Marshmallow White Charcoal Drawing on Black Paper

Marshmallow White Charcoal Drawing on Black Paper

My 7th grade art class learned basic compositional skills as well as drawing observational skills with this Marshmallow & cylinder still life drawing.

This lesson plan was written by Michelle C. East © 2017, Inspired by Mr. Fatta’s Lesson on Value & Form

Marshmallow charcoal drawingObjectives:

  • The 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 ellipses, point of view, and angles of line and apply it to a small still life drawing.
  • Students will learn charcoal techniques drawing on black paper with white charcoal and render the drawings with full shading.


  1. 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 ellipses as well as the bottom lines on the cups change as the point of view changes. Circles change into ellipses when our point of view of the object changes. If we look directly down at a cylinder, like a marshmallow, we will see a full circle. As we lower our position to one side, the opening becomes more & more of an ellipse until we cannot see inside the cylinder any longer. At eye level, the ellipse appears to be a straight line.                                                                                                                                                       a. Activity: practice drawing circles & ellipses. Practice drawing ellipses at different eye levels.
  2. Drawing Cylinders & Cylindrical Objects: To draw a cylinder, start with center line or axis. Then draw the ellipse at the right angles to the center line. Draw side lines connecting the edges of the ellipse down toward the bottom so they are equal distance from the axis line.  Turn your paper if it makes it easier to draw the straight lines. finally add a curved line at the bottom. DEMO
    a. Sketchbook Activity: practice drawing cylinders and marshmallows

Project: Marshmallow White Charcoal Drawing on Black Paper

Project Objective: Create an interesting composition of 5-7 Styrofoam cups using two different size cups. Apply knowledge of ellipses, point of view, and angles of line to accurately draw the still life drawing.  Use white and black charcoal techniques and render the drawings with full shading.




Supplies: White Charcoal Pencils, Strathmore 400 Series Artagain Pad, Coal Black, 12″x18″, Tortillions, Kneaded Erasers


  1. Choose 5-7 marshmallows and wood cylinders to arrange an interesting composition.
  2. LIGHTLY draw the composition onto black drawing paper as accurately as possible (in pencil or white charcoal pencil).
  3. Use white charcoal pencils to render the drawings with full shading.

7th Grade Student Artwork

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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