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Art Lesson Plans
The home of quality art lesson plans.
This is just a small snapshot of the hundreds of art lesson plans available on The Arty Teacher website. Each section highlights some of the best-selling art lessons for that theme. Remember, you don’t have to pay for these resources individually as with a subscription you can download 10 resources a month.
Exciting Techniques and Processes
Experimenting with different media is an essential part of a broad art curriculum. Many of my resources explore exciting media; the three featured below have been very popular.
Complete Units of Work
These complete units of work are each an entire project. It’s wonderful to be able to teach new projects and to not have to spend hours and hours planning. There are many more complete art units on The Arty Teacher.
I never know what resources are going to be popular. The selection below all have received great reviews!
CLICK HERE TO SEE HOME LEARNING
Art lesson plans for teaching portraits.
Most art teachers teach portrait lessons at some point in the year. Students really seem to love this topic even though it’s really difficult. Below are three best selling portrait resources. Click an image to learn more, or click here to see all art lesson plans about portraits.
Art Lesson Plans for Teaching Colour Theory
Color theory is easy to teach with these resources to help you. Every resource has the different spelling of ‘color’ and ‘colour’ to keep art teachers around the globe happy! As well as the best selling resources below, there are more color theory art resources on The Arty Teacher. This includes resources that help teach about harmonious, analogous and complementary colours.
Engage Boys in Art Lessons
Art teachers have told me that boys have really engaged with the resources below. Of course, many girls would enjoy them too.
Art Lesson Plans – Art Literacy
The Arty Teacher is particularly hot on literacy resources because art literacy is integral to most art curriculum’s. On The Arty Teacher there are resources to do this through discussion, analysis and written tasks. Click an image below or browse Art Literacy resources . You may be interested in art resources that incorporate Blooms Taxonomy .
Art Assessment Resources
We all have to spend a lot time marking and assessing art work. Many of the art assessment resources on The Arty Teacher are designed to save you time. Click the images below or here for all Art Assessment Resources .
Art Sub and Cover Lessons
The Arty Teacher prides itself in having helped hundreds of art teachers access sub/cover lessons when they need them the most. You’ll find many of them will fit in with what you are teaching and will continue to teach your students the skills they need. 3 popular sub lessons are below or you can find lots of art sub lessons here.
Zentangles worksheets really seems to engage students. These three resources are all on the zentangle theme. Click on the images below, or there are more Zentangle Art Resources on The Arty Teacher.
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Art Projects for Kids
Stop searching. get no-prep, step-by-step elementary art lessons delivered daily (it’s free).
Drawing for Kids
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Stop the Sunday Search
For teachers who are tired of having their Sundays swallowed up by lesson planning, Art Projects for Kids has a free daily email that serves up easy-to-use art projects your students will love — without ever opening Pinterest.
Quality lessons ready to use!
I love the step-by-step directions, meaningful and easy to do, fun, meaningful art activities with 90% less planning time, see all >.
The only options most teachers have for how to find art lessons is by spending hours weeding through the millions of ideas that come up on Google and Pinterest. Or to scour Teachers Pay Teachers for expensive supplements to your local curriculum. Or to try to force-fit the overwhelming school art program that requires all kinds of fancy materials (all in your “free” time, right?).
But even after giving up most of Sunday afternoon searching for ideas, all you turn up is one or two puny lesson plans with instructions that are about as easy to follow as IRS Form 13909. You need a faster way to find fun art projects with user-friendly directions that will engage your kids. But… how? Enter: Art Projects for Kids.
How to draw Landscapes in Perspective Tutorial Video and Landscape Coloring Page
Primary Color Wheel Video for Kids: Introduce Basic Color Theory with Ease
Gee’s Bend Quilt Art Lesson: How to Make a Paper Quilt Project Tutorial Video
Draw Yourself as an Anime Character Tutorial and Anime Coloring Pages
Art projects for kids creator, kathy barbro, prep your art lesson plans, effortlessly.
The Art Projects for Kids step-by-step method of elementary art instruction breaks the often anxiety-inducing subject of art down into a simple, fun process (for students AND teachers) that boosts your students’ confidence and allows them to create with joy.
Each of your kids can set their own pace to create artwork they can be proud of. And you can feel empowered to instill your kids with the delight of creativity (even if you tend to be a left-brained, “in the box” thinker yourself).
But after 20 years in the classroom as an art teacher, I also know what it’s like to give up every Sunday afternoon (and most evenings) to plan the week’s lessons. You shouldn’t have to give up all your free time to bring your students meaningful art instruction. That’s why at Art Projects for Kids , you’ll find a variety of easy, step-by-step lessons your kids will love all in one place . The result is an instant extra 90 minutes minutes back in your weekend — just by signing up for our emails (and it’s free!).
Integrated Art History Projects
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Easy How to Draw a Romero Britto Cat and Britto Cat Coloring Page
Easy Draw Like Romare Bearden Tutorial and Coloring Page
Black History Month Artists: Horace Pippin and a Horace Pippin Coloring Page
Easy Joan Miro Art Project and Joan Miro Coloring Page
Easy Chagall Art Project and a Chagall Coloring Page
Easy How to Draw a Balloon Dog Tutorial and Balloon Dog Tutorial
Easy How to Draw a Paul Klee Cat Head and Klee Cat Head Coloring Page
Easy Pop Art Project Tutorial and Coloring Page
How to Draw Frida Kahlo Easy Step by Step Art Project for Kids
Alma Woodsey Thomas Art Lesson Plan for Kids: Painting Project
Black History Art Project: Draw like W. H. Johnson
Easy How to Draw Ruby Bridges Tutorial and Ruby Bridges Coloring Page
Black History Month: How to Draw a Dancing Lady like Bernard Hoyes
Easy How to Draw Jackie Robinson Tutorial Video and Jackie Robinson Coloring Page
Relax, knowing no-prep art lessons are en route to your inbox.
No more feeling guilty for not having the bandwidth to thoughtfully integrate more art projects into your lessons. No more cringing at not coming up with more “creative” ideas and projects to put on your bulletin boards. No more doubting your ability to teach art. No more feeling helpless when your kids are too afraid to create.
Instead, enjoy a classroom brimming with perseverance and playfulness . Wake up looking forward to walking into your classroom armed with your easy lesson plans and even videos you can play for your class. Smile as you watch your creative kids discover that, yes, they CAN have fun doing art. Feel truly prepared (maybe for the first time ever) . Treat yourself to a relaxing Sunday with your feet up. Maybe even reading a book that didn’t come out of the kids section of the library. And know that your (free) email membership to Art Projects for Kids is powering all of this, like your magical teaching fairy godmother. And even when you rest? It won’t.
Really boosts their drawing confidence!
Nice art work that is kid friendly, find literally any picture your students want to draw, all in one place, view project ideas by grade level.
You Don’t Need as Much Time as You Think to Integrate Art into Your Classroom
You won’t have to spend all day searching Pinterest for ideas. You won’t have to spend hours prepping or studying the art lessons. You won’t need to beg your administration or parents for high-end supplies or purchase expensive curriculum.
