Shades of Grey

Description: Repeated images of contradiction

Objectives:Students practice shading without the risk of being unable to draw

Author:Kristin, edit by Blair

Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary to middle school

Sample, Historical Art Examples, and References: Rene Magritte, France

Vocabulary:  Stencils, Shading, Repetition

Materials:Pencils, scissors, and paper

Anticipatory Set: Show students an example of Magritte’s work. Ask students whether they have ever had a dream in which something was different from reality? What do they notice about the colors or edges in their dreams?


1. Show students examples of Magritte’s work and review vocabulary.
(5 minutes)

2. Have students brainstorm a list of contradictions, such as elephants that fly, or sayings, such as raining cats and dogs.
(10 minutes)

3. Demonstrate how to make a stencil and use both the positive and negative space. Rub the pencil lead on the edge of the stencil and then rub your finger away from the stencil, preserving the hard edge along the stencil side. Repeat the process filling up the page. Draw details over gray shapes.
(10 minutes)

4. Remind students of the beauty of sharing and working together.
(1 minute)

5.  Have students collect materials at the end of class.
(5 minutes)

Suggested Reading:
And to Think That I saw It On Mulberry Street By Dr. Seuss

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