By the end of this Unit, I will be able to:
⦿⦿ Identify dry and wet materials for drawing and painting.
⦿⦿ Define the elements of art.
⦿⦿ Draw objects from observation and imagination using dry and wet materials.
⦿⦿ Follow perspective in drawing and painting.
⦿⦿ Draw and paint from a landscape.
⦿⦿ Draw from the human figure.
⦿⦿ Discuss my art work with fellow learners.
During your Primary School, you were introduced to various types of art which included drawing and painting of objects. In this chapter we are going to look at more aspects of drawing in still life
and nature. But are you familiar with the different media used in drawing and painting?
1. In small groups, identify the names of the drawing and painting materials in figure 1 below.
2. Classify these material under wet and dry media.
Figure 1: Materials for drawing and painting
Aspects of drawing and painting
Aspects of drawing include space, line, shape, tone, form, texture
and colours. We shall study each of these aspects as we continue to study fine art.
The drawing in figure 2 below was drawn by a senior secondary student, using a pencil on paper. Carefully observe this work in groups and do the activity that follows.
1. Identify the objects presented in the drawing.
2. Identify the different lines used in the drawing.
3. Can you identify the source of light on the objects in the drawing?
4. Which objects appear rough and which objects are smooth?
In the drawing above, we observe that lines were used to draw the shapes of the different objects in the composition. Therefore shape is simply an area with well-defined boundaries. Remember shapes
are either geometric or natural (organic) as you may have studied in your primary school. Besides their shapes, you could easily identify the objects because of the way the artist shaded them differently from each other.
By carefully controlling light and shade in the drawing, the artist was able to draw the forms of the different objects in the basket.
This variation from light to shade is what is referred to as tone. You are going to practice with tones by doing activity two and three individually.
1. Using a pencil, draw ten boxes in a line on a paper provided.
2. Using a drawing pencil, shade the boxes in order, from the darkest to the lightest.
What you have just made in activity 3 is what we call a value scale.
It shows the light, medium and dark tones. I hope you were able to observe that the more force you exert on paper with your pencil, the darker the tone. Controlling the force you exert on your pencil is a very important skill in drawing.
There are various pencils used in drawing. Drawing pencils range from H to B; B gives a darker tone than H, B pencils are softer than H pencils and the numbers indicate the level of softness or hardness. For example, look at the marks on the pencils below. Which pencil is the softest and which one is the
Figure 3: A range of drawing pencils
1. On a piece of paper and with the help of a drawing pencil,
draw two objects with simple shapes from your surroundings.
Shade them carefully to show the tones. Try to control light to one direction.
2. Repeat (1) but this time with a ball point pen.
3. Display your work and discuss it in groups regarding; .
·· Use of lines to get shapes
·· Shading tones to show light direction and form
·· The difference between a pencil and a pen drawing
I hope you can observe that without light it would be very difficult or impossible to practice with art. The sense of sight guides us a lot to interpret images in art. Therefore in drawing, you try hard to
represent what you see and feel about something on a given support.
Some of the aspects we see on objects can only be successfully presented if you fully understand how to use a given material.
1. In pairs, touch your hair and the surface of your desk. What is the difference?
2. Compare the two surfaces in number 1 with the surface of a rock or a bark of a mango tree. Which surface is rougher?
3. Use a pencil and paper to trace out the nature of four different surfaces of objects around you.
Figure 4: Texture from different surfaces
From Activity 5, you observe that surfaces of objects vary from smooth to rough and this can be shown on paper using a pencil.
The roughness or smoothness of a given surface is what is called texture. You have shown the texture by tracing, but texture can also be drawn in another way. Discover this by going through activity 6.
1. In small groups, observe the drawing in figure 5 and identify the objects in the composition.
2. Identify the different textures shown on the objects.
3. How did the artist use a pencil to capture the different textures?
4. How do the textures in the composition relate to the real objects that were studied?
Figure 5: A still life of different objects
I hope you were able to observe that the artist used a pencil in different ways to capture the texture of the different objects in the composition. The artist used such ways as dots, continuous shading
and hatching to capture texture of the different objects.
