This live, online visual arts course is suited for middle school students of all art backgrounds and abilities, and incorporates only family friendly materials. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art lessons, this course is designed around the National Visual Arts standards (part of the National Core Arts Standards), building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses in the Visual Arts.
So much more than basic art lessons, this course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop basic understanding of the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space) and the Principles of Design (rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity), and how artists use both in their work. Through both studying the foundational elements of art and creating their own works of art using a variety of media and techniques, students develop their creative and expressive abilities, knowledge of art history movements, capabilities to make aesthetic judgments, and an ability to make visual connections across subject areas.
During our virtual class time, students will participate in interactive art activities and warm-ups, share and discuss their finished art projects from the previous week, reflect and respond orally to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements, and experiment with various techniques and media while following along with teacher demonstrations.
My goals for this course are the following.
- 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 always allowed, with a focus on mastering the concepts versus mastering the media.)
- We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary at the middle school level.
- We will discuss works of art regarding theme, genre, style, idea, and differences in media.
- We will describe how artists can show the same theme by using different media and styles as we study significant artists, styles, and movements in art history.
- We will develop and refine observational drawing skills to depict a variety of subject matter.
- We will create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill, selecting specific media and processes to express moods, feelings, themes, or ideas.
- We will experience opportunities to begin understanding the constructs of art criticism.
- We will be introduced to careers in and related to visual art.
- 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.
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.
Each week students will complete a sketchbook assignment and a project. We meet for LIVE one-hour classes via Zoom each Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET. All course meetings are optional, though highly encouraged for class community and opportunities to engage in the lessons and ask questions. They will be recorded for scheduling convenience. This course emphasizes that art is for everyone and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.
Weekly assignments may include:
- A weekly 60-minute live meeting
- Reading/viewing assignments from handouts or various sources
- Art journal/sketchbook prompts
- Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
Who should enroll?
Students in 6th-8th grade should enroll in this class. All artistic skill levels welcome. This class provides general visual art education and is planned to develop essential basic skills of expression and understanding in art. Students are welcome to take this course more than once.
- 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 through our website on Canvas. I provide detailed feedback on all artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept/theme versus artistic skill, as well as on special projects/papers. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within one week of the assignment’s due date (expect two weeks for larger projects). Students receive all feedback 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 within 24 hours to all parents’ and student questions via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.