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Lesson 4: Finishing Your Drawing


Students will continue to add and adjust the values in their still life drawings.

Grade Level




Theme/Big Idea

A finished drawing will demonstrate a full range of value.

  • Unit & Lessons
  • Slide Deck
  • Teaching Guide
  • Teaching Tools

Materials and Tools

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • 3-object still life
  • Scaled Drawing
  • Value Scale


Students will understand that:

  • Adding a full range of value can make artwork look more realistic.
  • A finished drawing has a background.

Students will be able to:

  • Add a full range of value and a background to complete their drawings.
  • Adjust values throughout the drawing.


Before finishing their work, artists refine and edit what they’ve done.

  • Which object in my still life has the darkest mid-tone?
  • Which has the lightest?
  • Have I shaded my objects with the correct values?

Demonstrate adjusting the value in your still life drawing.

Correct your cast shadows.

Are my shadows the correct shape? Are they the correct value?

Demonstrate adjusting your shadows.

Add a horizon line.

A horizon line is a horizontal line that shows the eye level of the artist.

Demonstrate adding a horizon line to “ground” your objects.

Add value to your background.

What would be a good value to add to my background?

Demonstrate adding value to your background.

Work Time

Encourage students to finish their drawing by:

  • Identifying and adjusting the values.
  • Correcting and adjusting the shape and value of their cast shadows.
  • Adding a horizon line to “ground” their objects.
  • Adding a value to their background.

Reflection Questions for Discussion

  • Describe your process. What steps did you take to make your still life drawing?
  • How would you make your drawing differently next time?
Wayne Theibaud


Full Range of Value refers to using all the values on your value scale throughout your drawing.

Horizon Line

Background is the space behind your still life.


Wayne Theibaud, Candy Apples, 1961

Wayne Theibaud, Still-Life with Kleenex, 1969