All you have to do is say “yes” to the Art Projects for Kids daily email and watch as the 3,152 minutes you’re losing each year to searching for art activities slowly come dripping back into your life. Because what busy teacher doesn’t want another 3,152 minutes per year without doing anything differently at all? Get the Art Projects for Kids daily email, and let us do the heavy lifting for you.
Find More Easy, Step-by-Step Art Lessons in our Shop
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William H. Johnson Mural
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Collaborative mural templates for kids.
Diego Rivera Mural
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Drawing is one of the most important activities you and your students can do. Drawing not only provides the basis for other creative activities – like painting, sculpture and printmaking – but it also provides a direct link with reading, writing and especially mathematics. Drawing is the single most accessible form of art available. All you need (to begin with), is a pencil and a sheet of paper.
Oil Pastel Hearts
K-2, Grades 3-5, Middle School
Hamsters with Heart
by Andrea Mulder-Slater When children discover they can create hamsters by drawing a series of hearts, they get really excited. And why wouldn’t they? These popular pets are small, sweet …
by Andrea Mulder-Slater Charley Harper was an incredible artist and illustrator who is best known for his stylized, simplified interpretations of nature and wildlife. Students will learn about Charley as …
by Andrea Mulder-Slater Mandalas help to bring balance, peace and calm. This makes creating them a perfect activity for children (and adults) of all ages. This lesson uses readily available …
Getting to Know You
by Andrea Mulder-Slater The first days and weeks of school can be exciting and terrifying, all at once. Arming yourself with a few “getting to know” you exercises can help …
Design Your Own Nutcracker
by Andrea Mulder-Slater Nutcracker dolls symbolize good luck in German tradition, but where did they come from? This drawing lesson will teach children the answer to this question, and more. …
When a scribble is not just a scribble
by Andrea Mulder-Slater When my daughter was younger, she and I often pulled out the craft box in the mornings, to see what we could create. Inside our box we …
Drawing with Glue
by Andrea Mulder-Slater If you are looking for a sure fire way to get a great response from your students, walk into the art room and tell them they will …
Coffee Ground Gardens
By Andrea Mulder-Slater Polar bears are very large bears who live in the icy cold Arctic where The Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) can be seen. Auroras are bright, dancing …
Calico Cat on a Mat
by Andrea Mulder-Slater With their spotty, patchwork hair patterns, calico cats are so much fun to draw! In this lesson, students will learn how to draw a sleeping cat, laying …
by Andrea Mulder-Slater Here’s a super quick way to make paper pumpkins that look real enough to pick! [This is a small snippet of a lesson we have inside The …
6 Ways to Make Sketchbooks
by Andrea Mulder-Slater When I was a student at art school, my drawing professor had one rule and that was to draw, every single day. From her I learned there …
Pop Art Owls Drawing Art Lesson with Video Tutorial
K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
Negative Space Plant Drawings
Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, High School
Criss Cross Doodles
by Andrea Mulder-Slater Using materials found in every art room, students will draw criss cross lines to create shapes for doodles to live! Then, by following a few basic prompts, …
Draw and Paint a Sea Turtle
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7 Ideas to Pump Up Your Drawing Curriculum
One of the best things about AOEU courses is that art teachers from across the world come together to share, learn, and improve their practice. It’s always a joy to get to know these creative, passionate teachers who are full of amazing ideas!
One of my favorite classes to teach is Studio: Drawing . Time and time again, I am in awe of the art activities and lessons they come up with for their classroom. Today, seven students are sharing ideas, sure to take your students’ drawing skills and your drawing curriculum to the next level.
Here are 7 creative ideas that have come out of AOEU’s Studio: Drawing Course.
1. play “drawing jeopardy.”.
This idea comes from Studio: Drawing student, Donna Banks. Donna created a fabulous “Drawing Jeopardy” game to engage her students. She included questions and answers based on drawing concepts, techniques, vocabulary, and more.
Here is what Donna had to say about her instructional learning tool.
“The physical game board loosely emulates the game screen from the television show. It is brightly collaged to show a number of drawing implements and techniques to inspire play. I used bold colors to design the board and included a shiny fringe to attract students. The index cards adhere via low-tack glue dots. So, answers and categories can simply be swapped out, whether for differentiation purposes or teaching different subject areas.”
The game is designed to be played as a class, with the teacher acting as the game show host and the students divided into teams. The team with the most correct answers to the questions wins. This is such a creative way to teach students terms they will be using throughout their drawing studies.
2. Reflect on the visual journaling experience.
Students in the Studio: Drawing course take notes via a visual journal. The learning that takes place is nothing short of spectacular, as students organize their visual notes in their own creative ways. Student, Daniela Cirone, did a fantastic job with her first journal assignment. Her reflection about the process, part of which can be seen below, shows just how much she grew.
“I officially faced my fear of drawing in a sketchbook and actually really enjoyed the process! I wrote a lot of notes while watching the videos and in my readings. This started to loosen me up and ease my anxiety regarding the, ‘How do I start?’ thoughts.
I woke up early on a Saturday morning to start my visual journal. I had it sitting on the kitchen table while I was making coffee. Again, my mind went to, ‘How do I start?’ I thought back to the previous week’s comments and feedback about getting my paper dirty by staining it. So, there I was, spilling coffee on page one of my visual journal.
Once I actually got started, it was shockingly easy to keep going. I just drew the next thing that came to mind. For once, I didn’t have a preconceived plan, I just created. My first sketchbook page was inspired by activating all of my senses. I had the aroma of fresh coffee in the air. I had coffee beans spread around my sketchbook and table. I was tasting the coffee, spilling it, reading the coffee bean label. It was the moment I was living, and I captured it all in my drawing.”
Imagine how having your students reflect on how they are creating their visual journal pages would deepen their thinking or force them to see things in a new way.
3. Face your fear of tricky techniques.
For many art teachers, anatomy and perspective aren’t favorite subjects to teach. However, student, Christine Cintula, combined the two into a dynamic lesson.
She shared, “I chose to integrate last week’s anatomy learning with this week’s focus on perspective. I’ve always been inspired by Michelangelo Buonarroti’s drawings. So, I attempted to add figures that showed despair and desperation, falling down a staircase that has no end.”
To successfully complete this drawing, Christine took photos of two poses she felt would give the drawing power and emotion. She posed on her staircase to aid in drawing the perspective of the stairs.
Think about how your students might take their own reference photos to aid in drawing complicated subject matter. When students have the opportunity to take the photos they draw from, it’s a win/win!
If you’d like to brush up on your anatomy skills, check out the Drawing the Human Form PRO Learning Pack. You’ll discover how to teach your students about proportion, structure, and posing and take the fear out of realistic drawing.
4. Remix a classmate’s drawing.
Studio: Drawing student, Karen Melvin, was inspired by the collage and drawing work of classmate, Robea Nordman. She decided to use the inspiration to go in her own direction. Here’s a bit of what she had to say about the process.
