High School Art 1: Fine Arts Foundations

(7 customer reviews)

From: $85.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th–12th

Live Class: Friday 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET

Dates: Sept 17–May 21 (This is a late start class.)

Price: $599

Instructor: Heather Eades

See Reviews of Instructor Heather Eades

Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description


This live, online visual arts course is suited for students in grades 9-12 from all art backgrounds. Beginning drawing skills are highly recommended but not required. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art instruction, this course is designed around the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations standards, building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses and counting as one high school credit for Visual Arts.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” –P.T. Barnum

Calling all artistic makers, Imagineer-minded innovators, creative and critical thinkers, and those who simply appreciate the arts and enjoy fascinating stories – this class is for you! The course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop fundamental understanding of the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design through both studying and creating works of art. Although having basic beginner drawing skills is suggested, our class is designed for all artistic skill levels. We take a close look at visual storytelling and how artists employ basic concepts and design principles to effectively communicate ideas and evoke emotion.

This one-of-a-kind class features weekly live explorations in aesthetics, production, art criticism, and art history. It also engages students in creative problem solving through a variety of contemporary and traditional art-making processes in a very non-traditional studio experience. Students are continually involved in innovative thinking, self-expression and analysis, problem solving, and problem identification within their creative work. They are also encouraged to develop their skills in both verbal and written expression, as well as in their artwork. If at all possible, students are asked to visit a local art museum or gallery at least once throughout the year. Each semester will wrap up with a virtual art exhibit to share with family and friends, as well as with the Aim Academy community.

Our virtual class time will involve project sharing in a gallery format, interactive lecture and discussion with review and new learning of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history. It also includes demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and media with a weekly visual prompt, and concludes with introduction and brainstorming as artists on the week’s upcoming project.

An optional demonstration of each week’s project will be recorded and posted every Wednesday where students can follow along with the instructor throughout the process. They can pause or speed up the recording as needed, observing the techniques and tips for using the medium, as well as ways to work through the creative process in interpreting the assignment. Each week’s project allows for complete (school appropriate) creative freedom and personalized artwork. The concepts, techniques, and media may be the same for all students but each artwork will be unique to the student.

*Please Note: Students should plan to spend 2-4 hours a week on their homework for this course outside of our live class session.

This course seeks to achieve the following goals through a study of artists and their art as well as weekly hands-on projects:

  • We will identify, describe, and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
  • We will experience studio practices that include a variety of traditional media, techniques, and processes in two and three dimensions. *While supply lists are given and encouraged, media substitutions are provided and allowed with a focus on mastering the concepts vs. mastering the media.
  • We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary.
  • We will develop and refine observational drawing skills.
  • We will experience opportunities to apply the constructs of Art Criticism and critique to works of art, including their own.
  • We will compare and contrast universal qualities, function, and purpose of visual art in world cultures through research and analyzing significant artists, styles, and movements in Art History.
  • We will explore the value of technology and its relationship to visual art.
  • We will research careers in and related to visual art, and have working artists come as guest lecturers to share their work and answer questions about careers in the visual arts.
  • We will generate portfolios as assessment tools and artistic presentation.
  • We will develop basic creative problem-solving skills and refine craftsmanship.
  • We will explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression.

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.

Students will first learn to critique master works, then their own works of art before they begin to critique fellow students. All critiques, whether given by teacher or classmates, 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.

Course Structure

Live meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. ET. First semester will focus on the Elements of Art, continuing into second semester with an emphasis on Design Principles, and an introduction to art history incorporated throughout. All course meetings are optional, though they are highly encouraged for class community and to ensure understanding. They will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lectures will still be able to participate with peers through our weekly short-form written group discussions on the course website in Canvas. This course emphasizes that art is for all and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.

Over the course of the school year, students will engage in interactive lectures and weekly discussions, reflect and respond orally and in writing to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements. This includes two-three research papers and two PowerPoint/Google slide/other media presentations. Students can also expect to keep a visual journal/sketchbook, where they will wrestle with and work through artistic problems.

