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This year our classroom goals are…

1. To think and be more creative.

2. To master skills, techniques, and a variety of media

3. To produce and create

4. To exhibit art more beautifully


4 main goals for learning art include:

  1. Contemporary or Art history – timeline of major historical events in art, famous artist represented (appropriate artwork only is to be studied by students, as inappropriate artwork is also available from most artists)

  2. Skill and techniques – basic applications such as drawing, painting, creating

  3. Mediums – materials used, what the possibilities are for creating artwork

  4. Composition/Aesthetics – how to appropriately place the following together and create a visibly appealing work of art.

    1. Elements of Art – Line, Shape, Value, Color, Texture, Form, Space (size)

    2. Principles of Design – Balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical & radial), Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Rhythm, Unity

    3. Rule of Thirds (nine grid formula)

    4. Golden Mean (Geometry)

    5. Aesthetic response

    6. Harmonious relationships

    7. Lighting

    8. Perspective, direction, viewpoint


Critiquing artwork is also an important aspect that will be discussed and facilitated through each project. Every student is required to participate in both verbal and written critiques.


Semester I

(Skill and Techniques)

Intro: (1 week) introduce art room rules, expectations, syllabus, sketchbook, etc…

Pretest: written and drawing element to see placement of each student


Sketchbook and Creativity lessons: (2 weeks) see attachment detailing creative skills and thinking lessons

  1. Art history – contemporary art using Pinterest and Instagram

  2. Skill and techniques – drawing, use of color, layering, ideas unlimited, circle art

  3. Mediums – pencils / colored pencils / crayon / marker / sketchbooks / erasers / found objects/ watercolor

  4. Composition – Line, shape, color, texture

  5. Summative­­ – sketchbook pages


Unit #1:  Getting to know art-Word Design/History lesson/Sketchbook prep (1 week)

Description: graphic design project creating an image using the word assigned and the definition of that word, full 8.5 x 11 page/sketchbook lessons daily/art history discussions

  1. Art history – Hieroglyphics, Greek Writing, Prehistoric Work – Lascaux caves France, Milton Glaser, Robert Indiana, Charles Demuth, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

  2. Skill and techniques – drawing, use of color

  3. Mediums – definitions from book / drawing paper / pencils / sharpies / markers / colored pencils

  4. Composition – Line, shape, color

  5. Summative­­ – Name design or lettering a quote



Unit #2: How to critique a work of art properly (2 days)

Description: 4 steps (describe, analyze, interpret, judgment), vocabulary use & constructive comments

Draw from a “hat” descriptive words to prompt their critiquing. Idea Link:

  1. Summative­­ – written and verbal critique


Unit #3: Drawing on the right side of the brain – How to Draw

a. Stravinsky Drawing-upside down technique (1 week)

Description: learning how to draw using lines & shapes only, shade the image afterwards using proper colored pencil techniques – must use a color scheme and complete the image and/or add to the image

  1. Art history – Betty Edwards, Pablo Picasso

  2. Skill and techniques – drawing, shading, color use

  3. Mediums – 12 x 18 drawing paper / pencil / colored pencils / sharpies

  4. Composition – line, color

  5. Summative­­ – Stravinsky using markers/colored pencil design


b. Blind Contour Drawing-seeing what you are drawing (1 week)

Description: Object studies using portraits – no looking at paper or picking up pencil, and concentrate, final still life drawing outlined or created in black sharpie marker/add color

1.    Art history – Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, James Culleton

  1. Skill and techniques – lines draw blindly, lines drawn partially blind

  2. Mediums – 12 x 18 drawing paper / pencil / sharpies

  3. Composition – line, direction, shape

  4. Summative­­ – fish, plant, or shoe drawing (12 x 18)


c. Tessellations: (1 week)

Description: Using pattern, space, and design concepts students will create a drawing based on the tessellation
concept. Square note cards will be cut to create a repeated pattern for repeated use.

