Daily Art Lessons for Distance Learning
Lesson 1: Seuss Style
Click here for a drawing instruction sheet to draw your character.
For Elementary Students
Follow the directions on the attachment "Seuss Style" above to create your own character. Add a background to show what your character does and where he or she hides. You can even write a rhyming poem about your character. Don't forget to give it a name.
For Middle School Students
Think of something in your home or classroom that makes a weird noise or a place you avoid. Draw a picture Seuss Style of the creature who causes the noise or lives in the place you avoid. Give plenty of background details to show the setting. Add a short poem that explains what the creature does, and give it a name.
For High School Students
What Seuss like character lives inside your most recent tech purchase? It could be a gremlin in the phone, an appliance, your laptop....
Create a detailed sketch of the character, where exactly he/she/it hides, and what he/she/it does to wreak havoc on your life. Do not include words in your drawing. You may give it a title.
For Directed Drawing Seuss Characters:
Lesson 2: Spring is Here! The World of Beatrix Potter
For Elementary Students
Lesson 3: Real Life Robots
For Elementary Students
Robots are becoming a valuable tool to make life easier for humans. The robots we have today are not like the ones we see in the movies. In the movies robots have personalities and feelings and can think on their own. This is completely fictional, but fun to pretend. Watch the video Real Life Robots. Your assignment is to use the robots in the video for inspiration only. Don’t copy them. Come up with your own robot. First, think about what you would need the robot to do. What is the robot's job?
Next, design a robot in a way that would help it do its job. If your robot’s job is to repair the bottom of ships while they are in the water, how would that robot need to be made? What if it was a nanny robot? So, decide on the job, then design the robot. Use your practice paper first. Try to make the robot fill the page.
For Middle School Students
Design a robot using the instructions above. Try to give your robot some personality and expression. Think about its face and its body language. Draw your robot to fit the size of paper you have. You may want to add a background. Watch the video Outlines, Edges, and Shading and try to shade your robot to give it form.
For High School Students
Is it important for robots to look a certain way? Of course it is! Design a marketing campaign for the next big thing in robotics. What does the robot look like? How will it be sold, and to whom? You can create a sketch for a logo, the actual robot, the print or web ad, the copy ("Just do it"), or all of the above. What is the role of the artist in marketing?
Lesson 4: Artist Sketchbooks and Journaling
Lesson 5: Mary Blair and Disney
Mary Blair was an American female artist, designer, and animator. To learn more about Mary, watch a video about her career and projects for Walt Disney. Read about her in “Pocket full of Colors,” by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville, then create one of the assignments below.
- Elementary: Draw a castle or large building that you imagine visiting, or have visited. Using bright colors, decorate the outside of the building with geometric shapes, like squares and circles, and organic shapes, like flowers and leaves. Add a background with sky and clouds. Draw people in the foreground (large because they are closer to you), even yourself!
- Middle School: Imagine creating a ride for Disneyworld – what would you include? Plan by sketching the ride then add contrasting colors, like Mary Blair, to emphasize images that you think about most. Then use values of blues and greens to complete the composition. Use paper or recycled materials to construct a small scaled sculpture of your ride.
- High School: Mary Blair and Walt Disney created a ride for people to experience what it might be like to travel around the world. As students of District Six, we represent many different states and countries. How would you portray your family’s origins? Would it be a tour of Spartanburg, Mexico, or Eastern Europe? Plan on paper, sketch, write about it, create a song or dance to go along with it, create a collage of images (digitally or on paper), and even create a 3D version. Feel free to combine media to achieve the desired effects.
Lesson 6: Animals of the Rainforest
Rain forests are forests that are extremely wet because of the large amounts of rainfall they receive. These forests are important because of the large number of unique plants and animal species found there. Rain forests also contain many unique bird species found nowhere else in our world. Hundreds of rain forest plants are used in many medicines and many food sources have been discovered in rain forests as well.
Click here for a read-aloud version of: “Secrets of the Rain Forest”, by Danielle Taylor.
For Elementary School Students:
You can gather ideas from the picture above and also from the video on, “Secrets of the Rain Forest” to write down some animals you recognize. Pick an animal or bird that you would like to sketch using your paper and pencil and share some of your ideas with others. Have fun talking about rain forests with others.
For Middle School Students:
Right outside your window you can see trees that are beginning the growth of new leaves and grass that is changing to a wonderful green color. You can also observe some birds that may be outside near your window. Look at the picture above of the rain forest bird – the toucan, and check out the video. Draw your version of a rain forest bird and share it with others. Use your pencil to add more details or give your art some color.
For High School Students:
Choose your favorite rain forest animal or bird to sketch. Consider what the animal's habitat looks like from the perspective of the bird or animal. What does the tree look like to the tree frog? To the bird? Create your composition from the perspective of your chosen animal or bird.