In small groups, observe the following styles of shading texture and identify their names from the box below:
Figure 6: Different shadding styles
1. Draw an object of your choice and show its texture in five different ways.
·· Line, shape, tone, form and texture are some of the guidelines followed while drawing and they are often referred to as elements of art.
·· Texture can vary with shapes and tones in order to reveal the form of a given object. For example look at the drawings in Figure 7 and study how dots and scribbles were used to form the texture of the two objects.
Figure 7: Objects with different texture
Besides, line, shape, tones, form and texture, colour is another element of art which brings excitement in a given work of art. Look at the paintings below. The first one was made by a skilled painter (Georgia O’ Keeffe) and the next one by a senior one student.
Figure 8: Autumn Leaves by Georgia O’Keeffe
Figure 9: A landscape by a senior one student
1. In pairs list the objects and colours that were used in the two paintings.
2. Which of these are primary, secondary and tertiary?
I hope you are able to observe that colours enable you to identify the shapes and forms of the different objects in the two paintings. There are three basic colours which are referred to as primary colours. They include red, blue and yellow. Identify the names of these colours below.
Now experiment with colours by doing activity 10
1. In groups, draw three circles intersecting each other as shown in the diagram below.
2. Paint each circle with one primary colour.
3. Identify the colours formed within the parts intersection.
The colours got within the intersections are called secondary colours.
There are many different colours that you can use in art. You will discover more of these by trying out various colour combinations as you paint and by following the colour wheel in Figure 10.
·· Secondary colours are the ones got by mixing two primary colours, i.e. purple, green and orange.
·· Then tertiary colours are those got by mixing a primary colour with a secondary colour.
·· The way different combinations of colour appear differ from the combination of light colours in science.
Figure 10: The Colour wheel
1. Identify and name the secondary and tertiary colours from the colour wheel in Figure 10.
2. Look at the pictures below and observe how colour was used to capture the shapes and forms of the objects. Identify the objects that were painted.
Figure 11: Still life objects by a student
3. Now draw a composition of three to four objects of your choice.
4. Use a brush and colours of your choice to paint the shapes, forms and texture of the objects in your composition.
5. Display your work and discuss it with friends about the following:
·· Lines, shapes, tone, texture and colour
·· Use of the space on the paper
It is always better to mix colours separately before applying them on the painting. This helps you to observe and choose appropriate colours for the different parts of your painting.
Since the world has started to use electronic means of communication most people today are obsessed with electronic data gathering, though manual method is still used.
The principle of perspective
Have you ever seen a drawing with objects arranged while showing distance within? Where some objects appear much closer to the observer and others so far away? What guidelines can you follow to
achieve this? In groups, try out activity 12.
1. Take a walk out of class and look at the different objects which are far and those which are near to you.
2. What is their difference in size, tone and colour? Discuss what you observe with fellow learners.
I hope you observed that objects look smaller at a distance and that their colours and tone fade with distance? This is what we call perspective.
In groups observe the pictures in Figure 12 and discuss how
perspective was followed in terms of size, lines, colour and tone.
Figure 12: Landscapes
There are guiding principles followed while drawing from perspective.
These include the eye-level and the varnishing point. Get used to these guiding principle as by observing the picture in figure 13 and working out Activity 14.
Figure 13: Perspective drawing of a building
·· The eye level is an imaginary line which corresponds to the eyes as you observe a given object.
·· The vanishing point is a point where lines for the edges and details of a given object tend to meet at a distance.
1. Draw three boxes in line following perspective. Show the eye level and the varnishing point.
2. Draw the three boxes on another paper and this time use colours to show perspective. I.e. the nearer box should look brighter than the box which is at a distance.
3. Draw your classroom block following perspective.
4. Display your work and discuss it with your friends regarding the use of lines to capture the eye-level, vanishing points and the details on the building, following perspective.
You will observe that perspective helps us to draw objects in a composition. It also helps us to draw and paint landscapes since we are able to show near and far objects in a given composition.
Drawing and painting from Landscapes
A landscape is made up of three major divisions; the foreground, middleground and background. To understand this better, do activity 15.
1. In groups of five to ten, take a walk out of class and observe the sceneries outside where you can see near and far objects.
What you are seeing is called a landscape.