“I decided to draw my house using linear perspective. Inspired by the collage Robea created, I wanted to try to use collage for the majority of the image. I gathered a variety of magazine and book pages and used a gloss medium to adhere collage pieces together. Filling in areas with just the right size collage piece was a challenge. To solve this problem, I used tracing paper to trace the area I wanted to fill in. Then, I sandwiched the tracing paper and collage scrap together and cut them out. When I teach a collage perspective project with students, I plan to employ this trick. I will also encourage them to add their own story and explore a variety of media as they add color and texture to their work.”
Imagine the possibilities of having students use each other’s work as jumping off points. The flow of ideas would be incredible.
5. Tackle light, color, and texture.
Student, Kristie Hirten, did an amazing job experimenting with light, color, and textures during one of our lessons. Here is what she says about the experience.
“I am very proud of the realistic nature and appearance of my drawing. I really loved doing this drawing, and it occupied the majority of my week. There was quite a lot of detail that was included. The photos that I took for this assignment were also very interesting. I used a fish tank and colored plastic wrap to cast color into the water. The soap and the hands give an appearance of things that are slipping away through your fingertips. It was challenging to capture was the amount of detail in the bubbles in this drawing. But again, looking at it from the perspective of line, shape, and color helped so much.”
The other students and I were thrilled to see Kristie’s thinking and drawing go to the next level. Consider how you might push your students by requiring them to work within these parameters.
6. Let your students experiment with media.
Tackling portraiture can be intimidating for students. It’s fascinating to see how different people approach the challenge. One of my favorite solutions was the work of Studio: Drawing student, Kathleen Flynn. Kathleen did an incredible job of merging anatomy with portraiture. She used mixed drawing materials, including pen and ink, graphite, and oil pastel, to create a strong series of works in her teacher showcase. Here is what she writes about the experience.
“To date, and within this course, I’ve revisited and explored several media. I used alcohol markers for the first time to render the form and discovered that porous papers do not work well with this media. I used colored ink pens instead of the traditional black pen. Hatching with fine tip brushes and diluted ink is very satisfying and proved to be less straining on fingers and hands. Oil pastel on a small scale is difficult, but blending with a tortillon, instead of one’s finger, can produce nice effects.”
Encouraging your students to experiment with a variety of media is one way to help them build their skills. Even if an experiment doesn’t work out, they’ve still learned something!
7. Merge various techniques.
It’s always exciting to see when a student combines their new knowledge and skills into a successful final piece. I was thrilled when student, Greg Pajala, shared his teacher showcase. It merged elements from the course together into a fabulous final work that inspired us all.
Greg writes, “I used multiple techniques and media to create the final piece. I intended to showcase the different materials and methods we had used over the course of the semester. The first panel is graphite, the second is a marker, and the third is a technical pen with a watercolor wash. I created each panel separately, using the grid method. Then, I matted them as a single piece. I really wanted each panel to stand on its own, but also work together as a larger piece.”
Challenging your students to use multiple techniques in a single piece will help push your students out of their comfort zones.
One thing we all learn via these online courses is that truly, “together we ART better.” I’ve been saying it for years, but AOEU student, Kathleen Flynn, said it beautifully as she summed up her experience in the course:
“I believe it’s important to keep a network of supportive teachers. I still remember the colleagues with whom I shared studio space at grad school. Something special happens when people are face-to-face in a shared space as opposed to online. The personalities in this class, however, made it less impersonal than online classes I’ve taken in the past. Folks on here have been really honest and supportive, and exceptionally generous with sharing resources. I’ll always appreciate and admire this great group of artists and teachers. Thanks, everyone!”
I hope these ideas spark some new thoughts for your next school year. I know the work I see coming out of teachers across the nation certainly inspires me!
How do you currently teach drawing techniques to your students?
Have you considered taking an AOEU studio course?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.
Debi West is one of AOEU’s adjunct instructors and a former AOEU Writer and NBCT art educator. She loves sharing with others and enthusiastically stands behind her motto, “Together we ART better!”
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58 Free and Easy Directed Drawing Activities Anyone Can Do
Uncover the artist in every kid!
Regardless of your artistic abilities, you can still help your students improve their own artistry thanks to directed drawing activities. They walk you through the process step-by-step so anyone can create their very own masterpiece. Teachers often lead the session by drawing on the whiteboard or chart paper while students follow along. Although there are a ton of good options for instructional videos, a favorite of ours is the Art for Kids Hub on YouTube —they have hundreds of videos spanning all interests. Here are some of our favorite free directed drawing activities for kids. Grab your favorite art supplies and get creative!
1. Fancy flowers
Draw these simple flowers, then fill them in with markers or colored pencils to personalize them.
Learn more: Draw a Flower at Kitchen Table Classroom
2. Baby Yoda
Whether you call him Baby Yoda, The Child, or Grogu, he’s bound to be one of your most popular directed drawing activities!
Learn more: How To Draw Baby Yoda at Art Projects for Kids
3. An adorable dog
Kids will definitely love this easy-to-follow guide on how to draw a basic dog shape. With a few tweaks, they can personalize it to look like their favorite furry pal.
Learn more: How To Draw a Dog at Easy Peasy and Fun
4. Night sky owl
First, kids draw these simple owls, then they add stars with white crayons. Finally, they use watercolors to add the finishing touches.
Learn more: Owls at Night at Primarily Speaking
5. Tree frog
Who doesn’t love a pop-eyed tree frog? The video guides you through each step of the process as you bring your funny frog friend to life.
This cheery sloth is just hanging around, begging to be sketched and colored!
Learn more: How To Draw a Sloth at Art Projects for Kids
7. Simple building
Regardless of your drawing ability, you can create a simple house or building like the one shown here just by using basic shapes. Artists can easily customize it to their liking by adding more windows, changing the shape, or choosing different colors.
Learn more: How To Draw an Easy Building at How To Draw Easy
Say hi to this happy robot, then learn how to create one of your own.
Drawing people can be intimidating, but this tutorial simplifies things for beginner artists.
Learn more: Man Drawing at I Heart Crafty Things
Llamas are as popular as ever, so they make the perfect choice for directed drawing.
The free printable worksheet makes drawing this chubby penguin pal a snap.
Learn more: Penguin Activities + A Directed Drawing at Natalie Lynn Kindergarten
12. Happy mug
Since the weather is getting colder, why not warm up with this sweet and silly drawing of a mug winking?
Those pink ears! Everyone will want to learn how to sketch this playful pachyderm.
Check out chickadees at your local bird feeder , then learn how to draw them!
Learn more: Easy How To Draw a Bird Tutorial and Bird Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
Since kids usually love superheroes, they will get a kick out of drawing their very own!
16. Boo bat
We love that this adorable bat is mostly made up of basic shapes that every kid can master.
Learn more: Bat Directed Drawing at Babbling Abby
This sweet bunny face is the perfect springtime art project.
18. Pop art landscape
Before drawing, give your little artists a brief overview of the Pop Art movement. Afterward, let them put the lessons into place in this fun landscape that includes bright colors and fun patterns.
Learn more: Easy Pop Art Landscape and Pop Art Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
19. Humpback whale
Studying the ocean ? Try sea creature directed drawing activities, like this humpback whale.
Learn more: Easy How To Draw a Whale Tutorial and Whale Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
20. Pine tree
The tree shape is simple, but markers diluted with water turn this into a truly pretty picture.
