Do you really see what you think you see?
The mind has an amazing capacity to “fill in the blanks” and see what isn’t actually there. This ability allows us to use context clues to make predictions and fill in parts of our vision that we’re not actually seeing.
Drawing the light is a great way to train your students to sketch only what is actually visible. Use a studio light to light your subject. It could be a bowl of fruit, a portrait model, or anything else they want to sketch. Help your students “see” the first “lit” shape and begin their sketch at that point. Follow the first lit shape to the next, and so on, connecting until the shapes join together like puzzle pieces and show the visible whole.
Geometry plays an important role in drawing the light. Seeing the lit area as geometric shapes makes it easier to sketch the area roughly, shading and filling them out once the rough sketch is complete. Help your students with the concept of sketchometry by teaching them to see the rectangular shape of a lit eyebrow, the triangle of a cheekbone, and the oval of a nostril.
With our free Drawing the Light art lesson, students will learn to sketch contrasting light and darkness using geometric shapes. Follow the link above to view the complete lesson plan for this project, including step-by-step directions and a materials list. Suitable for grades 8-12.