Lesson 7: Color Wheel Scavenger Hunt
A color wheel is a chart that helps artists use color families in their work. The colors of the color wheel are organized in the same order as the rainbow. Look around your house for objects in primary and secondary colors. Then arrange them in a circle in the correct order. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet)
Lesson 8: Radiating Designs with Nature
Lesson 9: Our Top 15 Artful Spring Break Things to Do
Lesson 10: POP! Art The Soup Can Challenge
For all grade levels
Pop Art is a style of art that began in the 1950's using everyday objects, simple forms, and bright colors. For a cute, quick overview, check out this video from the Tate Museum:
Andy Warhol used everyday objects as the subject of his work. By repeating the same drawing in different colors he was making a statement about mass production and consumerism in his time. Choose something from your pantry like a soup can, package, or cereal box to draw. Use paper, pencil, or whatever you have available to add color. Be creative and have fun. You can even repeat your drawing in different colors like Warhol.
Lesson 11: Eggstrordinary Art Forms
Lesson 12: Lines, Colors, and Shapes - Oh My!
Today, we are focusing on line variation and color gradation. Look at the landscape by Robin Mead. Notice the way she uses lines, colors, and shapes to create emphasis. Use different types of lines to draw a scene from outside (a landscape) or something inside (a still life). Vary the width of your lines. Make some lines thicker than others. Use warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) for the sky and cool colors (greens, blues, purples) for the water. Include some pattern and try to make your colors blend into another color.
For Middle School:
Let’s take a look at the artist who inspired this lesson, Robin Mead. Please look through her incredible collection of art and read about her life. Think about how she has used art to express hope and joy. Do you think her previous job impacted her style of art? In what way? Examine her use of line and color. See how many times you can find line variation and color gradation. Choose one of her pieces and describe her use of line and color. Does the piece create a mood? How does it make you feel? Does it remind you of a particular time or event in your life? Create a landscape or composition using bold colors and varied lines.
For High School:
Robin Mead's work has become very commercialized, meaning that her designs are sold to be reproduced on lots of products you can buy. This is different than buying an original work of art. An original work of art can cost thousands of dollars, but reproductions can be found for just a few. If you were a famous artist, would you sell your designs to be reproduced? Why or why not? If so, what type of products would you want to see your designs on? Create a design or composition specifically for a commercial product like a phone case, notebook, or greeting card. Experiment with bold color and line variation.
Lesson 13: Terrific Tree Houses
The Pitchford Tree House in Pitchford, UK is possibly the oldest tree house in the world, dating back to the 1600's and residing in a 500 year old Lime Tree.
Tree Houses are fun for all ages! Today, notice the trees in your neighborhood and design your dream tree house. Here's how:
Check out the links below for some really cool treehouses.
Now imagine you could design your very own tree house any way you wanted. Describe some of the things you would want your tree house to have. Check out the link below about architects and what they do. Then draw some pictures of how it would look from the outside.
Then check out the link below to see how to draw a floor plan of the inside. Decide how you want the inside to be arranged and draw a floor plan to show where everything would be.
Lesson 14: Caldecott Medals and Character Design
The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to the most distinguished children’s picture book by the American Library Association. Some famous Caldecott winners are Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, and more recently, Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems.
Dan Santat, the author and illustrator of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend, received the Caldecott Medal for this beautiful book in 2015. Santat is the author and illustrator of many books, but you may know him as the creator of The Replacements, a Disney cartoon.
Read or watch the story of Beekle here:
Pay Close attention to the colors and patterns of the creatures in the story. Notice when the illustrations are full of color, and when they are black and white. Do the pictures tell a different story or more of the story than the words?
Imagine what your imaginary friend would look like. Would he or she be more like an animal, or more like a person? Draw a picture of your creation. Use bold colors and patterns like Dan Santat.
Draw Beekle or your favorite character from the book.
For Middle School:
In Beekle, what is represented by the black and white illustrations? Why do you think the artist made this choice? Look at the many expressions of Beekle. Notice that Beekle’s face is simply 2 dots and a line. Practice recreating several of Beekle’s expressions. Then, create your own character using simple shapes and multiple expressions.
For High School:
What shape is Beekle? Why do you think the artist designed Beekle this way, and in contrast to the other imaginary friends in the story? How does Beekle’s design match or mimic that of Alice? Watch the two short videos on shape language in character design. Then use what you’ve noticed to design your own original character.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr1dktFAhKo
Lesson 15: Weaving--With What??
In the video below, Ms. Jackie Weeks, art teacher at our own Roebuck Elementary shows us how to use materials we can find in our kitchen to make a beautiful weaving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee_WnOlju7c
For Upper Elementary and Middle School:
Prefer Circles? Ms. Weeks demonstrates a more complex weaving in the video below:
For High School:
Modern textile artists use unconventional materials and methods. The famous glass sculptor, Dale Chihuly began his career weaving fused glass into his tapestries. For more information on Chihuly's use of weaving in his work, click below:
Now think about what you might find around the house that could be woven together to make a sculpture. You can use traditional weaving methods, or even create your own. Ms. Weeks teaches how to make "plarn" in the videos above. Above all, Have Fun!