Learn more: Paint With Markers – Pine Tree Step-by-Step Tutorial at The Kitchen Table Classroom
21. Abstract face
This abstract face is so simple to draw yet provides so much opportunity for individuality and creativity. Follow the steps for the basic outline, then grab your favorite set of markers, paints, or colored pencils and fill the page with color!
Learn more: Easy How To Draw an Abstract Face Tutorial and Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
Turn on some soothing ocean sounds and sketch a serene shoreline scene.
An apple a day … makes good drawing practice! We love that this activity includes both a whole apple and apple slices.
Learn more: Easy How To Draw an Apple Tutorial and Apple Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
24. Chick in egg
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? No need to decide with this directed drawing idea!
Learn more: How To Draw a Baby Chick in an Egg Shell at How To Draw Step-by-Step Drawing Tutorials
25. Nintendo Switch
While kids love video games, it is best for them to unplug from time to time and engage in some hands-on activities like drawing. We can’t think of something they would like to draw more than their beloved Switch!
Shoot for the stars when you learn how to draw this rocket headed for outer space.
Learn more: How To Draw a Rocket Ship at Drago Art
27. LEGO Man
Since kids love LEGO, what better drawing tutorial to try than this adorable LEGO Minifigure?
28. School bus
Here’s a terrific directed drawing activity for kindergartners when they start school. It will help them see the school bus as a friend!
Learn more: School Bus Drawing Activity in 6 Easy Steps at Proud To Be Primary
If you can draw curves, you can create this majestic dino. ( Here’s a T. rex too! )
Learn more: Easy How To Draw a Diplodocus Tutorial and Diplodocus Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
This joyful pumpkin would be especially cute in autumn but could be drawn any time of year!
Learn more: Free Pumpkin Directed Drawing Activity at Natalie Lynn Kindergarten
This pink porker is so darn adorable! That curly tail is the best part!
Learn more: Cute Piggy Art Project at A Blog From the Pond
Capture the magic of this sparkly creature with this surprisingly easy directed drawing idea.
33. Santa Claus
Need some quick Christmas decor? Have your class create a whole collection of Santas for the walls.
34. Rainbow chameleon
Drawing this chameleon is only half the fun—filling him in with vibrant colors is even better!
Learn more: How To Draw a Chameleon Tutorial Video and Chameleon Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
Ignite an interest in drawing and geography with this fun step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a globe. Although you can draw a realistic map of the world on your globe, you definitely don’t have to!
Learn more: How To Draw a Globe at I Heart Crafty Things
36. Black panther
A lot of schools have panthers for mascots, so why not teach your students to draw one?
37. A skiing squirrel
Too cold to go outside? Put on your slippers, get a piping-hot cup of cocoa, and then sit down to draw this adorable skiing squirrel!
38. Creepy-crawly spider
Draw the outline for this easy spider and then decide how you want to color his body. You can also add a web around him if you’re feeling adventurous!
39. Flower doodle
This brief tutorial is so simple, but it’s the perfect activity to keep an overactive mind quiet.
40. Easy scribble art
This scribble art is similar to the previous project on our list, but it’s perfect for the younger cohort of students. Simply have them scribble a doodle pattern with a Sharpie and then color in the shapes that have been created.
Learn more: Simple Scribble Art for Kids at Welcome to Nana’s
41. Cartoon dalmatian
Since everyone loves a dalmatian, why not learn to draw this adorable little cartoon version? Personalize them with your choice of spot placement and collar colors.
42. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
There has been a resurgence of interest in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles thanks to the new movie, so we think kids will love this drawing tutorial. They say this one is Leo, but you could easily make his fellow ninjas!
43. Friendly hearts
Directed drawing activities that are holiday specific but can be used anytime are some of our favorites! While these adorable hearts would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, we think they would make a great gift during any season.
Learning to draw basic everyday objects like a car is an important skill to have since they can be incorporated into many different scenes and scenarios.
Learn more: How To Draw a Car – Step by Step Drawing Tutorial at Easy Peasy and Fun
Some directed drawing activities are super quick but still easy to follow. If you’re short on time but feeling creative, this cute hamburger is the right choice. Just be warned, you will most certainly feel hungry after!
46. A frozen face
This is our face too when the temperature starts to drop! Directed drawing activities like this one are perfect to do during those long, cold winter months.
47. A bright sun
It might seem like there is only one way to draw a sun, but this tutorial shows that you can get really creative in your approach.
Learn more: How To Draw a Sun at Arty Crafty Kids
48. Fish bowl
This fish bowl directed drawing has so much potential for personalization. In addition to using different colors to complete their drawing, kids can also choose from different mediums.
Learn more: How To Draw a Fish Bowl Tutorial and Fish Bowl Coloring Page at Art Projects for Kids
49. A realistic eye
Drawing realistic-looking facial features, especially eyes, can feel scary, but this art tutorial simplifies it. Follow along and then practice in the mirror with your own eye!
Learn more: How To Draw a Realistic Eye at That Art Teacher
Learning to draw this adorable cake is perfect for kids since they love to make homemade cards for friends and family. We especially love the folded-paper technique that reveals the happiest surprise.
51. The best teacher ever
Well this one is certainly going to be a favorite with teachers! This directed drawing makes the perfect gift for your favorite educator.
52. Shape candy
Learning to recognize and draw shapes is an important part of any preschool or kindergarten education, so make it fun with this directed drawing video.
Fans of Ariel and The Little Mermaid will surely love this drawing tutorial. Have your students create their masterpieces, then show them the movie as a reward!
Learn more: How To Draw a Mermaid – Step by Step Drawing Tutorial at Easy Peasy and Fun
54. A volcano
While we don’t typically think of volcanoes as being cute, this directed drawing is as adorable as it is explosive. Couple it with a science lesson on volcanoes and you have a whole well-rounded afternoon!
55. Lava lamp
Fans of the 1960s will love this drawing tutorial. If you happen to own a lava lamp, you could bring it in to show your students since most kids have probably never heard of one!
This bicycle is a bit more realistic than some of the other directed drawing activities on our list. Grab a pencil and follow along and then trace over it with a Sharpie.
57. A bedroom
Learning to draw an animal or object is great, but there is no substitute for being able to draw a whole scene! Follow along creating this adorable bedroom and then add your own personal touches.
While most real-life schools probably don’t look so quaint, we think this drawing tutorial is perfect for just about any school day. Regardless of whether you color it realistically or in rainbow colors like the tutorial here, it’s sure to be frame-worthy.
Looking for more art class ideas? Try these Art Projects That Only Require Basic Supplies .
Plus, inspire kids’ creativity with these online art resources ..
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22 Ideas on What to Draw for Art Class
Taking an art class but not sure what to draw? Here we list some drawing inspirations plus tips for choosing a subject. Never run out of ideas again!
Drawing is one fantastic way to express your emotions, tell stories, or simply make people happy. And what’s beautiful about art is the endless range of possibilities of what you can create. No two pieces are ever exactly the same. And above all, making art is just plain fun!
