This live, online visual arts mini-course is suited for high school students in grades 9–12 of all art backgrounds. A 7-week mini-course, it is a non-graded art elective intended for developing student’s artistic drawing skills. It is part of a step-by-step drawing series for high schoolers. Each session has a unique theme and focus (listed below). Students may sign up for multiple sessions and start the course at any session during the year.
There is a misconception that only people with natural artistic talents can draw well. However, drawing is actually a skill that can be taught, as students learn to control and manipulate lines in the same way they learned to write letters. This step-by-step series of mini-courses aims to help students look at the world around them as forms created by lines and shapes and to then help them learn to draw in that way. This course is highly recommended for students who wish to learn the basics of both observation and imaginative drawing, either for fun or to prepare/improve for further art classes.
During class, students will draw along with the instructor to create their images with direct, step-by-step instruction. Students will learn to use a variety of lines and how to break down subject matter into shapes in order to create both realistic and sometimes imaginative images. While there is no outside homework for these classes, students are encouraged to keep a sketchbook to practice their weekly skills. They are welcome to submit their completed drawings each week after class to receive individualized feedback, or they may simply take this course for fun.
After this mini-course is completed, there will be further mini-courses that build on one another, offered at the same day/time during the week. All classes in this series will require only drawing paper, a pencil, a ruler, a Sharpie marker, and colored pencils or markers for students who wish to add color to their drawings. A sketchbook for weekly practice is recommended but not required.
Themes and focus for this series of mini courses are as follows:
- Mini-course Fall 1
Theme: Drawing from Nature
Focus: Finding Lines and Shapes in Natural Forms
- Mini-course Fall 2
Theme: Architecture and Landscapes
Focus: Geometric constructions and Linear perspective
- Mini-course Winter
Theme: Storytelling through Still Lifes
Focus: Proportions, accuracy, adding volume (shading techniques)
- Mini-course Spring
Theme: People (Faces/ expressions and figure drawing)
Focus: Proportions, portraits, and drawing action
Aside from simply learning foundational drawing skills, this course will also improve skills in the following areas:
- fine motor skills
- spatial reasoning
- creative problem-solving
My teaching style is lighthearted, relational, and tailored to each group of students in my class. I keep my class atmosphere positive and encouraging – a place where all feel welcome and valued, with a focus on the joy and wonder of creating and creation, and where all artworks discussed will be kept rated PG and family-friendly.
All critiques, whether given by teacher or classmates with a rubric, will be crafted to produce insightful, helpful and, wherever possible, positive statements meant to encourage and deepen the understanding and success of the student artist. Feedback to all students will be done in positivity, kindness, and encouragement with a focus on the art concepts being studied over talent or skill level.
Live meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Fridays at 2:30 pm EST.
All course meetings are optional, although because of the step-by-step nature of this course, attendance is highly encouraged for direct instruction, personal artistic guidance, class community, and to ensure understanding. Meetings will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lessons will still be able to follow along with the step-by-step instruction in a recorded version of this class, which will be posted on Canvas later in the day each Friday. This course emphasizes that art is for all and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.
Weekly in-class assignments may include:
- A weekly 60-minute live meeting
- Interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history
- Art journal/sketchbook prompts
- Preliminary sketches
- In-class practice of skills being learned and mastered
- Student involvement in learning process
- Use of elements and principles of design related to composition
- Mastering of techniques of media and use of tools
Who should enroll?
Students in 9th-12th grade who wish to learn or refine beginning drawing skills can enroll. No previous art requirements are necessary.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork
Evaluation and Feedback
In-class artwork has two options for students; they may submit through our website on Canvas to receive feedback, or they can simply do the artwork for fun, receiving no feedback. I will provide detailed feedback/guidance/encouragement on all submitted artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept versus artistic skill/natural talent, with the goal being to improve skills at the individual level. Students who submit their work receive all critiques well before the next live art class so that they may steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities while improving their work and developing their own artistic style with each assignment. They may submit weekly sketchbook prompts for feedback each week as well. This is a non-graded course.
I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details and video instructions on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parents’ and student questions within 24 hours via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.