Art Education Lessons
Square HOME Square WORKSHOPS Illustration: Idioms


  • ANIMALS: [Draw animals from life] [Hybrid animals on Noah’s ark. Humans are 4 inches] [Research symbolic meaning of animals in African, Chinese, and Indian art] [Combine plant & animal] [insect focus] [fish focus]
  • ART HISTORY: [Appropriate a table setting and paint it in the style of a selected artist] [Do an original image influenced by art movement or historical artist] [“Fix” the rules broken by a folk artist.] [Graphic Organizer to study an art movement] [Replicate a historical painting. Locate a quality print to work from]
  • CARTOONING: [Comic Strip][Gag cartoons][Political/Editorial cartoon] [Flip Book] [Develop Characters and show in the-round] [Animation/Flash] [Sequential Comic Art. Illustrate a 6-page story based on a classic short story or collaborate with writer]
  • COLOR: [Fire Face] [Project using color wheel or harmonies] [Using color as emotion trigger] [Compare and contrast local color of objects with mood color. Series of objects]
  • COLLABORATION: [Each student works on a square from one picture. The image is later combined. # the back of each section] [Exquisite corpse collaboration] [Collaborate with a non-artist: child, untrained adult]
  • COMPOSITION: [Positive & negative space] [Radial, asymmetrical, symmetry] [One object overlapped in space] [Five students trade images to do a series on 1 page]
  • COMPUTER DESIGN: [Research logos over the past 150 years. Design a logo for a local company.]
  • CRAFTS: Independent research in crafts. Make basket, shaker box, weaving, etc.
  • DESIGN: [Plants metamorphosis into organic design.] [Organic & geometric shapes & forms] [Tessellation & continuous pattern] [Face Paint and take digital photographs. Last period of the day] [South American Mola design-bright paper and glued in reverse] [Splatter and drip] [Design your own motif to be used in decorating interiors.] [Op art project. Optical art is an abstract “eye-teaser” Straight lines curve, wriggle. Moiré effect.] [Non-object image] [Contrast representational & nonrepresentational]
  • FASHION DESIGN: [Special function Glasses] [Quilt Design] [Creative shoes: sports like roller-skates, playful with headlights, springs, propellers, wheels] [Textile research. Make a book of fabrics swatches] [Create a series of fashion designs] [Fashion figure drawings at 9 Heads tall] [Select a movement in history and compare function and aesthetics in the clothing style] [Buy 15 different types of fabric. Study how garments fit and fold. Glue swatch of cloth in corner of page, written definition of cloth, describe how fabric is used, and incorporate visual studies] [Men’s Fashions] [female fashions (include plus sizes)] [ Cat Chow study: Using materials that aren’t usually used for clothing, and creating a garment out of them.] [Children’s Fashions] [Accessories] [Provide written descriptions, drawings, etc. Research Designer and Assistant Designer, Fashion Stylist, Production, Patternmaker, Pattern Grader, Fabrications and Trim Buyer, Fashion Illustrator, and Textiles Artist] [A study of Fashion through history. Start with ancient Greeks and Roman at the very end of your sketchbook and work your way forward. Write notes next to your drawing, glue in small pictures and make original sketches and drawings. [* Extra Credit: If you spend a Saturday at the Chicago Field Museum and do drawings]. Stay specific to either male or female, and formal, informal, swimsuits, sports, etc.] [necktie] [costume for 2200.]
  • FIGURE DRAWING: [Flip book of figure in action] [Silhouettes: Study Carol Walker. Do a series of complex images using silhouette paper.] [Draw from mirror, family member or a friend, study hall friend.] [Do a creative anatomy chart. (i.e. the bottom layer shows the soul and spirit. The next layer is the muscle labeled in Arabic calligraphy, the next Mylar layer is a dressed figure, the top layer shows the skeletal figure.] [Show a sequence from stick figure, manikin, formula, muscle diagram, realistic rendering.] [Do a flipbook of gesture drawings showing a person in movement.] [On large colored paper, draw 3-6 contours in different poses with crayon.] [Do a paper cut-out of the body parts in one color and assemble them onto another color.] [Have a model do a seated pose wrapped in a blanket. Form will emerge as you draw value differences.] [Experiment with projection and outlined silhouettes. Inside of the silhouette draw detailed body parts.] [Collect/render photographs showing extreme differences in the figure. i.e. basketball player, dwarf.] [Work from an elevated model, or sit on the floor and look up at the model. Point of view.] [Create a gesture portfolio of figures from live sporting events] [Hands holding feet] [Hands][feet] [Animated figure] [Contrast the human body/face with angular forms.] [self in historical clothing] [ hands holding something] figure lit by a candle][ [student model. students draw with crayons, each person using a different color. Sit in a circle around the model and draw until a timer indicates to stop] [I then instruct them to leave their work and move three chairs to the right. We draw for another 4-5 minutes, correcting if need be, and continuing the drawing. I have them move a second time and complete the drawing two spaces to their right. Each person signs the work, so you can tell by the color who did what. Critique] [large feet juxtaposed with shoes] [[sleeping model] hand against other parts of anatomy (chin, knee, etc.) [Study Hands & Feet] [Figure in Motion]
  • GRAPHIC DESIGN: [Heraldry-Personal Goat of Arms (or) Flag] advertisement for yourself.][ [movie poster ][ design new cards; the queen, king, and jack of spades][ design currency] [Make propaganda poster about any issue you feel strongly about]
  • Idioms Illustration Idea
  • ILLUSTRATION: [Book jacket design] [Package Design (i.e.Cereal)] [Design an improbably product (i.e. diamond studded belly button brush)] [Invention design with diagram and descriptions] [Cartoon] [Greeting Card: Greeting cards. Do a series of images that could be used for a special line. Research current trends in greeting cards.] [pop-up book] [Storyboard: In black and white do a series of storyboards for an agreed upon project. 5-10 pages (4 panels each). Must use appropriate storyboard tantalization.][make "how to" poster.] [make game board.] [[tattoo]] [Design CD cover] [[toy designer] [boat for world tavel.] [scientist's project.]]
