Marbles in Mixed Media

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With students of 7th grade we worked on the realistic representation of space in art. In this mixed media work, we colored the marbles with oil pastels and the background with tempera or acrylic painting.

First we painted the background with three shades of gray: the rectangular area was painted with pure black, for the lateral side we used a middle gray and a light gray for the base. In that way we created a sort of three-dimensional space, where we have placed our colored marbles.

On another drawing sheet we traced 8 circles with a compass, with different diameters:
2 circles 8 cm in diameter, 3 circles 6 cm and 3 circles 3 cm in diameter. We drew on every circle a point of light, a little area bean-shaped that should be left white to simulate the reflection of light on the shiny surface of the marble.

After that we colored the marbles with oil pastels, blending the colors to obtain chromatic or tonal gradations. The lightest area should be around the point of light, and the darkest area is in the opposite position. Every student chose the colors creating as more shadings as possible, blending the colors in order to create gradual shadings.

Subsequently the marbles have been cut out and have been pasted on the painted background. We had to be careful how to place the marbles: it’s important arrange the marbles with the white reflection in the same position, as to simulate a unique source of light. At the end we drew the cast shadow with a black pencil, in order to create a more realistic effect.






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10 thoughts on “Marbles in Mixed Media”

  1. Wow! This is such an effective, yet simple project that illustrates so many important aspects of artistic representation – space, value, colour theory, composition, blending. I will definitely be using this lesson. Thank you so much for this.

    • You’re right Cheryl! I wanted to represent many elements of art in an unique work, and it summarizes lots of aspects. It’s simple to realize it, but complex in the final effect.
      Thanks for your comment and enjoy the lesson! 🙂

    • In Italy we use standard drawing paper and the size is 33cmx24cm. We can find it in packet of 20, but I don’t know if you can find sheets of the same size.

  2. Complimenti sia per l’inglese che per le sue lezioni.
    Io sono un alunno di una scuola in provincia di Brescia e per arte usiamo solo il suo sito.


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