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Art for high school boy?

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How about a Teaching Company course for Art History/Art Appreciation? And below are some links to free online options from a google search (so no personal experience with any except the first one). BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.



Creative Live


Courses are first offered as free, live, video streaming classes, and then for-a-fee downloads. Lots of courses on photography, various computer software programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator, and a few on watercolor. Our DS has taken a few of these, and I keep track of the hours to add up for a credit. We have been quite pleased with the high quality of instruction and "live how-to" aspect of these classes.



Free online Art Classes




Whispy Directory: list of free art lessons, classes, tutorials, etc.




Art Instruction Blog: free online classes




Arty Factory: free art lessons, design lessons, art history and appreciation


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I concentrated on teaching mine to draw. Some things we've used:


Draw Squad (Personally, with a boy, I'd start here. Ignore the rarayoucandoit-ness and concentrate on the drawing lessons, which are solid. There are more in the series, also. This teaches basic cartooning, drawing something imaginary.)


Artistic Pursuits middle school drawing curriculum (This was pretty much identical to my college drawing class so I didn't worry about the level. There is a high school one as well. There is some art appreciation included, but not very much. This teaches how to draw something one is looking at, something not imaginary.)


After those two, mine did:


Nature Drawing: A Tool For Learning (we combined this with science)

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative (this helped with writing)

Community College Drawing 1 (this transfered to 4-year college as a humanities credit)


They were exposed to some art via their history, especially the youngest, whose French history books are heavy on European art, and we went to MFA several times a year.


This isn't exactly a conventional approach, but I couldn't imagine getting my boys through any sort of art history/art appreciation course as teens, and I do know that knowing how to draw is a very practical skill, one that is fairly easily taught. I decided to go for what I knew would be successful and useful GRIN. Mine learned to draw things out of their heads, and to draw what they see in front of them. They don't produce astounding drawings, but they do draw to explain things, to keep track of things, for fun, and for escape. The process my older one went through in order to do a drawings for LotR and for Dante's Inferno was exactly like the pre-writing process, which was useful. I also think that it is hard as an adult to start doing art if you can't draw, whereas art history/art appreciation is one of those things that is fun to learn as an adult if it catches one's interest. Those were my goals and reasons, anyway. I say were because it is one of the few things that I consider accomplished. Anything else is up to them.



Edited by Nan in Mass
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I have been tossing this around as an option for us for next semester. You can pay a little extra and have her "grade" the work too - nice for feedback. My son is only 13 but he's way advanced in art so anyone else with high school options would be appreciated.


We have Artistic Pursuits for high school and although it is OK - I find it less than inspiring myself. I feel that there is not enough instruction for him to "self-teach" and if I wanted to teach him art myself I would have done that in the first place. (I'm no novice artist either - I'd had a lot of training - so it isn't my comfort level that is the problem. The course just isn't suited for independent work.) Plus it is quite pricey for an 88 page book.

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For drawing itself, I liked Drawing With Children with a high schooler. There's a teen book, too, with more intro. The point is to show kids that there are all kinds of art, and there's got to be at least one type that they are good at.


For art history, we've mostly done Christian things so don't know if that would work for you. A couple that I like are:

- God and the History of Art

- Sister Wendy's Story of Painting (the book and the videos)


Another method that I think is worthy is just having a piece-of-the-week. We got this idea from the Come Look With Me series used by MFW. We got into a few of the artists in the Latin American one last year. This is also a method also used in the Meet the Masterpieces series by Scholastic, and a couple other series like that. You basically have a piece of art out to look at all week, and these books help give you things to talk about. You can continue finding out more online or in the library or in general art books like Sister Wendy's.


You can also back it up with a study of the artist, such as one of the "Getting to Know..." books (or videos) by Venezia, or Meet the Artists is fun. There are also full-length movies on the lives of many artists, but they are often kinda depressing to me, so I have watched some myself but not had my kids watch them. Videos about general periods in art history have been too dry for me to retain much.


For my older dd, I often had her make a notebooking page for her history notebook about what she had learned about a particular artist. For her actual artwork, I displayed it of course, but later I used Walgreen's photo section to make composite photos with sometimes several similar pieces plus a caption explaining what type of art she experimented with.



P.S. My son also likes Draw Squad, which I offered as an alternative to any drawing lessons over the years, after we had discussed any actual lesson.

Edited by Julie in MN
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We've use The Teaching Company DVDs and Walch Art Books for 9th. This year she's continuing with more Teaching Company DVDs and a self designed photography course.


Our local library has a couple of the TC DVD sets, so I've saved a bit on them, and ordered during their end of year 75% off clearance sale.

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