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Lesson 3: Black Line Paintings


We will use black paint to create a gestural painting of an imaginary pet. Students will be able to use brushes to make a line painting with visual texture.

Grade Level



Drawing, Clay, Sculpture

  • Unit & Lessons


  • White drawing paper – 9 x 12″
  • Paintbrushes
  • Black paint in cups
  • Resource: Chinese scroll ink drawing


Step 1

Revisit drawings from last week and discuss shapes, lines, and textures.

Step 2

Introduce tempera paint. Demonstrate using a paintbrush and paint to make marks, lines, and shapes. Show how the amount of paint you use creates different values and brush effects.

Step 3

Have students try a quick line and mark exploration on one paper.

Step 4

Have students paint their animals by outlining shapes first and then adding texture and details.


Students will be able to look closely and reflect on a work of art:

Terracotta zoomorphic askos (vessel) with antlers, ca. 1725-1600 BC, Cypriot, terracotta, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What lines and shapes do you notice?
How is the clay sculpture different from a real deer?

Sketchbook Prompt (Optional):

Work on patterns in sketchbooks.


Brush, tempera paint, gesture


Wang Yuanqi, Landscape in the Styles of Huang Gongwang and Gao Kegong, 1705, hanging scroll, ink on paper