  1. Art history – MC Escher

  2. Skill and techniques – positive/negative shapes, right brain thinking, colored pencils

  3. Mediums –note cards cut square / drawing paper / pencils / colored pencils

  4. Composition – Shape, line, space, pattern

  5. Summative­­ – Tessellation design using patterned design and colored pencils


d. Figure Fridays (4 Fridays)   [summative grade over 4 weeks]

Description: Drawing figures in short periods of time, learning the human body and the proportions

  1. Art history – Graham Sutherland

  2. Skill and techniques – quick sketching, distance drawing, visual measurements

  3. Mediums – charcoal, pencil, newsprint

  4. Composition – proportion, balance, movement

  5. Summative­­ – set of (4) newsprint page studies


e. Values – Chiaroscuro style (2-3 weeks)

Description: hatching, crosshatching, shading samples; positive/negative space studies; project is a still life drawing in black & white

  1. Art history – Renaissance period

  2. Skill and techniques – understanding space and values working together

  3. Mediums – black paper / white charcoal or colored pencil / still life (white) /paint

  4. Composition – Values, texture, form, space

  5. Summative­­ – white on black paper drawing (still life or lockers, knobs, handles)


f. Facial Features (1 week)   [continue value skills here]

Description: Drawing the human face, learning the human skull and proportions

  1. Art history – Andy Warhol, Linda Huber, Murphy Elliott

  2. Skill and techniques –visual measurements, right brain drawing

  3. Mediums – charcoal, pencil, newsprint, drawing paper

  4. Composition – proportion, balance, movement, shading

  5. Summative­­ – face study



g. OPTIONAL Portraiture, Grid style (2-3 weeks) [value skills more developed]

Description: Self portrait, friend, family that is divided into a grid and drawn square by square onto a drawing page that has the same proportional grid

  1. Art history – Chuck Close

  2. Skill and techniques – shading, values, understanding realism

  3. Mediums – photos / drawing paper / pencils / erasers / rulers

  4. Composition – Value, Form, proportions

  5. Summative­­ – Expressive portrait of themselves as a child (headshots only)


h. Zentangles-drawing from imagination (1 week)

Description: designs, textures, imaginative shapes, organic and geometric shapes

  1. Art history – contemporary art

  2. Skill and techniques – understanding shapes and various lines

  3. Mediums – white paper / colored pencil / sharpies /colored pencil or marker

  4. Composition – shape, texture, line

  5. Summative­­ – zentangle drawing such as black paper, white pen


i. OPTIONAL Collaborative Grid Art  (1 week)  

Description: Use 1 image per class divided into even squares, draw them onto squares that are all exactly the same size (@2”x2”), no one sees the final image, when complete put the image back together

  1. Art history – post impressionistic artists:  Munch, van Gogh, Matisse, Gauguin, etc…

  2. Skill and techniques – right brain thinking, oil pastels/markers/paint

  3. Mediums – art history image / drawing paper / pencils / oil pastel / paint / markers/ tape

  4. Composition – Value, Form

  5. Summative­­ – collaborative artwork


               j. Exquisite Corpse: (1 week)

                  Description: creative drawings using group ideas

  1. Art history – Monster art

  2. Skill and techniques – right brain thinking, colored pencils

  3. Mediums –drawing paper / pencils / colored pencils

  4. Composition – Shape, line

  5. Summative­­ – fun monster art using groups and colored pencils




Semester II

(Creative Expression)

Creative thinking sketchbook refresher week 2-same as first semester

Sketchbook and Creativity lessons: (2 weeks) see attachment detailing creative skills and thinking lessons

  1. Art history – contemporary art using Pinterest and Instagram

  2. Skill and techniques – drawing, use of color, layering, ideas unlimited

  3. Mediums – pencils / colored pencils / crayon / marker / sketchbooks / erasers / found objects

  4. Composition – Line, shape, color, texture

  5. Summative­­ – sketchbook pages


Unit #4:  Perspective Drawings Banksy style (2 weeks)       

Description: Drawings using 1pt and 2pt perspective technique, final drawing of a city or place of your choice (imagined or from a photo, 3 bldgs min, 3 windows min, 2 doors min), real or surreal theme

  1. Art history – M. C. Escher, Dick Thermes, Dali, Magritte, Bansky

  2. Skill and techniques – using a ruler, perspective points, spatial/visual perspective

  3. Mediums – rulers / drawing paper or newsprint / pencils / erasers / tape

  4. Composition – line, shape, space, form, repetition, variety, geometry

  5. Summative­­ – tape art on walls upstairs


Unit #5: Contemporary Art history Research: (1 week)

Description: students will research a body of work and an artist to discover more information about.

  • Summative­­ – recreate a famous work of art, interpret classic artwork, create a powerpoint presentation, or write a paper.


Unit #6: Pinwheel Storytelling Art - Abstract Designs (2 weeks)    

Description: create and execute a pinwheel story design about you using 4 major sections-element, principle, artist, and free idea

  1. Art history –  Giacometti, Picasso, Alexander Calder, Naomi Grossman, Elizabeth Berrien, Henri Moore, Jean Arp, Deborah Butterfield

  2. Skill and techniques – 3D modeling, cutting, measuring, design

  3. Mediums – paper, stick, pencil, colored pencil, marker

  4. Composition – abstract, line, movement, form

  5. Summative­­ – create a pinwheel to be used in a group display


Unit #7: Composition Box (2 weeks) [add: drawing from the composition (2 week)]

Begin with a collage of story or movie. Discuss textures, layout and composition extensively to prep for box design.

