How to LEARN TO DRAW LIGHTLY AND DARKLY and LINE CHARACTER to give life and expressive qualities to drawings.
I begin with a drawing warm up during which they use a 6B drawing pencil or an Ebony pencil.
In the warm up they first have to hold the pencil between the thumb and all four fingers. I show them how to hold the pencil, but I do NOT draw the lines in front of the students. The have to listen to verbal instructions.
First: Pull the pencil more or less straight across the paper and draw the darkest continuous line possible without breaking the lead about 6 inches long. Do all lines with arm and body motion--not finger motion. I watch them to see if they heard the directions.
Second: Do it again, but making the lightest possible contiuous line they can make with the same pencil.
Third: Draw a third line that is medium trying to make it exactly half as dark as the darkest so that the tone or value is halfway between the lightest and darkest lines.
Older students also draw a medium dark and medium light line.
Fourth: Draw three different continuous lines while three listening to three very different kinds of music. Each line should move around based on the tones, tempo, volume, and rhythms they hear. The lines should get darker and lighter as they draw them (based on the sound) so they use the whole range of lightness and darkness while drawing each of the three lines. I do NOT demonstrate this. They have to listen--not look at what I show. If some do not understand the instructions, we do it again and again and again until they figure it out and get some kind of relationship between the sound and lines. Each student will hear and express it differently. Each of the three styles of music must show different linear interpretations.
Remind them that they are expected to use what they learn in these warm up rituals about line character when they do their sketching and drawing assignments. If they do not use what they learn, they are asked if they remember what they learned about line character from the warm ups.
After they do their drawings they study a famous artist's drawing and they are asked to examine and explain the artist's use of line character and how the line character makes the drawing come to life.