  • INDUSTRIAL DESIGN: Design and make a piece of furniture.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARY [Anatomy & Physiology: Interdisciplinary with Chula]
  • LANDSCAPE: [cloud study] [Study trees]][plant] [Location sketching at fast-food place] [garden] [construction site.] [Landscape: Look out window] [environment] [Climb water tower, ladder, tall building and draw what is below] [photo source: jungle.]
  • MIXED MEDIA: [Scrapbook] [Texture Rubbing] [Sequential Material Project] [Envelope: Send me a letter. P.O. Box 262, Winona Lake, IN 46590] [Relief clay and print from the clay project] [ Sequential Media: 10 images created in different media that have a relationship. Each picture must be developed from a life drawing. All images must be considered part of one singular collection. It may be a singular object redrawn (i.e. animal skull) or a theme (i.e. objects from a student’s locker). The object could also metamorphosis in the individual panel. All panels may or may not be the same size. It may be viewed in a book format or framed]
  • MURAL: Mural ProjectResearch the assigned art history time period. Write down notes and collect source material. Map out the proportions of the assigned hallway area on 12x18 card stock. Grid picture to match hallway. Draw out composition in hallway.
  • PAINTING: [Set Design: Work with theater department]
  • PERSPECTIVE: [Aerial Perspective using vellum to show depth] [1,2,3 pt linear] [Low Relief] [Stack of books in perspective] [Deep-Medium-shallow space] [Architecture: Design an environmentally friendly home, rest stop, vending machine] [How does nature affect architectural design. Design a structure that is heavily influenced on its surroundings.] [Two Chairs drawn from different angles] [Hallway in 1 pt][A desk, chair and walls in the classroom] [Barn in 2 pt.][Real objects drawn in perspective. Student is responsible for bring in simple objects] [Life drawing from outside, around town, local restaurant, courthouse.] [Work from your original photograph taken from a unique point of view.] [Use 3 photo sources. Make them into an original linear perspective image.] [Invent a fictional environment in linear perspective.] [Draw your car. Invent a new form of transportation.] [Interior Design] [new methods of transportation.
    dream car fantasy" house. dream room.][ [doorway or staircase] [dream house] [aerial view of school, home or your back yard] [Design ultimate school desk] design vehicle. [home] [furniture] [[shopping mall]] machine , Bridge, , chair, bed underground house
  • PRINTMAKING: [Linoleum Block / Reduction Print] [Pochoir Print: Stencil making] [Print on Cloth] [Fish] [Etching] [clay tile prints] [Potatoes] [Glue] [Silk Screen][Stamping]
  • PORTRAIT: [Scale: extremely large heads on mat board] [Source of ½ of facial photo. Student draws the other half] [Draw the teacher] [Facial Expressions] [Portrait from the back of head] [Various ethnic races, race-gender-age in one picture] [Self-portrait in front of large mirror] [Self Portrait] [Portrait of someone you know. Do life drawings and take photographs. Research their life and include some of this information into the background of the painting. The final image could include a close up and full figure views.][ Drawing of self from mirror] [Do a series of life sketch studies from the class. Noses, eyes, mouths, ears, etc. Portfolio of facial parts.] [Draw a family member from a photograph.] [Bring in a student from study hall to model] [Hairstyles] [favorite person from life/photo. friend.] [family members with special objects] [Portrait 50 years from now; with appropriate background] Draw several studies of your eyes, nose, and mouth in a variety of positions and poses.] [face looking in/out a window] [portrait with hat] [Age yourself forty years] [guests] [draw portrait of someone in morning and at the end of day] [portrait lit by Venetian blinds light] [[portrait using light and shadow- place the light from different angles than "normal" -under the chin, behind the head, in front of the face. portrait with strong light on one side focusing on the shapes of the shadows of the facial features ]
  • SCULPTURE: [Build a Joseph Cornell style box. This is more collage in nature. Found objects are juxtaposed around a specific theme. Box must be larger then a shoe box. A larger box may be divided by pieces of cardboard on its inside to form smaller divisions. A wood crate is suggested, but you could also build/work with plastic, fabric, found objects with metal or tin, photos, glass. The inside will have objects in the 3-d and flat objects in 2-d.] [Build an Exhibition miniature] [Build a low relief or sculpture-in-the-round]
  • SKETCHBOOK: [Autobiography Diary]
