Grade Level

9-10, 11-12


8 class periods, 45 minutes


Collage materials, and tools: magazines, colored paper, masking tape, feathers, etc., glue, scissors.
Drawing supplies: pencils (be sure to have some soft lead pencils for dark values), rulers, viewfinders, paper


Drawing, Pencil, Collage

Lesson Objectives

Students translate color into black and white values, learn to draw using a grid to enlarge their image, and gain confidence in drawing photo-realistic images.

Introductory Activity

To prepare for the assignment the students completed value scales using the full range of their drawing pencils. As a reprieve and as the next step they took a day to create collages. You can give them a prompt or just let them go for it, depending on your group. I usually suggest vision boards or just stuff they like, and they have also chosen their own themes individually, including seasons, Halloween, Christmas, flowers, nature, etc.

Lesson Process

Days 1 and 2. Teacher demo and students create value scales using drawing pencils. They draw long rectangles and go from light to dark or dark to light, however you want to set that up.
Days 3 (and maybe 4). The value scales can feel a little tedious, so after they have completed them they can begin creating collages from materials that I provide: magazines, colored paper, etc.
Day 4: After they have their collages finished they can share a little bit about them with each other. Sometimes very careful students won’t have filled the whole page, but they can still begin the next step. I have 4×5″ picture frame mats that I give them to use to chose a section of their collage to draw.


value, collage, composition, grid drawing

Resources grid method

Author & Website/Blog

Erica Popp

Supporting Images