Expressive Hands with Stippling value shading - Middle School Drawing Art Lesson Plan

Expressive hands with Stippling

Submitted by: Donnalyn Shuster, Frankfort Schuyler C.S.D. Frankfort, New York.
UNIT: Drawing - Hands/Contour - Shading - Modern Art Styles


Problem to solve:

Create a larger than life modified contour drawing of hands in an expressive situation. Hands will have linear value, contain a object, and have a patterned background.

Essential question – How can I create an expressive hand illustration that communicates a message or mood, enhanced with a particular color scheme?


Materials: 12"x18" (30 x 46 cm) white Tru-Ray Construction Paper.Crow Quill Pens. and India ink. (or Ultra-Fine Point Markers.). Background can be done with Washable Markers. or paints.


Vocabulary: see handout below, plus color wheel
Elements: color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value
Principles: balance, contrast, emphasis, unity
Other: 2-dimensional, mood, pattern, symbol, theme, variety, linear value, op art


Friends Forever

Title: Friends Forever

NYS Visual Arts Standards – Intermediate Level 1, 2; MST Standard 2

  • Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices.

  • Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

  • Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work.

  • Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas.

  • Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks.

  • Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures (See Hands lesson)

Resource: Students can practice their stippling with IAD's Pointillator.


  1. Practice skills in class pertaining to modified contour drawing and linear value.

  2. Participate in web quest to look at the ways artists have portrayed hands and consider them as a messenger of an idea.

  3. Practice linear value/pattern creation.

  4. Consider the impact of color symbolism (Color Wheels. and color schemes)

  5. Create a plan for a drawing (sketch).

  6. Draw on 12 x 18 inch (30 x 46 cm) paper.

  7. a. Add stippling to hand to make it look three dimensional.

    b. Draw a patterned background, choose color scheme and apply. Background may relate to styles of art - choice of modern art styles.

  8. Evaluate your work.

  9. Submit for grade.

Time Frame for work: subject to adjustment per class

Day 1 - introduction to modified contour drawing.

Day 2 - introduction to wash drawing, overlapping hands/value.

Day 3 - web quest on artistic hands/search for a theme for your work / color wheel and color schemes.

Day 4 – theme development with sketches/introduction to stippling as linear value.

Day 5 – start large, final drawings.

Days 6 – 9 – individual work on pieces.

Day 10 - project due, vocabulary quiz


a. Submission of self evaluation.(5)

b. Accuracy in drawing hands.(20)

c. Creative pose/message.(20)

d. Application of linear values to hands.(15)

e. Creative design background.(15)

f. Color scheme that compliments mood or message.(10)

g. Time on task – technical skills.(10)

h. Overall appearance of work.(5)


Self Evaluation – Expressive Hands

Name___________________ Block______

1. Explain what your mood or message is. How did you decide to use this idea?

2. What's the significance of the object in your hand?

3. What is the strongest part of the work?

4. What could you have done better on? Why?

5. The title of my work is:


Grading checklist:

Submission of self evaluation.(5)___

Accuracy in drawing hands.(20)___

Creative pose/message.(20)___

Application of linear values to hands.(15)___

Creative design background.(15)___

Color scheme that compliments mood or message.(10)___

Time on task – technical skills.(10)___

Overall appearance of work.(5)___

Total Score for Project__________________


Student Handout:

Expressive Hands
Vocabulary Art 8

LINE – an element of art. Lines define shapes and edges. It is a dot that never ends. Lines can also be three-dimensional.

SHAPE – an element of art. Shapes are areas enclosed by lines. They are two dimensional (height & width). Shapes can be classified as geometric ( circles/squares/etc.) or as organic (having an irregular edge)

SPACE – an element of art. Space deals with depth and distance/area. There are 2 classifications – positive space (filled area) and negative space (empty area.)

VALUE – an element of art dealing with the amount of lightness or darkness in a color. Values make a drawing or painting seem to be three-dimensional. Basic values are the highlight/middle value /shadow.

COLOR SCHEMES – these are color families that create a mood or feeling:

  • Warm colors (reds/oranges/yellows)

  • Cool colors (blues/greens/purples)

  • Complimentary Colors (direct opposites on the color wheel, ex. Red and Green) create excitement!

  • Analogous colors (set of 3 – 4 colors NEXT to each other on color wheel, sharing a common base color – ex. Red-orange, Red, Red-Violet share the base color Red!)

PATTERN – a design principle dealing with a unit of design repeated over and over again.

REPETITION – a design principle that creates pattern.

UNITY – a design principle dealing with a "force" that "holds " a work of art together – may be colors or shapes repeated in the work.


Student Handout:

Expressive Hands

Problem To Solve – How can I create a visual expression of a mood or feeling through the positioning of hands as the subject – and use symbolic color to enhance the message?

Vocabulary (See Vocabulary List for Expressive Hands)

NYS VA Standards 1, 2

MST Standard 2



Newsprint. paper, white Drawing Paper. (12" x 18"/18" x 24" OR 30 x 46 cm / 46 x 61 cm) Drawing Pencils., black Ultra-Fine Point Markers., Colored Markers., Rulers., Compasses., and hands as subjects.



  1. Practice modified contour drawings of hands.

  2. Complete the web quest on hands, come up with 5 ideas.

  3. Practice drawing ideas, choose strongest one.

  4. Draw in a selected format.

  5. Practice blended value sheet.

  6. Add pencil values.

  7. Design an op art style background, draw in lightly.

  8. Select a color scheme from the color notes and apply with markers.

  9. Create a title, self evaluate and submit.

Grading Criteria:

a. Strong thematic idea. (10)

b. Strong composition, thought given to positioning of hands to communicate message. (15)

c. Well-proportioned drawing. (20)

d. Use of realistic value (at least 3 blended values.)(15)

e. Well-designed and drawn background. (15)

f. Craftsmanship in application of color. (10)

g. Color scheme chosen. (10)

h. Title/self evaluation (5)



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