Do you really see what you think you see?
The mind has an amazing capacity to “fill in the blanks” – to see what isn’t actually there. This ability helps us read words with missing letters and see the whole where there is only the half.
Drawing the light is a great way to train your students to sketch only what is actually visible. Using a studio light to light your subject, be it a bowl of fruit or a portrait model, help your students “see” the first “lit” shape and begin their sketch at that point, following the first lit shape to the next, and so on, connecting until the shapes join together, like puzzle pieces, to 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 them 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, the oval of a nostril.
With our downloadable Drawing the Light art lesson, students will learn to sketch contrasting light and darkness using geometric shapes. View the complete lesson plan for this project, including step-by-step directions and a materials list.
For Grades 8-12.