2. Identify the objects immediately in front of you and describe their size and colour. These form the foreground.
3. Identify the objects next to these as you look further and compare their sizes and colour with the ones in the foreground. These objects appear in the middleground.
4. Then observe the objects which a very far, this may include the horizon. This forms the background of the landscape you are observing. Describe their size, shapes tones and colour,
compared to the rest of the objects in the landscape
You can ably show what you have just observed on paper. Now look at the picture Figure 14 and get a clear view of the foreground, middleground and background in a landscape.
Figure 14: The major areas of a landscape
Figure 15: A simplified landscape
In pairs describe the objects found in the foreground, middle
ground and background from the two landscapes.
In many times the objects in the foreground overlap with those in the middle and background.
A landscape which shows far objects, including the horizon is referred to as an open landscape and the one which is blocked by objects such as buildings and trees is called a closed landscape.
In a blocked landscape, you are not able to see objects far in the background.
Individually, move around the school compound and select a view of an open landscape with objects in the foreground, middle ground and in the background.
1. Draw the landscape using pencils.
2. Study another landscape in colour.
3. Display your work and discuss it with your friends about the following:
·· The size and tones of the different objects in relation to perspective
·· What appears in the foreground, middle-ground and background
·· The colours used
Drawing and painting from a Human figure
A human figure is one of the exciting subjects to draw and paint in art, but for you to be successful at this, you need to learn the basic guidelines to follow. For example, look at the drawing in Figure 16 and discuss it with your friends by working out Activity 18.
1. Describe what the person in the picture is doing.
2. Comment on the size of the different parts of the body; i.e. the size of the head compared to the hands, legs and the rest of the body.
3. Discuss how the tones were used to capture the body structure.
Based on the comments you have made in Activity 18, it is clear that you can try out drawing a human figure by yourself. A human figure can be drawn either from observation or imagination. At the beginning, study the way a human figure appears in a given activity.
This is referred to as the pose or posture of the human figure. Now work out Activity 19.
1. Draw a girl standing up in a free posture.
2. Draw a man walking with a stick.
3. Draw a woman pealing bananas.
4. Display your work and share with friends about the following:
·· Posture of the human figures in your drawings
·· The size of the different forms of your human figures
Background: the area which appears furthest in a given
scenery. This may include a horizon in an open landscape.
Closed landscape: a scenery in which you cannot see far objects. This can be a scenery with a building or trees in the middle ground.
Colour: a sensation in the eyes as one looks at an object due to the presence of reflected light.
Colour wheel: an arrangement of different colours in a circle to show their relationship.
Composition: an arrangement of objects together
Drawing: the art of using a given material such as pencils to present ideas on a given
surface by use of a hand.
Elements of drawing: these are basic guidelines followed during drawing.
Eye-level: an imaginary line that corresponds to the horizontal position of the eyes as we look
at objects in a given setting.
Foreground: the area that appears closest to the observer in a given setting.
Form: the roundness of a given object.
Landscape: a scenery usually representing a set of objects on land.
Line: a path made by a given instrument when its point of contact is made to move on a
given surface or simply a contour.
Media: materials used by an artist to represent ideas on a given surface.
Middleground: the area that appears next to the foreground in a given scenery.
Open landscape: a scenery in which one is able to see far objects which may include the horizon.
Organic shapes: shapes with less defined edges. This can also be done on irregular shapes.
Painting: the art of applying colour/paint on a given surface using a brush.
Perspective: the tendency of objects seen at a near distance appearing bigger and clearer than
those seen at a distance.
Pose: the way a given human figure is set in a given composition e.g. standing, sitting or
Primary colours: the colours which we cannot get by mixing other colours in painting. These include red, yellow and blue.
Secondary colours: these are colours got by mixing two primary colours. They include; green, purple and orange.
Shape: an area with well-defined boundaries.
Structure: the general appearance of an object.
Tertiary colours: these are colours got by mixing a secondary colour with a primary colour. These include; brown, blue-green, Red-orange etc.
Texture: the surface quality of a given object or simply the roughness or smoothness of a
given surface of an object.
Tone: the variation from light to dark on the surface of a given object.
Value: the degree of lightness or darkness of a given surface of an object.
Vanishing point: a point at which imaginary lines that describe edges of objects in the same plane seam to meet in perspective.