Art Lesson Plan: Weave Drawing

Weave Drawing

Submitted by: Ken Schwab, formerly of Leigh High School, San Jose CA
Unit: Drawing - Value Study
Lesson Plan: Weave Drawing - pencils
Grade Level: Suitable grades 8 through 12

Ken's Web Site:

See Self Portrait Idea Below
Ken Schwab's Art 2 Final Exam (below)


Objectives: Students will

  1. Create a work of art based on a theme.

  2. Create a work of art showing skill in pencil shading - varying values.

  3. Create a work of art showing value contrast to develop center of interest

  4. Employ elements and principles of design - use mathematical skills in enlarging a composition (use a grid)


Drawing Pencils. - #2, Ebony Pencils.
Tortillons., Paper towels, Q-tips., cotton pads, etc.
Drawing Paper. 80#, Colored Pencils.. (optional)
Graphite Sticks., Masking Tape., Scissors., Rulers.


kenweave11.jpg (219155 bytes) kenweave7.jpg (188138 bytes)



Assorted magazines.

Drawings by masters showing skill in shading (M C. Escher is a favorite)


Escher Prints:

kenweave4.jpg (217746 bytes) kenweave2.jpg (219736 bytes)



1 Discuss the concept of theme - Share work by previous students (if available). Show examples
   of art centered around a theme. (Select a theme of importance to you - one that will say
   something about who you are)

2. Demonstrate weaving process - and altering the composition by omitting sections.

3. Demonstrate/review enlarging by using a grid.

4. Review shading techniques.



1. Choose two pictures that have a common theme or idea. Find one that is predominantly darker and the other lighter. Cut them to the same size in something that is in even inches.

2. Cut the first picture into vertical 1" (2.5 cm) strips keeping them together at the top.

3. Cut the second picture horizontally in 1" (2.5 cm) strips.

4. Tape the vertical one onto some scrap paper on the top and weave the other picture over and under (traditional tabby weave). Square it up tightly and then tape it on the sides. Repeat this until all the picture is done.

5. Tape around all for sides with masking tape and begin to reveal some squares to show more of one picture and so forth until you like the composition. You can eliminate rows and squares that are not important.

6.On a bigger piece of newsprint make a grid of 2" or 3" (5 or 7.6 cm) squares. This should be the same number of squares as in the design. By using the grid, enlarge outlines that are necessary to draw each square. Only the lines of hard edged areas not where there is a gradation.

7.Transfer the design with graphite onto white drawing paper and begin to draw each square.  Use all the drawing tools we learned in Art 1, smudge shading blending transfer tones with cotton pads, etc. Use a kneaded eraser for highlights. Use colored pencils for accents and interest if desired.


This lesson is adaptable to middle school level - just make your expectations grade level appropriate.

weave drawing Double Self Portrait Variation:

This might even be a nice lesson to do interdisciplinary with your photography students.

  1. Take at least two photographs of your students. Make sure one shows some dramatic lighting for some strong contrasts

  2. Students select two photographs (same size) to weave together (may use photocopies if you do not want to cut original photographs -- or use digital prints). Weave the two photographs. Remove sections of the weave for variety.

  3. Once satisfied with the resulting composition, finish as describe above.

The Incredible Art Department is interested in showing a student example if you do this project. Please credit Ken Schwab for your unit and e-mail any student examples to this form.



1. Did students select two images around a common theme?

2. Did students show skills in pencil shading and value contrast? Show skill in using a grid?

3. Did students create an effective composition employing elements and principles of design -
    combining two related images in a woven pattern?


Art 2 Final Exam



This is a test of your skill in using pencil and enlarging something from a grid.  Like the weave drawing this year, the use of pencil techniques to improve a drawing can be very useful.  This final will ask you to enlarge a small 1" square into a 4" square.  With a #2 pencil, Ebony black pencil, q-tips, Tortillons, and kneaded erasers you will render the 4" square on good drawing paper to be exactly like the small square that you choose at random.  This is a small part of a larger picture and you will be able to see the complete picture when the class is finished.



1. Choose a small square from the box and look at the back you will see a number and an arrow. Write that number on this sheet where provided to make sure we know where it will go on the big picture area.

2. Take some newsprint 4" square and fold it in half both ways. On the small square find the middle of the square and divide it into four small squares. Use the grid to help enlarge the hard edged lines of the image on the newsprint in order to begin.

3. Graphite the back of the newsprint and transfer to white drawing paper. Write the number and arrow on the back to correspond with the small square.

4. Use all of the tools presented to draw the picture as clear and dark and exactly like the original.

My square is # ____________

Place the original square in this space and turn it in

Tape the drawing on the large paper in the room for your class.


Art 2 Final Exam photograph and student work from one class


weave drawing      weave drawing


Click images for larger views


Note from Ken:

For years, I have done an art final that was an activity. This has become a tradition here at Leigh, and the Art 3,4 levels love to see what the Art 2's do every year.

I take a picture and divide it up into squares about 1- 1 ½" (2.5 - 3.8 cm). I give them paper, newsprint, 2 pencils (#2 and a 6b) tortillons, Q-tips paper towels, kneaded erasers and ask them to enlarge the square to 4".  They are to use gridding if they must and enlarge the square so that it will match the other squares around it. They have 85 minutes to complete this and then they put them up on a paper with the squares, to see what the image is.

I change it every year so some will be harder and easier. I look for a picture that will be about the same in each square.



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