Please Note: Students will also have hands-on art projects to work on each week, some taking several weeks for completion. This class will require 2-4 hours outside of live class time of creative and reflective response time each week.

Weekly assignments may include:

  • A weekly 60-minute live meeting
  • Interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history in our Canvas Discussion forum
  • Reading/viewing assignments from our text, handouts, or various sources
  • Art journal/sketchbook prompts
  • Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
  • Presentations
  • Research, critiques, and compare and contrast papers (only 2 papers max per semester)

Who should enroll?

Students in 9th-12th grades can enroll in this class; they should be able to write a basic high school level paper. Beginning drawing skills are recommended but not required. Students may take Beginning Drawing Mini Courses simultaneously, as they are direct instruction and do not require homework. This class will be the foundational class for all further and more advanced Aim Academy art courses.

Technology Requirements

  • 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

All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas. I provide detailed critiques on all artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept versus artistic skill, and respond to course discussion responses personally. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within 1 week of the assignment’s due date (2 weeks for larger projects). Students receive all critiques well before the next art project is due 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.


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.

Required Texts


This text will serve as the backbone for this course and will be a useful resource for students in all other high school art classes taught by Mrs. Eades.

  •  ArtTalk, Student Edition, 4th edition, 2005, by R. Ragans, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, ISBN 10-007-830599-3

Find used, reasonably priced copies at this link. (I found mine for $7.)


or here:

7 reviews for High School Art 1: Fine Arts Foundations

  1. Lisa C (verified owner)

    I probably would never have considered an online art class, but with the pandemic and in-person classes not available it was our only option for my daughter who loves to make art. We were not disappointed!
    Mrs. Eades is an amazing art instructor. She is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, kind, creative, and relates so well with her students.
    I was especially pleased with the variety of quality art projects and assignments throughout the year. Mrs. Eades instructions were detailed and she was easily available to answer any questions from my daughter. Mrs. Eades has become a favorite teacher and my daughter is looking forward to her next art class in the fall with her.

  2. James R

    An excellent class for an art student. This particular class has a special emphasis on the elements of art, and on various different types of painting.

  3. Emma R

    I am one of Mrs. Eades current students and have taken a class with her before. She is one of if not my favorite teacher. All of her lessons are designed wonderfully, so it is easy to access and get the weeks homework done without confusion. She is so sweet and fun and keeps her live classes and assignments interesting, unlike most classes. If you do need to email her to ask a question, she always gets back fast, which most teachers don’t. I personally have a busy schedule, so I have to turn in work late a lot, and she is so kind about it and totally understands if I have to turn in assignments late, and she doesn’t take points off for it either. All of her feedback on assignments are kind and uplifting. Throughout her courses, I have really grown as a student. She might just be a school teacher, but she makes you feel so loved and that she truly just wants the best for you. She doesn’t just make you feel like you are just one of the many many students she has. She asks how you are and what is going on with you and makes you feel cared about. If you are wondering if you should enroll your kids in one of her classes, you DEFINITELY should! She will be one of the best teachers your kid will have and will give them a breath of fresh air so they can truly thrive in all of their classes. I am so thankful I’ve gotten to take her classes and hopefully more in the future. As well as this art class has taught me so many things I never thought I would try before, like using Oil Pastels! She is truly an amazing teacher 🙂

  4. Lily E.

    I have been in almost all of Mrs Eades classes taught at Aim Academy, but I’ve also been lucky enough to be in several in person classes with her. And on top of all that, she’s also my mom, so Ive experienced her teaching first hand for many years! I love all her classes so much and cannot recommend them enough!! Even though I’m her daughter and may sound biased, I mean it entirely! She has such a gift for teaching, and cares so much about each of her students! She could also be teaching the most seemingly boring topic and still make it interesting and engaging! She has so much enthusiasm and passion for everything she teaches, and that is so obvious to anyone who’s ever been in a class with her. If you’re looking for a fun, very engaging, funny, caring teacher, who genuinely makes any topic exciting to learn about, I can’t recommend her enough! 🙂

  5. Elyse R

    My daughter has taken several of Mrs. Eades’ classes and is currently in the High School Fine Arts class. I cannot recommend any of her classes highly enough. She is an amazing teacher! First, she is extremely encouraging, engaging, and creative. She makes learning fun and makes your children want to learn. She has just the right combination of support, encouragement, kindness, passion, academic excellence, and drive to help your children be their best. I have been so impressed with the range and depth of projects that they have created this year. She has learned so much about all different styles of art and experimented with numerous new techniques and mediums and advanced in multiple areas. This class has been so valuable in teaching much more than art and opening up a whole range of possibilities. If possible, my daughter would have Mrs. Eades teach all her classes!

