Barns in Graphite

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While looking at works of art on the web, I came across some beautiful graphite pencil art by Debbie Adams. She has a website at that shows her art. Debbie Adams also paints in oil and watercolor. But, I love her pencil drawings of barns. She has some important drawing tips on this site also. I made a Power Point presentation of her works to show the 6th grade. I’ve included the Powerpoint in the supplies list, but it takes a few seconds for it to download. I made one copy of a picture for each of the students and they used the picture as inspiration to draw a picture of their own. This project takes two to three hour long classes to complete. All the pictures shownwere done by the 6th Grade students.


  • Debbie Adams art (Powerpoint)
  • White paper
  • Graphite drawing pencils (B2, B4, B6)
  • Soft eraser
  • Cotton Q-tips
  • Scrap paper for practice
  • Scrap paper to protect drawing from hand smudges
  • Copy of picture
  • Hair spray


1. On the scrap paper practice making lines and shadows with the soft pencils, and smudge the lines with the cotton Q-tips. Discuss some of the drawing tips from the Debbie Adams site.

2. Using the picture as inspiration, draw your picture.

3. Spray the completed picture with a fine coat of hair spray to set the graphite.

4. Optional: We glued the pictures to a 12″ x 18″ piece of black construction paper. Very outstanding project!


6th Grade Projects Gallery


2 Responses to Barns in Graphite

  1. GlitterQueen says:

    Thank you, Debbie, for your comments and suggestions. I’ll be sure to purchase the fixative for this art project and also charcoal pencils for next years 6th grade class when they do this. Definitely a project we’ll want to keep doing. Thanks for your inspiration and for taking time to give us valuable pointers. (For teachers reading this—Debbie is the artist whose art we tried to imitate.)

  2. Debbie Adams says:

    The children are doing so well. I am very impressed with their work. If they would like a darker appearance, charcoal pencils will help.
    My best advice is never to be afraid of contrast (dark against light) It will bring you happy results.
    Never use hairspray as a fixative. It will dull the work, then yellow and flake off over time. Not what you want if you plan to keep a piece of art for years to come.
    All art supplies stores carry “Fixative” for artwork. An affordable second choice is at Walmart in the art supply section, it is an acrylic spray, only a bit more than the cost of a cheap can of hairspray, and it will last a long time.
    Happy drawing!

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