students will learn to draw straight lines swinging from the elbow or shoulder.
  • They will learn to draw lines, circles and ellipses by using fluid motion of swinging from the shoulder and elbow.
  • The will learn the observational drawing techniques of “Angles of Lines” and “Degrees of Curvature” and apply them to a drawing.
  • Learn how to judge angles of objects and the slants of the contour edges by using the sighting techniques.


  1. Review drawing from the shoulder: When drawing a straight line, swing from the elbow or shoulder if making a large straight line, not from the wrist. Swinging from the wrist will make your stroke too short and your line will be choppy & crooked. It is okay to turn the paper to create an angled line-your paper doesn’t have to stay in one position! DEMO
    a. Video:
    b. Activity: practice drawing straight lines, circles & ellipses from the shoulder
  2. “Draw Light Until It’s Right”– remember this motto, it is better to draw lightly first, get the drawing right, then go darker with your lines.
  3. Vocabulary: Meeting Edges and Contours
    a. Contour: an edge of a shape or form as you perceive it.
    b. Edge: in drawing, a place where two things meet. (For example, where the sky meets the ground or the positive shapes or forms meet negative space.)
  4. Look at objects in terms of simple lines and shapes. Angled straight lines, curved lines, ellipses, and cylinders for this drawing.
  5. Drawing Observation Skills (© Michelle East)

    1. Overview of Drawing Observation Skills:
      a. Angles of Lines
      b. Degrees of Curvature
      c. Proportions
    2. Angles of Lines: Observing the line direction and angles of straight lines. Notice how the angles of the lines change based on the point of view. Judge angles of objects and the slants of the contour edges.Lego Point of View- Angles of lines
      a. Find edges, judging types of lines & line directions-angles
      b. Check horizontal & vertical alignments
      c. 1 & 2 Point Perspective (1 Point Perspective Lesson)Lego Point of Views- Perspective
    3. Degrees of Curvature: observing how much a line curves. Observe how the curvature of a line changes with your point of view of an object. Notice how the cylinders on the Lego change as the point of view changes.Lego Point of View-Curve of Lines
    4. Proportions: Size relationships, comparing one part to another
      1. Judging Proportions: Pay close attention to the size (height, width, depth) of the different size Legos. The height of the Legos will most likely be consistent, but will vary in width and depth depending on how many cylinders it has and if it is a single or double wide brick. Notice that ALL the cylinders will be the same width, but will vary in height and depth depending on your view point.
      2. Draw guidelines to help you place the cylinders correctly.Lego Guidelines for Cylinders

Activity #1: Sketchbook Drawing: Legos

In your sketchbook, draw 4 contour line drawings of various size and shape Legos. Draw 2 from a front viewpoint and 2 from a corner view point.

Activity #2: Charcoal Techniques Worksheet (Lego practice sheet included)


Lego Charcoal DrawingProject: Lego Charcoal Still Life on Toned Paper

Project Objective: Create an interesting sculpture using unevenly stacked Legos, accurately draw the composition on the paper, and render with a full range of values.

Supplies: 2B Charcoal Pencils, 4B charcoal Pencils, White Charcoal Pencils, Toned Paper (cut to 12×18″), Tortillions, Kneaded Erasers


  1. Choose 6-7 Legos of varying sizes and shapes (try to include one with a slanted body).
  2. Arrange the Legos UNEVENLY or staggered so that the composition is decisively horizontal or vertical. You may need to change out a Lego or two to help with this.Lego sculpture
  3. On the toned paper draw your composition as accurately as possible so that it all fits on the page with a pleasing amount of negative space.Lego Charcoal Drawing
  4. Render the drawing with white and black charcoal pencils. Use a FULL range of values (blacks to whites). If needed you may exaggerate some of the values to achieve the full range.Lego Charcoal Drawing
  5. Erase all fingerprints from background, when finished spray 4 light coats of hairspray to “fix” the charcoal to the paper.Lego Charcoal Drawing

Student Artwork

Additional Lego Projects:

lego colored pencil drawingLego Colored Pencil Drawing






This post is © Michelle C. East – Create Art with ME. If you choose to reference any part of this post, please link back to my blog Create Art with ME.

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