Three Mediums Drawing Lesson for Middle or High School Art - Fun, engaging culmination project for drawing students

In this lesson, middle school or high school art drawing students will use three mediums to create a piece of art. This works as a culminating lesson for a high school or middle school drawing course as students will demonstrate their knowledge of shading and creating texture with charcoal, colored pencil and ink.
Here are the basics:
  • Medium: Charcoal, Ink, and Colored Pencil 
  • Project Length: 2-3 days
  • Grade: 9-12
  • Objectives:
    • Complete a value scale and shaded sphere in charcoal, ink and colored pencil.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of how to apply colored pencil, charcoal and ink to create value, texture, detail and unity in a piece of art.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of composition
    • Demonstrate an understanding all three mediums
    • Create an original and unique piece of art using three mediums
      • NOTE: This lesson is best taught after teaching basics of drawing: Value, Line, Texture and all of the mediums have already been covered.
  • Materials: 
    • Old dictionary pages (book pages/maps etc. can be used as a replacement)
    • Kraft or Manilla paper
    • White Bristol Board or White Mixed Media Board
    • Colored Pencils in a variety of colors (Prismacolor or other professional grade is preferred.)
    • Charcoal Pencils
    • Blending Stumps
    • Ink pens with a variety of thicknesses (such as micron)
      • (Ultra Fine tip Sharpies can be used as a less expensive option.)

Link to full lesson with video demonstrations!

The Process

Step 1: Create a value scale in each medium, then shade in a sphere in that medium. 

Step 2: Find Reference
Step 3: Plan your artwork to create a Thumbnail drawing. You will be using  3 kinds of paper: Think about composition rules when creating your image:
  • Focal Point (Emphasis)
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Diagonals
  • Odd numbers
  • Positive and Negative Space

Step 4: Glue down papers according to thumbnail. Then start to sketch over the papers. 

  • Cut or tear the papers to match your thumbnail plan.
  • Remember to glue the one that you want on the bottom down first.
  • When gluing make sure to put down a scrap piece of paper under each piece.
  • Brush the glue all the way off the edges, work quickly to get a good seal.

    Step 5: Draw the contour of your reference drawing in pencil. 

    Step 6: Begin to fill in the details using charcoal on the manila/kraft paper, ink on dictionary page and colored pencil on your white background.


    Example Student Work: 

    Your students will love working with all the different mediums in this lesson to create an amazing piece! Want to make it easy to teach? Check out the links below!

    Shopify Three Mediums Lesson Plan