  6. Shardelle Olson

    I am a mother of 4 children. Some are artsy, some are not. Over the years my children have been involved in a number of Heather’s art classes with many different themes from crazy art to specific drawing. Every time my children have been engaged and learn a lot about different mediums. They have participated in her classes at many different ages and she has a wonderful way of engaging them all. She has a spunky personality that makes every class delightful and entertaining and yet has patience for all levels in the class. Every child feels successful. Not only has she taught my children but she has taught at homeschool groups with older teens. The teens all loved her as a teacher as well and she created incredible artists. I would highly recommed any and all art classes that Heather teaches. She is extremely talented and knowledgable and her teacher skills are phenominal.

  7. Justine Scott

    I had the chance to take Mrs. Eades’ art classes for a couple years in high school and loved every minute of it!

    The way she described the different art techniques was easy to understand and follow, even for someone as inexperienced in art as I was. I also really appreciated the way she included art history into her lessons. Knowing where a specific aspect of art comes from historically makes it so much easier to remember and identify it in later pieces!
    Another thing I enjoyed was the pace of the classes. We spent enough time on each piece to really learn about it, but we also kept moving and learning new things so it was always interesting!
    Overall, I would highly recommend Mrs. Eades’ art classes – they are very enjoyable, and give you the opportunity to learn about art in a way that both improves your skills (considerably in my case!) and sticks in your memory.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instructor Bio

Heather A. Eades

For as long as Heather Eades can remember, she has been both a writer and an artist, and loves teaching young people to do the same. Earning her B.A. in Visual Arts and English from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, along with her studies at Columbus College of Art and Design, helped launch her professional career in publishing where she served as an editor and art liaison for SRA/McGraw-Hill, Inc., helping to create the elementary art program, Art Connections: the companion series to the middle and high school texts utilized in her art classes. Her passion and enthusiasm for helping create fun, innovative learning experiences led her to earn her MA in education with a focus on creating arts-based, literacy-rich curriculum for all students. With over twenty years of professional experience in publishing, her specialty has become designing, writing about, and implementing creative, arts-based curriculum and educational “fun-tivities” for all ages.

And while she enjoys her professional work mosaic of writing articles and book projects, editing online course material for Colorado Christian University, and managing social media communications for Aim Academy by night, by day Heather is passionate about her first and favorite work: the fine art of homeschooling—teaching her own and other students in their homeschooling community. Heather Eades is excited to begin her fifth successful year of teaching online with Aim Academy!

During her graduate program, Mrs. Eades developed and implemented an early childhood art program for an inner city preschool, which she now continues to teach locally to preschoolers in her own community with the help of her two teenage daughters. She has also taught art classes to middle schoolers for many years at a local Christian art collaborative, and to elementary through high school students for the past 8 years at their local homeschool co-op, as well as private art lessons. “Mrs. E.” loves to teach art with the intent and encouragement of bringing joy to others and developing/using the arts for Good in the world. While Heather’s own specialty area is mixed-media illustration, exposing her students to experiment with as many styles, techniques, and media in the arts as possible assures that her class times are never boring and helps students to find their favorite creative outlets. Mrs. Eades is excited to bring her latest collection of “fun-tastic,” hands-on art experiences to Aim Academy, with the same authentic, light-hearted teaching style found in her writing classes!

In her spare time, Mrs. Eades loves to laugh, draw, read, hike and camp with her family, co-lead youth ministry with her husband at their church in Denver, …and can be found consuming obscene amounts of coffee.

Email: [email protected]