2 project grades: box design and drawing (colored pencils)

Description: shoe box or box top composition, use the corrugated paper to create a composition or create it from various objects; drawing using a viewfinder to frame a section (abstract)

  1. Art history – Louise Nevelson

  2. Skill and techniques – creating a proper composition, creating an artwork from the original composition, understanding abstract art

  3. Mediums – paper box / blade / healing mat / glue / watercolor / acrylic / paint

  4. Composition – shape, space (positive/negative), harmony, emphasis, repetition, texture

  5. Summative­­ – Shoebox space design using Louise Nevelson as inspiration, group works together from class


Unit #8: Utilitarian Art, Wax media, and Eastern Culture: Crayon Batik Lanterns (2 weeks)

Description: Create a wax resist image, use the fabric to create useful item-lanterns, bag, pillowcase...

  1. Art history – Indian culture, Eastern Hemisphere

  2. Skill and techniques – understanding the relationship between wax and water (dyes), color theory

  3. Mediums – wax / ink / paint / simplistic image / paper or fabric

  4. Composition – shape, line, space

  5. Summative­­ – Crayon Batik Lantern


Alternative Lessons

Lesson #11: Illustrate a story-plate design (2 weeks)            Alternative assignment – Folding Box Design

Description: 1Patterns and shapes drawn to illustrate a poem, 2plate design based on the history of the Blue Willow story or 3another story using watercolor (VA I project “Blue Willow” unless unique class)

  1. Art history – Vaserly, Miriam Schapiro, Mexican Culture

  2. Skill and techniques – creativity, problem solving, illustration

  3. Mediums – pen & ink on paper plate or watercolor on fabric paper or paint on tile

  4. Composition – shape, pattern, repetition, movement, variety, line, rule of thirds


Lesson #12: Watercolor introduction: teach first year students how to use watercolors using copied images

  • Summative­­ – glass still life watercolor



Lesson #13: Mixed media mosaic/Torn paper design (2 weeks)    TEXTURE? rice, sand, etc.

Description: Use white paper to create a design in relief, cut and tear shapes to create the composition

  1. Materials: drawing paper / scissors / image for reference

  2. Art History: Chuck Close

  3. Elements & Principles: shape, form, repetition, pattern, movement


Lesson #14:  Shoe Still Life  (3 days) Alternative Assignment – add painting as 3rd medium same still life

Description: Drawing of shoes using medium of charcoal and separate drawing of graphite

  1. Art history – Andy Warhol, Durer (for texture ideas)

  2. Skill and techniques – using one subject to create a great composition, vary the composition

  3. Mediums – shoes / drawing paper AND charcoal paper / pencils / charcoal / white charcoal / erasers

  4. Composition – Texture, form, values, variety, balance


Lesson #15: Oil pastel fresh/cut fruit (1 week)

Description: Drawing of fruits using oil pastels, small squares of each and mounted together

  1. Art history – Van Gogh

  2. Skill and techniques – blending, oil pastel skills, composition

  3. Mediums – fresh fruit / drawing paper / oil pastels / blending stumps

  4. Composition – Color, form, texture, medium


Lesson #16: Magazine Bowls (2 weeks)

Description: Create a bowl out of recycled magazines and glue

  1. Art history – Recycled Art

  2. Skill and techniques – folding papers to specified sizes, gluing them to create a sculpture shaped of a bowl or bowl like

  3. Mediums – Elmer’s glue or modge podge / magazines

  4. Composition – shape, form


Lesson #17:  Color Theory Collages  (3 days)

Description: create a random collage using magazine clippings 

  1. Art history – Robert Rauschenberg

  2. Skill and techniques – how to be creative using randomness, swap headlines with others, use all color-based images (complimentary scheme, split complimentary, etc.)

  3. Mediums – paper / magazines / scissors / glue / oil pastel / paint / sponges

  4. Composition – color, emphasis


Lesson #18:  Zoomin’ In On Nature – Flower Still Life (6 days)          

Description: Drawing of the flowers using a cropping tool and 3 different mediums, 3 different drawings

Materials:  plastic flowers / view finders / drawing paper / sharpies / paint / markers / oil pastels

Art History:  Georgia O’Keeffe

Elements & Principles: Composition, varied mediums

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