Lesson 16: Bugs, Bees, and.... Poetry?
Lesson 17: Natural Architecture: Homes for Fairies, Trolls, and other Outdoor Creatures
Lesson 18: Mythical and Mystical Creatures
Mythical and Mystical Creatures
What mythical creatures do you already know about?
Throughout history, many artists have drawn unusual creatures that may or may not have been real. The story below is a great example of this:
Argus was given 100 eyes by Zeus, so that he could spy on Zeus’ girlfriend Lo. Zeus eventually got bored and sent Hermes to kill Argus. Hermes did this, but was sad at having to kill her friend, so she took each of his eyes and put them on the tail of her favorite bird – the peacock – and that’s how they got their distinctive pattern.
Think about what mythical creature you would like to create and why.
What kinds of qualities would it have?
Will it be a person, animal, or a combination of the two?
Look at a couple of examples from students at FES –
Art by Hannah K Art by Michael A
For Middle School and High School –
Tony Meeuswissen, an illustrator and author, created a book, Remarkable Animals, which lets you change up the animals head, mid-section, and backside.
Take a look here:
Use your knowledge and drawing skills to create 2 compositions that could be mixed like Tony Meeuswissen's Remarkable Animals. Include their names in sections like the author. Tricky!
Create a character (In lesson 14 we looked at the role of shapes in character design) based on a legend, myth, or even a story of your own. Include details and a background to complete your composition. Could this be the beginning of a graphic novel or a video game?
Lesson 19: Fun Friday! Play With Your Food
Lesson 20: Origami- The Art of the Fold
Origami is a Japanese paper folding art that originated hundreds of years ago. Some origami sculptures are complex and intricate, while others are simple and whimsical. To begin, we will focus on the simple and whimsical.
More-igami by Dori Kleber is the story of a boy who learns to make origami sculptures from paper. Click here for the Read-Aloud Version;
At the end of the story is a diagram showing how to make an easy origami ladybug. You will need a small square piece of paper. Thin paper like notebook or copy paper is best. For video instructions of the same ladybug, click here:
Just like in the story, the real-life secret to origami is practice. For more patterns and practice, visit
For Middle and High School:
John Collins holds the world record for longest distance paper airplane flight (227 feet!!!) What does he use to design his record setting planes? You guessed it! Origami. Check out the record winning flight here:
And then, make one yourself!
How to fold the World Record Paper Airplane:
And for instructions on every paper airplane imaginable, check out Fold and Fly here:
Lesson 21: To Trash or Not to Trash
Paper Sculptures and Recycled Creations
Today’s challenge is to create something out of cardboard rolls and colored paper --or any paper that you may have around the house. Yesterday, we learned different ways to bend and fold paper to make 3D objects and sculptures. Using these skills, create your own sculpture. (It need not be origami.) Add details and other objects. Have fun being creative!
Lesson 22: Happy Earth Day!
Lesson 23: Ocean Plastic and the Purposes of Art
Lesson 24: What Can You Do With One Plastic Bag?
How could common items that are discarded be repurposed and useful?
Could these unexpected results influence the next steps taken by an inventor or innovator?
Thousands of plastic bags are discarded daily on our planet. Where do they go? We learned about some of those places yesterday. Instead of discarding, or throwing them away, think about how you could repurpose it for something else. Would it be useful? Pretty to look at? Something unexpected?
Experiment with ways that you could repurpose one plastic bag.
These two videos show you how to make a bracelet using one, or more, plastic bags:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKahKvABkc8
Once you get started, you may want to research about other uses for discarded plastic bags!
Read how the women in one village in Gambia turned a rubbish and health problem into a business that cleaned up their environment while creating income too:
Lesson 25: Trompe L'oeil and the Art of Illusion
Lesson 26: Op Art - More on the Art of Illusion
Lesson 27: Downtown Spartanburg is Like an Outdoor Museum!
Have you walked downtown in Spartanburg lately? It has many different art sculptures and murals. As a community, many local artists have contributed to the landscape of our beautiful downtown.
Next time that you go downtown, play a game of “I SPY” with your family to see how many sculptures and murals that you can find. Also, what elements of art are included in the works of art? How does lettering play into the mural designs?
Look at these downloadable coloring pages from the Spartanburg Chamber of Commerce. What do you see? What symbols are included? Color them as they are done downtown or make up your own patterns and color combinations!
Send a photo of your creation to your art teacher or homeroom teacher to share with your classmates in the fall.
Love Where You Live Mural by Stephen Long, Jeremy Kemp, and others