Ink Wash Drawings: Developing Dramatic Mood Using Value.
An Art Lesson contributed by Rebekah Short.
Art Teacher, Westview Elementary, Topeka, Indiana
This page is hosted by Goshen College
Goshen, Indiana 46526

AGE: Grades 4 to 12     Time: 75 mins.
white drawing paper 12x18", medium and small soft brushes, India ink, plastic lids or pans, water cups, white tissue rolls, wt paper towel rolls.

skulls, bones, gourds, branches, large seedpods, spot lamps, extension cords.

(as review following activity) Adventures in Art 6:7

Artists draw with brush and ink as a way of developing value. Highlights are created by the white surface of the paper; controlled mixing of the ink with water creates darker values. Wet media techniques are similar to those used for watercolor painting: wet on wet, dry brush, graded wash, etc.

controlled handling of the brush technique, observational drawing focusing on value to develop form, creating value changes and gradations using wet media.

ink, wash, graded wash, highlight, dry brush, still life, drama, mood

Before class, set up a still life on each worktable with objects like skulls, bones, dry branches, gourds, etc. Place a spot lamp over each still life to establish dramatic highlights and shadows.

Independent Drawing Time After the warm-up students should spend @ 15 mins. doing a drawing of the still-life arrangement in their sketchbook. This drawing will be reinterpreted in the ink wash drawing.

Reorganize tables . . . 5 mins.

Leave sketchbooks open to still-life drawing page and still life arrangement in place.
Remove folders, paper trays, and toolboxes.
Collect paper and tool bucket incl. brushes, plastic lids on water cups, white tissue, and paper towel.
Set up table according to map on board.

Do a quick demonstration of brush and ink technique, drawing directly from the still life. Discuss shadows and highlights, review techniques that were used for watercolor paintings, and introduce the idea of developing dramatic mood through contrasting highlights and dark shadows. (Review hi-key and low-key.) 10 mins.

At their workstation, direct students to briefly act out the process of beginning their painting while using a completely dry brush. Do this in silence, guiding them to focus on shadow areas, imagining how the painting will develop and visualizing the composition on their paper. Distribute ink during this time.

When they are ready they may begin drawing. Work time should be very quiet. 30 mins.

At the end of the work time, students should sign their drawing using a fine brush. (Include abbreviated name, date, and class section, and sign the work in an appropriate place). 5 mins.

CLEAN UP: 10 mins.

Place drawings on top of sketchbooks on the stool under the table.
Blot remaining ink up with scrap tissue.
Put brushes, water cups, and lids in the bucket and return to sink area. Rinse and stack.
Return tissue and paper towel rolls, then wipe up table with wet paper towel.
Place ink drawings in the drying rack.
Francisco Goya, The Third of May or The Duel

EXTENSIONS/NOTES: This lesson should be sequenced after students have experience developing value in pencil drawings and paintings, and after they have practiced with brush technique by working on watercolor paintings. Using the lesson around Halloween helps students relate to the ideas of developing dramatic mood through the use of light and dark values, and encourages students to develop expressive rather than stereotypical images.

Bartelart.com  Art Lessons Page   Goshen College Art Department
Marvin Bartel Courses   Marvin Bartel Home   Marvin Bartel Artwork

© Rebeka Short, all rights reserved
Note: For permission or copy or publish, e-mail: marvinpb@goshen.edu
SOURCE: Rebekah Short, Westview Elementary School, Topeka, IN 
March, 2000

SOURCE: Rebekah Short Ó