  • STILL LIFE OBJECTS: art supplies, balls, books, bottles, cans of food, clothing, fruit, hats, kitchen utensils, knick-knack , shoes, spool of thread, toys, vegetables, (Vary texture and color) [section of vehicle ] [Inside of a glasses, shoes, jar, closet, etc. ][ Christmas wish list.] [nut and bolt] [super close-up of an object] [contents of a trash can ][group of professional tools][leaves] [store display arrangement] [large jar full of coins, candy, toys, rock, etc] [popcorn] [favorite snack food] [bowl of fruit] [object melting] [mechanical object] bottles and cans ][dishes in a drainer] inside of your closet ][contents of desk drawer][your dirty room][ inside refrigerator][medicine chest stuff][garage junk][dad’s work table ][dirty dishes][ dirty laundry][ old furnace][ pile of bicycles][ [fruit in aluminum foil, plastic wrap or string] [vase and a beautiful arrangement of flowers ] [slice of pizza, rock, shell] grass, hair, feathers and a dollar bill][ [ detailed area of a feather, sidewalk] object dry and wet] [road kill ][ eggs in the shell, fried, over easy] [musician with instrument] [raw steak, cooked steak, steak bones] [Draw object from 4 different views.] [Shoes]
  • STYLE: [One object done in 4 different styles] [6x6” square from photography and enlarge into abstract image] [Stipple] [Cross-hatch] [Grid image with various drawing styles. i.e. a face: Cubistic, Photo realistic, Impressionistic, Cartooning] [Draw one simple object quickly using different materials 100 times.] [Replicate the work of an artist whose work is opposite to your normal preferences] [Redo a famous image in a different style/art movement.] [Style Stretch: Do a collection of work in a manner that is very unfamiliar to you]
  • TEXTURE: [Leaf print] [Rubbings: Crayola] [Collagraph print] [Print the bottom of a shoe] [Research tombstone with rubbings. Tombstone designs. How do people represent themselves? How could they.]
  • TYPOGRAPHY [Chine Calligraphy] [Graphite] [Illustrated Word Picture] [Onomatopoetic words drawn as they sound (i.e. thud, smack, bang, icky, scrunch)] [Map/Cartography: Compass rose, ships, ornamental border, monsters] [Make word read as you see it: Balance, arch, abstract, baroque, unity, contour] [Research lettering styles. Invent your own font. Scan onto computer. Make available as shareware] [Do a series of calligraphy drawings using text and image. Use a quill pen or brush. i.e. cartography] [illuminated letter] [imaginary alphabet.] [[Illustrate a famous quotation.] [TV. show. Logo] [word as the shape of the object. i.e. pear as shape of an pear, or pear spelling out the word.] Make design using your address][ things that make noise and illustrate the sound] [Make a careful drawing that illustrates the word “Haste”] new map. Imaginary alphabet.
  • VALUE/STILL LIFE: [High, Medium, Low Key triptych] [Crushed Can, paper bag, or paper] [Spaghetti or pasta] [Drapery Drawing] [Make a fetish with found objects. Size: no larger than 18” high, 20” wide, 36” circum, 20 lbs max. Abstract representation of the figure. Media: wood, metal, wire, etc. Techniques: carving, fastened together (fastening must be a part of design). Should show an influence of ancient, historical, non-western and/or primitive culture with contemporary culture. Do a drawing of it.] [Gather together a collection of objects that have a relationship. Farm toys, antique dolls, matchboxes, shoes, and do a detailed pencil drawing] [Study the work of Christo and draw wrapped and draped objects] [ Draw a series of shapes. Model them as forms. Find actual objects from home and classroom that are similar to those studies and draw them as actual objects with value] [Bring in a flashlight. Use a mirror and study the effects of light source on your face. 4-8 studies.] [Take one object and do 3-5 studies moving the light to various locations, above, below, and different sides.] [Create a image of your choosing using only organic and geometric forms and an appropriate light source.] Drapery study. Traditional still life. Object drawings.] [Contrast vegetation and commerce in a still life] [Take photographs and compose an image based on 2-5 separate pictures] [Cropped abstraction from larger object made in a painting. The objective must have a reflective surface.] [Picture within a picture. Draw a subject matter that contains a reflective surface (such as glasses, sunglasses, toaster, mirror) and draw a second picture within that reflective surface.] [group of 4 unlikely objects] [bubble.] [Crumple a drawing, magazine ad, photo, draw it crumpled][ [drapery or shirt over a chair] [eggs.] [Draw your favorite photograph.]
  • VEGITATION: [study Plants, trees][ Ask for old flower from flower shop] [Large Scale flowers]
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