If you’re feeling stuck and don’t know what to draw for art class , read on and get some tips on how to choose a good subject for drawing, plus a list of things you can draw, to grease the wheels and get you inspired.
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Ideas on What to Draw for Art Class
Not sure what to draw for art class? When it comes to drawing there are many choices, from still life images to portraits. If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas, look no further than this list! Even better, why not try drawing one of each?
1. Draw simple shapes.
If you’re new to drawing, you can practise by sketching basic forms like circles, squares, and triangles, or experimenting with different lines and textures. As you get more comfortable with your drawing skills, you can move on to creating more complex shapes and images. No matter how good or bad you think your drawings are, they all start off as scribbles and sketches that gradually transform into masterpieces over time. Just keep practising!
2. Draw abstract designs and patterns.
Building up from the first exercise, try putting shapes together into an abstract piece. What you’ll love about abstract drawing is that there are virtually no rules! Just let your imagination run wild and create something unique.
Perhaps, you can start with a small circle and then add more circles around it to make a pattern. You can choose any color or size of your liking. Drawing a circle is the first step towards creating a pattern or design that you can use for anything from art to clothes.
Straight lines are easier than curved ones because they don’t require much practice or skill; anyone can draw geometric shapes like triangles, squares, and rectangles. They’re commonly used for borders around pictures or spaces where you want something simple but professional looking.
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Drawing objects around the house
3. flowers in a vase.
The best way to tackle any kind of drawing is by breaking it down into smaller portions that are easier to handle. Rather than trying to do everything at once, focus on one aspect of the subject at a time and work your way through all the components until you’ve got something that looks right.
Start with an image of a flower. If it makes you feel more comfortable, you can use a ruler to draw straight lines as guidelines for how big the petals should be, how far apart they should be from each other, and so on. Next, draw a circle around each petal line with your pencil so that you know where to start coloring in each petal with your crayons or colored pencils. Finally, colour each petal with a different colored pencil until all are filled in completely.
4. A bowl of fruit
Using a photo or an actual model, draw a simple outline of your bowl and fruits. Then fill in the details, like leaves or stems. This can be done with a light touch with your pencil or you can use a darker shading tool if you have one available. Next, add texture to your drawing by using shading or crosshatching – this is a technique where lines are drawn over each other at different angles creating small dots that blend together into one solid shade of colour.
Add color by filling in areas with solid blocks of color or by applying watercolor washes over the pencil marks you already made. Experiment with different colors until you find one that works best for your piece. You can also add some highlights to your fruit, like a white highlight on top of each grape or cherry that gives it some shine and dimensionality.
5. A cup of coffee or tea
A cup or mug is a simple object. Because it is such a recognisable item, it has a lot of details that can be drawn from memory by beginners and more advanced artists alike. Of course, you can use a real cup if you want to get the proportions right. What’s great about this subject either way is it will help you get used to drawing three-dimensional forms in perspective.
Start by sketching out the basic shape of the cup or mug and then do some shading, using crosshatching like you did with the bowl of fruit. This will create shadows and highlights on the object’s surface. Use different types of lines depending on whether they’re facing up or down in relation to the light source (vertical lines are usually darker than horizontal ones).
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6. A glass of iced tea on a hot day
Like with mugs and cups, this is another excellent example of how easy it is to start with basic shapes like circles and triangles when learning how to draw objects – in this case, your ordinary drinking glasses.
First, draw the rim of the glass and then fill in the rest with colored pencils or crayons to make the glass look frosted over. This will give your drawing depth, and you can practise different skills like shading (adding shadows), perspective (making objects appear smaller when viewed from afar), foreshortening (making objects appear bigger than they actually are), and so on. Make it interesting by drawing different types of ice cubes floating, some lemon slices or mint leaves for extra flavor (and color)!
7. Draw anything that is right in front of you
Take some time to look around the room where you’re sitting right now and see if there’s anything there that makes you curious enough to want to draw it. Maybe there’s something in the room that makes you think of something else – like a lampshade that reminds you of afternoons in your grandmother’s old parlour. Or maybe there’s something on the wall that catches your eye, like a photo frame or an artwork hanging above your desk.
Whatever it is, as long as you find it interesting enough to draw, just pick up your pencil and sketch it out, using the techniques you’ve already learned on the previous still life exercises. In fact, by now, you will have already trained your eye to look at everything as a potential drawing subject. And that’s how all great art starts!
Drawing the human figure
8. self portrait.
Drawing a self-portrait is easy enough, if you’re not trying to draw yourself with perfect proportions. Start by lightly sketching the outline of your face with a pencil, making sure not to get too detailed yet. Decide which direction your head should go (upward or downward), as well as how far away it should be from the viewer (which will affect proportions). Draw lightly so that you can erase unnecessary lines later without messing up your sketch too much.
Next, draw loose lines around the eyes, nose and mouth as guides for placement. Use them as a guide when shading in those areas so that everything is perfectly aligned with your original drawing. Then, add more details such as hair or clothing by lightly shading those areas with pencil or colored pencils.
If you want to make it more challenging, try drawing yourself from an angle that is not facing straight ahead. This will force you to draw the features from memory and not just from what you see in front of you.
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9. Portrait of your best friend
Can you capture your mate’s essence, their personality, their mood? Portraits are great because they allow you to keep practising ways to draw faces, which can be challenging for beginners. If you’re having trouble drawing faces, you can practise drawing eyes first, by making a circle then adding two round dots inside it for pupils. Soon, you’ll have mastery over this facial feature and be eager to move on to eyebrows, lips, nose, and ears.
Others find it easier to draw portraits by using a pencil and tracing paper to outline the photo they wish to draw. Try it! Once the sketch is done, you can add details like eyes, ears and other facial features as needed using circles for eyes and simple shapes for noses or lips. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect yet, just keep at it and don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Even better, make it twice the fun and draw portraits of each other !
10. Portrait of someone famous.
Drawing your favorite celebrity or character from a movie or series will be easier to do if you had a photo to work from, say, from a print or an image on social media. Like with your self-portrait, start with a basic outline, pencil in the features of the face, then add details like hair or accessories, like a pair of glasses or maybe a hat.
Faces are a good way to practise drawing because they are very complicated shapes, but once you get the hang of it, you can move on to other body parts like hands or feet.
11. A pair of hands
Drawing your own hands is an excellent exercise for art class because they’re so different from each other – one might be longer than another, or have larger knuckles or fingers than another person’s. This will help you improve your ability to see objects as three-dimensional objects by drawing them in perspective with foreshortening – a method where you draw an object in depth, the same way we perceive it as it recedes into the distance.
There are so many different types of hand poses and positions that even experienced artists need time to master them all! Start off by drawing basic hand positions like fists or open palms. And then, you can move onto more difficult ones like fingers spread apart or hands gripping objects like pens or paint brushes.
12. Your parents’ wedding photo
Start with a simple sketch of the couple at the altar, then add details like flowers, candles and other wedding decorations in the background. Fill in the drawing with additional features like dad’s bow tie, buttons on his jacket, his eyes, nose, mouth, and other facial features.
