Art Lessons for Kids!

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

— Pablo Picasso

There's something especially special about teaching art to kids.

They tend to be much more open-minded and open-hearted about the process of art. They love trying new things (even when they are nervous about it), they're excited about the materials (always!), they aren't too critical of their work (usually).

sample value worksheet - - have your student fill in the squares under the examples sample value worksheet - - have your student fill in the squares under the examples

Meet Katie! For one of our lessons, we focused on creating an image without actually using lines for the outlines.... we used value alone to illustrate what we saw.

First, we warmed up with a black and white sketch. (You can see her gorgeous orchid drawing in the photo) Then we talked about the value in the drawing and how some of the lines almost don't need to be there, especially in the high contrast areas. We smudged and blurred the charcoal to get a sense of how that could look. Next, we did exercises in value using different ways to shade (cross hatching, hatching, stippling, and blending). We did this using a worksheet to practice the different techniques, and only then did we get to work on our still life. My student is 11, and very talented, and loves loves loves her some lines - so this was her challenge! No lines! She looked at me like I was crazy, but then she jumped right in and did a great job. Not only that, but I sent her mom an email with the worksheet, and she practiced and practiced until her next lesson, where she brought me the stack of all her "homework" -- TOO CUTE!! Love this kid.

See the example worksheet- for each type of shading, there is a corresponding example of the value. (Thank you to my daughter for filling in the example parts!) I had an instructor once tell me that value does all the work and color gets all the credit. After seeing the difference that value under paintings did in my work, I've agreed wholeheartedly ever since and want to try and pass that down! One subject for the day was plain white mugs. We set them up in interesting compositions and practiced sketching what we saw in charcoal, paying special attention to where the light hit and where the shadows fell.

In each class Katie and I try to build on what we've learned in new and fun ways. In a later class we tried to keep in mind the same value concept and apply it to a new painting of the original orchid. Here she is with her orchid painting!

If you have a child in the Charlotte area interested in art classes, please let me know. Currently I'm teaching one on ones but plan to host some workshops this summer!