Line & Tone

Line and tone are basic starting points for teaching and learning in art and design. This project aims to introduce an approach to teaching art that might not have been previously experienced by students, namely art lessons with some element of skills to be learned and knowledge to be acquired.

Art and design lessons at Primary school level can be excellent but equally can be almost non-existant (unless you consider the art as therapy / play sort of lesson) so students often arrive at secondary school with not only widely different experience of it but also widely different perceptions of what it will entail.

This introductory unit can easily form the basis of the first half term (often up to 8 weeks long), using a range of media the key ideas and knowledge can be reinforced and the practical skills aspect helps to remove some of the ‘I can’t draw’ mentality that many students seem to arrive with.

This unit aims to build a sound understanding of line and tone and how they are used in art and design. It is also hoped that the introduction of learning practical skills and following basic rules and guidelines will allow students to develop their drawing skills, in particular the use of simple shapes being developed into more complex objects. This unit follows into the year 7 overall plan, introducing and developing basic skills and understanding in several key elements of art.

Observational drawing using simple wooden shapes. Work produced in pen, pencil (grade B / 2B), chalk, charcoal and black and white paint, size 6 brushes. Introduction to a wide range of media early on. Consumerables; A4 / A3 paper, A3 / A2 grey sugar paper.

Included amongst the sheets for this unit is a pre-drawn example which can be neccessary where students own drawing skills are limiting their ability to work with tone and explore the media.

The individual sheets for this unit can all be treated as standalone exercises or used together can form a line and tone work book / sketch book. I have included ‘greyed’ sections on some of the sheets this is because in my experience I have known art and design departments be so poorly funded that sugar paper in a range of shades and colours is a luxury and therefore not always available. It is preferable to use heavier sugar paper over photocopier paper but it can be used quite effectively.

It is also  hoped that by building these skills students will have transferrable knowledge in other curriculum areas.