Lesson #1: Investigating an object through drawing

Part of the unit: Two-Dimensional Furniture Design |


How can you show the unique qualities of an object?
Students will be able to:
Compare and contrast object drawings by different artists
Identify different use of lines, shape, form, texture in a drawing
Use a selection of given drawing materials in an exploratory way to describe their object
Use choice of composition to describe the "feel" of their objects
Use artistic language to describe the techniques used to create their drawings
A variety of drawing materials, including ebony pencils, thick and thin sharpie markers, and charcoal
Drawings of tools by Jim Dine and drawings of objects by Andy Warhol (from Andy Warhol: Drawings 1942-1987).
Show drawings of tools by Jim Dine and drawings of objects by Andy Warhol (from Andy Warhol: Drawings 1942-1987). Engage students in a discussion:
  • What do these drawings have in common?
  • How are they different?
  • Why do you think the artist chose to show the object in this way?
Discuss artist's use of contour, shading, and compositional choices to describe the "feel" of their object.
Investigate an object through drawing with the class. Demonstrate the looking and thinking process of drawing, while asking questions such as:
  • What is unique about this object?
  • What types of lines and shapes is it made of?
Explain that "seeing" an object is like pulling apart a puzzle and putting it back together into a whole picture.
  • What kind of details does it have?
  • Is there texture?
  • How can we show the special qualities of this object?
  • Should we draw the entire object, or parts of it showing micro details?
  • Which viewpoint will emphasize the uniqueness of the object?
  • Where can we place it on the page?
  • Which material will help show the feeling or uniqueness of the object?
Demonstrate use of different drawing materials.
1. Provide students with an everyday object to draw. These can be chosen by students, or distributed, or a small groups can draw the same object. Make sure there are a few different objects available, but that each student draws one. * Note: Objects should be selected with students' drawing experience in mind. Objects should preferably be related to functional design, such as hardware tools, kitchen tools, scissors, staplers, hole punchers, cell phones, etc. but simpler objects such as water bottles, utensils, pens, and cups can also be used. 2. Have students spend a moment looking at their objects from different angles, and observing the detail and function of their objects. 3. Distribute drawing paper, scrap paper, and choices of drawing materials. 4. While students work, encourage them to:
  • look at the lines, shapes, and details that make up the object
  • experiment with the different drawing materials on the scrap paper, before choosing the material for their drawings
  • "see" the contour and/or shading of their object.
Put up all the drawings. View and discuss the work. If time is tight, select two or three different types of drawings to hold up. Have students describe their choice in drawing material, composition and use of line, contour and/or shape, shading, and detail. Some guiding questions to ask:
  • What do you think he/she wanted us to see about the object?
  • How did he/she support this with their choices of materials, composition, etc?