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Next, do the same with mum. Draw her veil, her makeup and perfectly coiffed hair, the laces or beads on her gown, her hands clutching her wedding bouquet, and so on. A few finishing touches will make this drawing look like a professional piece of art (and a good idea for a present on their next anniversary).
Drawing living things
13. your favourite pet.
Animals of all kinds are great subjects for art, even for kiddie artists thinking of what to draw for art class. Even if you’re not an artist, you can learn how to draw animals from memory or you can do a little research on their anatomy, behavior, shapes, and characteristics to add more depth to your illustration. Or you can just use your own pet as a model… if you can ever get them to sit still, that is! (If not, you can always take pictures from all angles and use these as references.)
As with human portraits, try breaking down the drawing into simple shapes: A circle for the head, four more circles for the legs, another one for the tail, an oval shape for each paw pad, and so on. Add details like ears, eyes, nose and mouth, then refine it into its final shape as needed using shading techniques like crosshatching.
14. A bird in flight
First, draw two circles near each other. These will be the head and body of your bird. Next, draw two small rectangles inside the head circle and connect them together with curved lines to form the beak of your bird.
Now, draw two vertical lines on each side of the body, which will serve as guides for drawing the wings later on. Create two large curved lines on each side of your body as well, which will be used for drawing feathers later on.
Draw two small rectangles at the bottom end of each wing and connect them together with curved lines to form the feet of your bird. Finally, add the details and textures like feathers and claws, to make your bird drawing more realistic.
15. A mythical creature
What creature do you want to draw? It could be anything from a dragon to a unicorn. Or something outrageous right out of your imagination!
Choose your medium, like pencil or charcoal, or maybe paints or markers. Now, start sketching out the outline of the body and head in pencil so that you can see how everything is going to fit together before committing it to paper permanently. Use light lines so that they don’t show up when you color them in later on.
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Start coloring in your sketch using darker lines so that they show up better against the white paper background. Use lighter colors if possible so that your artwork doesn’t look too dark and dull when it’s finished. Finish up by adding shading effects around the edges of your creature’s body and head as well as between its legs (if it has any). This will make it look more realistic and give it more depth.
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Scenes from nature
16. an autumn leaf falling from a tree.
Autumn leaves are simple but gratifying to draw for art class because of all the beautiful colours you can have on your palette. To start, use a pencil to outline the leaf shape and draw the veins of the leaf with varying degrees of pressure. Next, fill in the outline with light lines and shading, using crosshatching strokes for the veins.
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Then, draw the veins again, but this time use hatching strokes (horizontal lines) and crosshatching strokes (vertical lines). Finally, shade in all remaining areas of your drawing using crosshatching strokes or hatching strokes. You can also add details like veins or wrinkles using dots or lines.
17. The sun setting over the ocean
Drawing a sunset is perfect for beginners, as it only requires a few simple shapes and shading, plus it’s easy to see and relaxing, as well.
Start by drawing the horizon line and then draw a circle with rays coming out of it (like a sun). Then, draw a few clouds next to it. Add some waves in the water and use colored pencils to make them appear more realistic. Draw its reflection in the water, and use colors like orange and purple to make it more beautiful. It’s a classic subject, but it’s also very beautiful. It’s probably one of the first things you learned to draw as a kid!
18. The sun, moon and stars
Drawing heavenly bodies is easy. This is a great way to learn how to draw because the shapes you need – basically, a circle and an oval – are simple and easy to replicate. The sun can be drawn as a circle with rays emanating from it, while the moon and stars can be drawn as circles with dots inside them. If you want to add some detail and make your drawing more realistic, try adding clouds in various shapes and sizes to your sky.
Places and landmarks
19. landscape of your hometown.
Places are constantly changing, growing, and morphing into new shapes. And then, there are those things that remain the same across time – the skyline, the neighborhoods, and the memories of your childhood. Look back on your favourite memories and you’ll find countless ideas of what to draw for art class.
Draw an outline first, to keep everything in proportion as well as give you something solid to work with when shading later on in the process. Add details next like rocks or trees; these will add depth and interest to your drawing. Finally, shade in areas where there are shadows or darker colors so it looks more realistic.
20. Cityscape at night
City skylines are always breathtaking to look at, but they’re especially stunning at night. Draw the sky with a dark color like black or blue. Use short strokes and make sure they are not too close together. Make sure the top of your sky goes up as high as you want it; this will help you decide how tall your buildings should be later on. Next, add stars and maybe some clouds with white chalk or pencils on top of your blue sky. You can add them anywhere you want in different sizes and numbers.
Now, draw the outline of your city using curved lines that go up and down to create hills and valleys. Then, add trees and other vegetation around the edges of your cityscape. You might add water at the bottom or along one side of your cityscape if you want it to be near water, like a shoreline. If you want, you can also add people or animals walking around in your cityscape.
21. The Eiffel Tower
The French destination is a staple in your typical paint and sip class and is not as difficult to draw for art class as you might imagine. Bet you can imagine it in your mind right now, just from seeing it so often in paintings, books, and films.
Start with a simple straight line; this will be the base of your drawing. Using that line as a guide, draw vertical lines in parallel to each other, to outline the shape of the tower. Next, add the details, like windows and railings, and once that’s done, you can fill the spaces with different shades of gray or black ink.
22. Draw something inspired by your favorite artist or art movement.
Are you a big Picasso fan? Look at some of his artwork and then try to emulate his style. Don’t copy it exactly; it’s just a good starting point if you’re not sure what to do next. Or if you’re more into impressionist paintings, try doing a few sketches that look like Monet or Manet might have done them.
If you like watercolors but don’t know what to paint, why not try making a self-portrait? That’s what Vincent van Gogh did when he was starting out as an artist. He painted his face many times before he finally completed The Potato Eaters, which is now considered one of his most famous works. Whatever kind of art inspires you, use it as inspiration for your own work!
Art is all about creativity and personal expression. If you’re feeling stuck and not sure what to draw for art class , don’t be afraid to experiment with new techniques. Finding inspiration from others can help you get started, but you should always strive to develop your own style. This will allow your confidence as an artist to grow, and that’s the true measure of artistic talent! Here are a few tips that might help.
5 Tips on How to Pick a Subject to Draw
One of the most important decisions you will make as an artist is what to draw. It can be difficult to choose a subject that is interesting. Here are a few tips to help you choose a good subject.
1. Think about what interests you.
If you’re passionate about your subject, your feelings will come through in your work. Then again, it’s also natural for an artist to get bored with a subject after a while, so try to switch things up every now and then.
Let’s say you’re working on a series of drawings, try experimenting with different techniques or mediums. Or just take time away from your canvas. Take a nice, long stroll and maybe you’ll literally get back to the drawing board with fresh, more creative ideas.
2. Choose something that is challenging.
Sure, drawing a flower or a landscape may be easier than something complex, like a person or an animal. However, many artists also believe that complex subjects can be more rewarding to draw than something that is more commonplace. This is because there is more room for detail and expression in a complex subject, and it can be more interesting to see the artist’s interpretation of it.
