This live, online visual arts course is suited for high school students (9th and up) of all art backgrounds. This semester-long course is the first in a series of formal drawing classes for students who are serious about improving/refining basic drawing skills and counts as a half high school credit for Visual Arts/Fine Arts. This course combined with Drawing 2 completes a full high school credit in Visual Arts/Fine Arts.
Learning to draw is often referred to as the process of “learning to see,” with one of the main goals being to refine observation skills just as much as sharpening skills with a pencil. This studio arts course is a one semester elective offered to students who have a desire to learn how to see the world with wonder, training both their eyes and hands through basic observation and realistic drawing skills. Building upon the foundational elements of art learned in High School Art 1, Drawing 1 provides students with drawing and design skills as well as techniques and focuses on learning the fundamental skills of drawing from reality, as the essential artistic skill for all art genres. The course is highly recommended for students who plan to take advanced studio art classes, other art electives, and those who plan to pursue any visual art pathway.
During class, students will draw along with the teacher to create their images. Measuring with a ruler, estimating size, and visualizing proportional relationships are necessary skills that will be built on in this sequential, traditional course of study, with subjects based around students interests. Weekly sketchbook assignments are an important part of the course and independent practice and application of learned skills are recommended for success. Because of the amount of intense focus required for drawing in class, as well as practice work outside of class (estimated 1-2 hours/week max), this class is suggested for students who enjoy drawing, have at least basic beginner drawing skills, and have had a foundational art course featuring basic art elements.
Our virtual class time will involve project sharing in a gallery format; brief interactive lecture and discussion with review and new learning of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history; demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and drawing warm-up; and conclude with guided instruction and demonstration through the various stages of each artwork. During class, students will draw along with the teacher to create their images (many projects taking several weeks), but they will also have weekly sketchbook work outside of class taking from 1-2 hours each week to refine skills and techniques. Students’ activities will be individualized, dependent upon each student’s ability level and artistic goals.
This course seeks to achieve the following goals with each student able to demonstrate the following:
–The ability to draw from observation
–The ability to use line as the principle conveyor of form: Two-dimensional drawing skills – contour, gesture, sketching
–The ability to use line to represent volume and space: Three-dimensional drawing skills – mass (volume) drawing, cross-hatching, linear, stippling, spot line drawing, pattern
–The ability to use linear perspective in the creation of volume and space
–The creation of Form (composition) through the application of the elements of design – line, shape, value, color, texture
–Awareness of the application of principles of design – space, balance, rhythm, harmony, dominance, movement, proportion
— An awareness of careers in which drawing/design are fundamental
–An appreciation of drawing and design as related to traditional and contemporary periods of art
–Understanding appropriate drawing surfaces
–Drawing from observation –Understanding basic drawing and design vocabulary and techniques
–An awareness of critique skills related to drawing and design compositions
–Disciplined work habits
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 PG and family-friendly. All 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.
After this course is completed, there will be an intermediate/advanced level Drawing 2 class that will be offered at the same time/day during the week in second semester. This is the next level class where students will put their newfound knowledge to use in more challenging and complex, realistic, as well as imaginative drawings, as well as experiment with color.
Live course meeting time: LIVE meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Wednesdays at 3 PM EST. All course meetings are optional (though highly encouraged for direct instruction, personal artistic guidance, class community, and to ensure understanding) and will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lectures still will 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!
Weekly assignments may include:
–A weekly 75-minute LIVE MEETING
–Interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history in our Canvas Discussion forum
–Art journal/sketchbook prompts
–In class practice of skills being learned and mastered
–Final projects (emphasis on originality)
–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 should enroll in this class with beginning drawing skills recommended but not required for this class. Students should also have a basic understanding of the elements of art.
–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 in-class projects will be submitted at each stage and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas; I will provide detailed critiques on all artwork at each stage of our projects (focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept vs. artistic skill/natural talent with the goal being to improve skills at the individual level). Students will submit a progress photo of their drawings after each class and I will provide video or written individualized feedback on their drawings with guidance and encouragement to challenge their skills. Students 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. Students will also submit weekly sketchbook assignments for feedback each week as well.
All in-class projects will be given a grade for completion, as well as rubric feedback on the following:
1. Perception and accuracy
2. Development of skills in seeing and thinking
3. Professional presentation and craftsmanship
4. Participation in critiques and discussions
5. General attitude and effort in the classroom
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 via email within 24 hours during the week, at least within 48 hours on the weekend. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.