High School Art Unit Plan

Perspective Drawing with Board Games

Author: Kelly Cook
Big Idea: Artistic Choice

Overview: Students will learn that most two-dimensional drawings can be rendered to look three-dimensional through the use of perspective and value drawing. While they are completing a series of practice drawings of various shapes in one-point and two-point perspective, students will take turns shooting digital photographs of still life set-ups that involve game boards and game pieces. They will shoot a minimum of two photographs from a one point-perspective or two-point perspective angle, while focusing on criteria that creates an interesting composition (balance, unity, repetition, contrast). Then, students are shown examples concept that not all vanishing points are visible within an image. Students will use their photos to sketch a 5”x7” perspective drawing in pencil on an 18”x24” paper. This allows them to use the extra white space around their image to visualize and draw, as needed, where the orthogonal lines would eventually meet a vanishing point. After projecting their sketch and tracing it at a larger size they will add value with graphite.

Rationale: Perspective and value drawing are important techniques in art that teach students how to understand the way they view the world around them. Once students begin to realize that objects in reality appear differently based on their point of view in-relation to the subjects placement, they can open their minds to learn the steps needed to draw realistically. As students mature in age, their desire to be able to draw the world around them increases, as well as, the frustration of not being able to draw from their head what they know to be true from their observations. Understanding how perspective and value affect our perceptions of depth, creates a new way of seeing and creating art that allows for more self-directed choice in art making.

Cultural/Artist Reference: M.C. Escher

Key Concept: Artists choose whether to create art that is realistic or unrealistic depending on their subject matter and personal style. Learning the value and techniques to do both are important for students to have a choice in how they express themselves through art.

Targeted Student Group: Secondary level, Art I, varying abilities

Unit Objectives:

  • Students will synthesize information to create an original composition that demonstrates the use of one and/or two-point perspective.
  • Students will incorporate the use of technology through taking original digital photographs to inspire their compositions.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how the light source in a composition affects the value range visible on various shapes.
  • Students will understand that value and perspective can be used in drawings to help create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface.


Achievement Standard:
• Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks.
Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use.
Related Virginia Visual Arts Standards of Learning
AI.5 The student will demonstrate the use of technology and electronic media as artistic tools. 
AI.6 The student will produce works of art that demonstrate an understanding of two-dimensional and three-dimensional art media, with emphases on drawing, painting, and sculpture. 
AI.13 The student will describe works of art, using appropriate art vocabulary. 
AI.17 The student will describe and analyze the function, purpose, and perceived meanings of specific works of art studied. 
AI.28 The student will demonstrate in writing the ability to support personal criteria for making visual aesthetic judgments.

Materials Needed: board games, digital camera, 12 x 18 paper, 18 x 24 paper, pencils, erasers, rulers, tape, viewfinders, tortillons, visual examples

Evaluation Strategies

Formative- I will walk around to see that students are following the activities and instructions correctly throughout each lesson.
Summative- Students will fill out a self-evaluation form with questions that pertain to the choices they made within their artwork. I will use their evaluation, my observations, and a rubric to assess students’ understanding.

Individual Lesson Outlines

Days 1-2 

  1. Introduction (drawing with depth, one and two-point perspective basics)
  2. Demonstration (drawing a cube at various eye-levels in one and two-point perspective)
  3. Independent work (one and two-point perspective practice activities)
  4. Clean up
  5. Closure

Day 3 

  1. Introduction/Review (introduce value, light source, and composition)
  2. Demonstration (value scale with graphite, draw a cube in perspective with a light source and shade in the values, begin shooting photos in small groups)
  3. Independent work (value scale and light source drawing, shooting interesting compositions)
  4. Clean up
  5. Closure

Day 4

  1. Introduction/Review (PowerPoint with M.C. Escher and my visuals)
  2. Demonstration (using the photo to start the 5”x7” perspective sketch)
  3. Independent work (photo shoot cont, students begin choosing their final photograph, and starting their sketches)
  4. Clean up
  5. Closure

Day 5-6

  1. Introduction/Review
  2. Demonstration (projecting the sketch to an 18”x24” drawing)
  3. Independent work (students finish their sketches and project to their final size)
  4. Clean Up
  5. Closure

Days 7-10 

  1. Introduction/Review
  2. Demonstration (using your value scale and photo to add value to the final drawing, demo advance blending techniques using a tortillon)
  3. Independent work (final value drawing)
  4. Clean Up
  5. Closure