In addition, challenging yourself with difficult subjects can help improve your skills. Every step of the process becomes more important, you pay closer attention to the details and tend to take your time to get everything right. This level of focus is very rewarding and will make you a better artist.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
It’s easy to feel comfortable in your routine, especially when it comes to art. You know what you’re good at and what you enjoy, so why try something new? But that’s the beauty of art: You can always try new things and explore new subjects for drawing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, explore a new medium or subject matter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your style. Maybe you’ve been drawing realistically for years, but you’re curious about how anime drawings look. Give it a try! The worst that can happen is that you don’t like the results and go back to your old way of drawing. But who knows, you might find a whole new passion for a style of art that you never considered before, and that’s always exciting.
4. Be patient.
Finding inspiration to draw can be a daunting task. It may take time to find the perfect subject matter, but that’s okay! You don’t need to force yourself to draw something that doesn’t light you on fire. Just relax, take your time, and eventually something truly inspiring will come to you, like it always does!
You can also try hacks to boost your creativity , like playing certain types of music. Give it a go and see what works for you.
5. Don’t give up!
Drawing is as much muscle memory as it is artistic ability. If it’s not perfect the first time around, just keep going! Practice makes perfect, and if you keep working at it, you’ll get better and better.
Think you have to be born with natural talent in order to be good at something? That’s a complete myth. No professional athlete or musician gets good overnight; it takes them years and years of hard work and dedication. The same is true for artists.
For beginners and experienced artists alike, there is always something to inspire your creativity. Take a drawing class today and start tapping into your artistic side!
Anyone can draw. start making art today.
Still Life / Life Drawing
Self directed, free form monthly drawing session
by The Windsor Workshop
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Easy Drawing Lesson for Beginners
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Are you one of the many people who think they can't draw ? Don't worry, everyone has to start at the beginning and if you can write your name, you can draw. In this easy drawing lesson, you'll create a relaxed sketch of a piece of fruit. It's a simple subject, but quite fun to draw.
For this lesson, you'll need some paper: office paper, cartridge paper, or a sketchbook. You can use an artist's HB and B pencil , but any pencil you have will do. You will also need an eraser and a pencil sharpener.
With those supplies, you'll also want to choose a subject for your drawing. A piece of fruit is a perfect subject for beginners because of its natural, irregular shape. The example is drawn from a pear, but an apple is a nice option as well.
A Few Tips Before You Begin
A strong, single light source gives you more dramatic highlights and shadows. Consider placing your fruit under a desk lamp and move the light around until you get the light you like.
Some artists like to blend (or smudge) tones. However, while you are learning to control tone, it is better to leave pencil marks. With practice, your shading will improve and become even.
Don't worry too much about mistakes. A few stray lines can add interest and life to a sketch.
Drawing the Contour or Outline
If you aren't sure where to begin, hold the fruit against your page to see how it will fit. Place it on the table in front of you, but not too close.
Using your pencil, start near the top of the fruit, and outline. As your eyes move slowly along the outside of the shape, allow your hand to follow. Don't press too hard. Make the line as light as possible (the example has been darkened for viewing on a screen).
Use whatever kind of line you are comfortable with, but try not to make them too short and choppy. As you can see, the example uses a combination of short and long lines, although it's often best to aim for a fairly long and flowing line.
Don't worry about erasing mistakes at this stage. Simply redraw the line or ignore it and keep going. That's one of the advantages of drawing a natural object such as fruit; nobody will know if it's accurate or not!
It's time to begin shading. Note where the light shines onto the fruit and gives it a highlight. You want to avoid this area and allow the white paper to be the highlight. You will instead shade the mid-tones and darkest shadow areas.
Alternatively, you can shade over an area and use an eraser to create the highlights.
There are a few ways that you can shade and you can use a combination of them in the sketch. As in the example, you can use the tip of the pencil so the pencil marks show for a technique called hatching (shading technique that implies shade, tone, or texture). A more patient application allows you to get a smooth, fine tone with this method. Using the side of the pencil for shading will show more paper texture.
To create a loose, hatched look in the sketch, allow some of the shading to carry across the outline. An eraser can clean that up later. Sometimes, if you try to draw up to an edge or outline, the marks will get heavier as you get closer. This little trick is one way to prevent that effect.
Don't worry about the surface detail such as spots or patterns. The goal of this lesson is to create a fairly three-dimensional-looking shaded form, showing light and shade. The focus is on "global tone"—the overall effect of light and shadow—rather than the color and detail on the surface.
When you're shading with a pencil, it's natural for your hand to make a curved line. You can prevent this by moving your whole arm. Another option is to consciously correct your hand as you draw and for it to form the correct shape of the line. Admittedly, this can take a bit of practice.
You can also make the natural curve work for you and accentuate it to describe cross-contours as you shade a form. To do this, move your paper or your arm (or both) so the pencil is following the curves of the object.
Shading Shadows and Lifting Highlights
When you see a dark area or shadow on the subject, don't be afraid to use a dark tone. Most beginners make the mistake of drawing too lightly and shadowed areas may be quite black.
If you have one, use a softer pencil—at least a B, or even a 2B or 4B—for the darker shadow areas. A kneadable eraser is useful for erasing or "lifting out" tone if you shaded an area that you want to be lighter. You can always shade back over the area if you change your mind.
Look over the entire drawing and compare it to your subject, Sometimes, a little "artistic license" might be used to emphasize shadows and improve the form.
This is an informal sketch, not a photo-realist drawing, so you don't have to draw the spots or create a perfectly smooth surface. Pencil marks are allowed and they can make the drawing more interesting than if it was perfectly even.
There's also something to be said about knowing when to stop. It can be hard at times, but there is a point where you just have to stop messing around with it. After all, there's always something else to draw.
A Simple Contour Sketch
While you have your fruit, take a look at a couple of other ways you can approach the sketch. This isn't very detailed, but simply gives you a few ideas to play around within your sketchbook.
The Simple Contour Sketch
A sketch doesn't have to be shaded. A simple, clear contour drawing can look very effective. Try drawing with as smooth and continuous of a line as you can. Be confident and make your line firm and clear.
The contour sketch is a nice way to practice creating smooth lines. This is one of the trickiest parts of drawing for beginners because you may not have confidence in your ability. Use the contour as an exercise to combat that and choose other simple objects to draw and simply focus on line and form.
Sketch With a Soft Pencil
This version of the pear sketch was done using a soft 2B pencil in a Hahnemuhle sketchbook .
The paper has a smooth surface with a directional, vertical grain that is quite apparent in the sketch. Using the side of the pencil to shade the drawing accentuates the paper grain and gives a pleasing texture to the drawing.
The goal here was to create a quite consistent look and avoid using sharp lines. Sometimes, it's hard to recognize any outline at all. At other points, the edges are allowed to disappear altogether. You can see this in the highlight on the side of the subject.
For this style of the sketch, shade only with the side of the pencil so that the whole surface has the same amount of paper texture . When erasing, be careful to "dab" or "dot" the kneadable eraser and avoid rubbing at the surface, which can smudge graphite into the paper. You want the speckles of white paper to show through evenly across the sketch.
