Looking Closer

When do doctors use x-rays?

What if you could take an x-ray of the world? What would you see?








Look closer.

What does the world’s x-ray look like?

Your assignment is to create an x-ray of the world you know to diagnose the ills of the world. What will you see in the x-ray you create?


  1. We’ll begin in the sketchbook.
  • Make a list of the problems you know the world faces today. Which topic makes you want to act? Explain why.
  • Develop at least five rough sketches. Include notes that explain what is going on and what your world diagnosis is.
  • Make a list of several easily recognizable objects that symbolize your world diagnosis.

2. This is a major project. Here is how you’ll be scored…

  • Creating the underlying contour drawing from observation. 25%
  • Making proportionally accurate drawings. 25%
  • Creating smooth transitions of value to communicate believable shape and form, using variations of pressure – not smudging. 25%
  • Consistently engaged in decision-making to solve visual and technical drawing problems. 25%
  • 200 possible points

I began with a contour sketch incorporating three overlapping figures.

To set up my page and be prepared to transfer my sketch, I did the following:

A. Use small pieces of masking tape.
B. Use a straight edge to create an equal, wide margin between the drawing and the edge of the paper.

Design your drawing with overlap so that the “stencil” imagery can create interesting relationships between positive and negative shapes.

Create variations in value using pressure. NO RUBBING or SMUDGING! Create variations in value by adjusting the pressure of the graphite. You’ll be more successful at this if you shave your pencil to reveal a long section of graphite as we demonstrated in class.

Student examples.