Your job is to adjust the contrast just enough so that the shadows become closed shapes that will be easy to draw out later.
You will lose some detail, but the trick is to adjust it just enough so that you get your shapes without losing the important detail.

Q. What parts of Barack Obama's face are important in identifying that it's really him?


You will complete a pen and ink drawing using words to determine values. By choosing a picture to work from with high emotional content and then using a thesaurus to select words that describe the picture's content, you will help ensure the success of this project. Words should be placed together tighter, made bolder etc. to achieve darker values.
STEPS – This instructs you step by step on the procedures to follow so you may successfully complete this project.

external image micrography_t.jpg
In all literate cultures, writing is used artistically. The subtle abstractions of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, the elegant distortions of Arabic inscriptions, and the elaborate zoomorphic and historiated initials letters of medieval Latin manuscripts are all examples of script as decoration. Micrography is minute script written into abstract patterns or formed into the shape of objects, animals or human figures. The earliest Hebrew micrographic texts date possibly from the late 9th century CE and were written by Jewish scribes in Palestine and in Egypt. This uniquely Jewish art spread to Egypt, Yemen, and Europe, where it reached its height from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries; this tradition has been sustained until the present day.

Micrography is the forming of pictures of persons or objects with the words in tiny letters of verses appropriate to the subject. Thus the story of Jonah, the reluctant prophet, the boat, the fish, the ocean are all formed from the words of the biblical book bearing his name. it was fashioned by Moses Elijah Goldstein in 1897 and presented to Herr Gustave May, ("The Ship of Jonah," Micrography, 1897, Hebraic Section, Library of Congress Photo).
Jewish Virtual Library

1) Select your portrait. The stronger you feel about the subject matter or theme, the better. The first thing we will do is make a black and white copy of your photo. (refer to your GIMP photo editor handout for ALL directions)
You may crop, enlarge, reduce, add details, leave out some details, create a composite thumbnail of several images, etc.

Once you have finished the previous stage,
you will save and print your work out as an 8x10. It is easier to print through the microsoft images menu. darklightman.jpgLeonardo-da-vinci-drawing.jpg
  1. Draw a grid containing 1" squares over your photograph.
    • Decide what medium you are using BEFORE you draw your next grid.
    • Mediums available: acrylic paint, pastels, charcoal, ink
  2. Draw another grid over your newsprint paper.
    • This grid should be 25% larger than your first. What is 1" + 25%?
    • How large should each of the squares be?
  3. This step is inter-changeable with step 2; using a thesaurus, compile a list of at least ten words that describe the feelings or emotions of your image. You can include words from poetry or stories you've written or loved, favorite song lyrics, ramblings, etc.
  4. Beginning with the darkest areas first, start laying in your words, obviously change the words as you go along, rather than repeating the same word over and over. Make the words tighter, more condensed, etc in the areas that need to be darkest. Spread them out as you get lighter. This is very much like stippling, only you are using words instead of dots.
  5. Complete the entire picture using words to define the picture and its different values.

Below is an example of student work (by Eshe Hawash)


When you are finished, complete the self-evaluation portion of your rubric. Use all the terminology introduced with this lesson.

MEDIA – materials used: pencil, pen and ink paper, permanent ink pens, thesaurus
ART TERMS – value, stippling, pointillism, thumbnail sketch, contrast, micrograph
Check this often to make sure your project includes of the requirements. 1) You must choose a picture that brings about an emotional response when viewed. 2) You must work from an approved thumbnail sketch. 3) All lines, shading, etc. are done with words only. 3) A full range of values must be present in the completed drawing. 4) The finished drawing will be completed in pen and ink. 5) The self-evaluation portion of the rubric must be completed.
– Approximately 8 class periods
– Student evaluation and assessment of the project: This section must be completed by the student. It is expected that the self-evaluations be done honestly. In this section you write directly about your work. You should talk about the strengths and weaknesses; things you could do better; things that are done exceptionally well; you must also use all of the new art terminology correctly in your self-evaluation. It must be legible, both in terms of the actual writing as well as the intended meaning. Spelling is also important. This is a paragraph that tells me about your artwork and what you think about it. Defend your statements. Just writing phrases such as, “I like it.” is not good enough. Why do you like it? You must also give yourself a written grade. You should use the rubrics provided to help you determine what grade you deserve.