4th Grade Weeks 6 & 7 ~ Exploring Observational Drawing using Colored Chalk


  • 1.1 Perceive and describe contrast and emphasis in works of art and in the environment.
  • 2.1 Use shading (value) to transform a two-dimensional shape into what appears to be a three-dimensional form (e.g., circle to sphere).
  • 2.7 Use contrast (light and dark) expressively in an original work of art.

Student Objectives:

Students will draw a still life from observation using colored chalk to create contrast and emphasis.


Still life objects ( spheres and cylinders – apples, styrofoam spheres, cups), piece of t-shirt, chalk, paper for practice and paper for drawing.


Day 1

1.  I allowed students to explore the medium of colored chalk pastels using various techniques for creating value on recycled papers for about five minutes.  The students could use as many pieces of ‘practice’ paper as they wished to try out the chalks.

2.  I showed the students how to hold the chalk on its side to create large areas of color and with a little tilt of the chalk to create lines.  We then explored how to create lines by varying the pressure on the chalk.

3.  I demonstrated how to create a three dimensional form using shading while observing spheres from our still life arrangements.   Each small group of students had items to observe in their still life arrangements.

4.  Students practiced this technique on their recycled paper.

5.  Now, using only one color of chalk, students were instructed to draw a sphere from their still life by observing the form and using value and varied pressure.

The results:

Observational Drawing of Sphere and Still Life 2    Observational Drawing of Sphere and Still Life 3     Observational Drawing of Sphere and Still Life

Day 2

5.   We looked at examples of still life art  by Cezanne and Van Gogh with high contrast and interesting emphasis.  We discussed the placement of objects and how complementary colors were used for contrast and emphasis.

6.  Review analogous, warm and cool colors and complimentary colors while observing the artwork.

7.  Students should look at their previous drawings and determine where the remaining objects will be placed in their drawing.  They should ensure that the light affects the objects similarly while setting up their still life.

8.  Students drew from their still life arrangements in various colors to create their original artwork using contrast and emphasis.

Final artwork:

Still Life in chalk 1     Still Life in chalk 2     Still Life in chalk 3

Still Life in chalk 4     Still Life in chalk 5     Still Life in chalk 6

Still Life in chalk 7



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