Man-Made Still Life Object


  1. What is line?

  2. What is line quality?

  3. What is blind contour line?

  4. What is continuous contour line?

  5. What is modified contour line?

  6. How do I create different values and blend with marker?

MASTERY OBJECTIVE(S):  The student will…

demonstrate his/her understanding of line and dimension by using the Elements of Art to create an iconic still life of a complex, man-made object with pen and ink and marker.

Step ONE:

Click on the link below to watch the videos on CONTOUR LINE.


Step TWO:

Choose a complex, man-made object to use for your still life. You could also take your own photos of the object. The photo of the object should utilize great lighting and have some aspect of perspective to it. In other words, you should see parts of the object coming towards you in space and be able to identify highlights, shadows and possibly reflections. Follow directions of canvas to turn in for grade.

Here is an example of a photo I found from the internet:

polaroid camera


Create 1-2 BLIND CONTOUR drawings of the object with marker and/or pen and ink. These can overlap one another on one page. 

Step FOUR:

Create 2 CONTINUOUS CONTOUR drawings of the object with marker and/or pen and ink. Draw each one on a seperate sheet of paper. 

Step FIVE:

Create 1 MODIFIED CONTOUR drawing of the object with marker and/or pen and ink. This one should focus on line quality, proportions, and perspective!

  • because you are doing several sketches, feel free to complete these on printer paper and tape into one page in your sketchbook!

Step SIX:

Begin your final drawing on either sketch paper or marker paper. Marker paper is best and I can give you a sheet!

If you are comfortable enough, you can begin the drawing with pen and ink, if not you can complete a very light ‘under sketch’ in pencil, however, it will have to be erased completely after inking.


Practice blending marker together to get the required colors. You can use a little colored pencil, if you want to mix the media, however, the MAJORITY of the sketch should be in marker. This sketch should have a realistic and illustrative quality/style to it! 


Meaning it should look realistic, but you are not trying to just recreate the photo…it should have a ‘human’ element to it, your artistic interpretation of the object. 

What do you want to viewer to see?

How are you going to lead his or her eye through the object?

In the POLAROID LAND CAMERA I wanted the viewer to be drawn into the lens. So I centered the camera and added more CONTRAST to that area…as you can see in the photograph of the camera below, the lens is a little different and doesn’t pop out to the viewer the same as the drawing. I also made the reflections more drastic to lead the viewer through the camera. 

The line work in the drawing is not perfect either – I did not use a ruler or stencils. There are some wiggles here and there and that lets the viewer know it’s not a photograph. It is a drawing!