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High School Drawing Curriculum: 12 Lessons
HIGH SCHOOL DRAWING
In my teaching career I have taught a wide range of high school art courses: Introduction to Art, Drawing, Painting, Advanced 2D Design, AP Art, 3D Design, 3D Design II, and 3D Design III. I have loved teaching such a variety because it has given me the opportunity to develop and test a breadth of lesson plans. The past two years I have been working on compiling my favorite lessons into curriculum packs to sell on my TPT store. The most recent posting on my store is my semester-long high school drawing curriculum pack. I have taught every single one of these lessons (plus more that I tested, failed, and left out so you don’t have to) and these are my top twelve.
This high school drawing curriculum includes information and resources to fill every single day of the semester in your drawing class. Other than making copies of worksheets and doing a handful of demos, you don’t have to plan a thing for the semester. Each project includes a detailed lesson plan (including big ideas, essential questions, national standards, vocabulary, and step-by-step instructions), rubrics, critique information, and handouts. In addition to the project packs I have included my syllabus, get-to-know-you worksheets, a timeline, breaking down the semester into days and weeks, and supply list.
The first project of the semester is learning the Belgian bookbinding technique and using it to create your own sketchbook. This not only saves money on purchasing sketchbooks, but it also introduces the students to book cover design and bookbinding techniques. In addition to a PowerPoint, lesson plan, and rubric, this also includes a how to worksheet and how to video. This product is sold individually here .
In every class I teach I include a weekly focus on visual journals. Each Friday students have the option to work in their visual journal, have free art time, or catch up on an assignment. By the end of the semester they must have at least 12 pages completed in their book. The PowerPoint to introduce this project, lesson plan, and rubric are included in this pack.
Before the students start longer drawing projects, they complete a shading review. Seven worksheets are included that cover graphite pencils, hatching, cross-hatching, scribbling, stippling, and a general shading worksheet. The front of the worksheets include information and the students must complete the activities on the back. This product can be purchased individually here .
The first true drawing assignment is a still life drawing. However, I put a twist on it by requiring the students to bring in objects to create the still life. Before starting the drawing, the students learn about still lifes at various periods in art history. at both traditional and modern versions of still lifes. They must apply their understanding of various shading techniques by including at least three of them in their drawing. Check out the individual link for this product here .
Once the class has a few drawing projects under their belt, we look at combining technology and art by creating their own GIFs. They must draw the majority of the design, then use various computer programs to compile their drawings, add to them, then create an animated version of them. You can read more about this project in my blog post here .
Once the students have a handle on using pencils, we move onto charcoal drawings. One of the best ways I have found to teach how to shade using charcoal is through the traditional charcoal drapery drawing lesson. A PowerPoint about charcoal, in depth lesson plan, rubric, and critique are included. You can purchase this lesson individually here .
After learning about charcoal, the students apply their knowledge to a mixed media work of art that includes shading with charcoal. For this assignment, the students must select an object and redraw it on a background layered with color and text. The object is meant to serve as a metaphor for who they are, a part of their personality, or interests. I love any cross disciplinary lessons, and this does a great job combining English and art. Check out specifics of this project here .
After completing a metaphorical self portrait, the students are asked to create an actual self portrait drawing, with a twist. The students must select a current event that interests them and reflect it through their portrait. In addition, they have to scan their faces using a copier or scanner to create an unusual and ethereal look to their portrait. They then re-draw their scanned image using pencil. This project pack includes multiple PowerPoints to introduce the project and show examples of current artists who create social and politically driven artwork. In addition to the PowerPoints are an in depth lesson plan, rubric, critique sheet, and brainstorm worksheet. Check out more here .
After working mostly in black and white, students have the chance to do a full color drawing using colored pencils. They are asked to think outside of the box and take a photograph that reflects the topic, “unexpected beauty.” They then turn the photograph into a colored pencil drawing. Colored pencil techniques are covered in the introduction PowerPoint. Check out more information about it here .
After learning about colored pencils, we start moving towards different media that still use traditional drawing techniques, such as scratchboard. Social media is the focus of the lesson and students create a scratchboard image that reflects a snapshot of their day. History of scratchboard, as well as techniques, are in the PowerPoint. In depth instructions on how to teach the lesson are included in the lesson plan, as well as the rubric and critique sheet. This lesson can be purchased individually here .
Printmaking is a natural next step after learning about scratchboard. The basic concepts are similar, removing highlighted areas and leaving dark areas. For this assignment, students create a portrait out of a linoleum block. They use traditional relief printmaking techniques to create at least 5 quality prints and one print must be colored in using colored pencils. In addition to a PowerPoint, lesson plan, rubric, and critique sheet, this also includes a handout on which colors to use to create a range of skin tones and a worksheet to test various color combinations. An in-depth look at this lesson will be coming soon. In the meantime, check out the product listing here .
The final lesson in the curriculum is to design your own project. The students can try out a technique or material they didn’t get a chance to or redo a project they liked or could improve on.
It took me years to develop this curriculum and it is very gratifying to see it all compiled in one place. Check out the individual product links above or check out the entire curriculum here . You save $16.00 by purchasing it as a bundle pack. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and my latest TPT product. Help me spread the word about art education, lessons, and art in general by sharing with others.
Check out more visual journal blog posts here . Shop my education resources here . Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and TikTok for weekly visual journal demos. Until next time!
4 responses to “High School Drawing Curriculum: 12 Lessons”
This looks very helpful. Thank you!
You’re welcome! Reach out anytime with questions or comments!
Could I get a copy of the worksheets? [email protected]
Hi, Stacy! The worksheets can be purchased in my drawing curriculum or individually. If you want to purchase individually let me know which worksheets you are interested in and I can share links! You can look at the drawing curriculum here: https://lookbetweenthelines.com/product/visual-art-drawing-curriculum-12-lessons-for-18-weeks-of-high-school-art/
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Another awesome resource from one of my favorite creators! I used this with both in person and virtual students. All were engaged and enjoyed learning." -Buyer, Photoshop Basics Packet
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22 Drawing and Painting Lessons & Activities for High School
22 drawing and painting lessons & activities for high school.
These art related lessons and activities teach and demonstrate drawing and painting, along with some tips and instructions, targeted for high school students. This 58-page Water Color Painting Tips and Tricks guide is particularly helpful and instructive. Also included at the end of this list, are two documents on wood carving. You can also check out all of our Art related pages here .
A Fork in the Road Painting Project Agamograph Challenge Art Nouveau Botanical Drawing, Art Lesson Color Mixing – Some General Guidelines Color Pencil Tips Drawing Tools Drawing Value Scales Drawing Warm up Drawing with Colored Pencils Egg Shading Fauvism How to Hold a Pencil Light Capturing Paper Designs Scratch Art Project Sets of Lines Sketchbook Assignments The History of Cubism Two Point Perspective Water Color Painting Tips and Tricks, 58 pages Woodcarving Tips and Tricks Woodcarving Totem Pole Project
– love learning -your best ed lessons guide, Scott
A link to this video might help students understand use of sketchbooks.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting did a short video focusing on my sketchbooks. It was released on YOUTUBE and can be viewed with this link.
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Trump’s Cash Crunch
The ruling in former president donald j. trump’s civil fraud case could cost him all his available cash..
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