Mixed Media Still Life Drawing & Collage

Mixed-Media Drawing Collage Project

Observational Drawing Skills- Mixed Media Collage

This lesson was inspired by the art teacher Alex at Art Roominations in a lesson called “Mixed Media Still Life“. She found the image on Pinterest (as I did too) & was inspired to create a high school observational drawing lesson from it.

Here is my lesson plan & student examples of the project:

Objectives: Students will review drawing observation skills. Review how to judge angles of objects and the slants of the contour edges by using the sighting techniques. Learn the five elements of shading. Review the value scale & shading techniques with charcoal, pastels & drawing pencils.


Charcoal Drawing Techniques Lesson Plan & WorksheetCharcoal Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet





Dry Pastel Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet 2015Dry Pastels Lesson Plan & Worksheet








Delivery (After Drawing Lessons):

  • Value- the lightness or darkness of a color
  • Chiaroscuro is an Italian term that translates to mean light and dark.
    • chiaro, “light”
    • scuro, “dark”
    • Chiaroscuro specifically refers to a gradual transition of values used to achieve the illusion of how light and shadow interact on 3D forms (real objects.)
  • Leonardo da Vinci pioneered this technique during the Italian Renaissance in the late 15th century.
  • Early chiaroscuro drawings were done on toned paper, with one light chalk (such as white) and one dark chalk (such as dark red, sepia, or charcoal).
  • Many artists after Leonardo made effective use of this technique, but one of the most notable among them is Rembrandt.
    • TIP: You MUST know where your LIGHT SOURCE is coming from in order to shade effectively!
  • Charcoal Techniques Worksheet with 5 Elements of Shading-Teacher guided demo
  • Dry Pastel Techniques Worksheet

Mixed-Media Drawing & Collage Project

Project Objective: Create a mixed media realistic drawing of a group of 3-4 objects with FULL shading. Use good drawing observation skills to draw the still life accurately then render with FULL shading using the designated media below. Include all 5 Elements of Shading where applicable.

Mixed-media mediums to include:

  • Pastels or Colored Pencils on Newspaper
  • Charcoal & white charcoal on Brown Paper
  • White Charcoal on Black Paper
  • Drawing Pencils on White Paper


Prepare surface one class in advance: students collage a scrap of newspaper, a piece of black charcoal paper, and a scrap of brown craft paper onto a larger white sheet of drawing paper 12×18″.

  1. Choose 3-4 objects to draw from the still life boxes. No more than two can be fruit (only 1 simple fruit), the rest must be objects. Arrange the still life in an interesting composition on white paper with a spot light.
  2.  Use your iPad to take pictures of the composition. Crop in closely to the arrangement & make sure we can see highlights & shadows.
  3.  Draw out your composition onto your prepared paper using a 2h drawing pencil. Draw it so that it crosses over all of the different papers-make it go off the page if you have to. Make sure your drawing is as accurate as you can draw!
  4.  In each of the different papers, use the designated mediums to render the drawing with FULL shading.
  5.  When completely finished, LIGHTLY spray drawing with hair spray to “fix” the charcoal & pastels to the paper.

Supplies: Still life objects, newspaper, colored pencils, black & Compressed Charcoal Sticks 4/Pkg-White – Soft Assortedand pencils, brown wrapping paper, Reeves Assorted Soft Pastel Set 36-Pack, Semi-Hex Graphite Drawing Pencils 4/Pkg-HB, 2B, 4B, & 6B, black charcoal paper, glue sticks, 12×18 or 18×24″ white drawing paper, Stumps And Tortillions Set

If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it (written info or photos), please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME

  1. Freysol Ruiz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.