Middle School 2D Studio Art 1a: Introduction

Course Overview

Units at a glance

Let’s close our eyes and picture that we are in an art studio. What do you see? Do you see a clean pile of paintbrushes; a rainbow of paint colors lined up together in a row; a canvas on a table, with the beginning drawings of a meadow blooming with flowers? An art studio is where art is born. It is where we can use our creativity and expression to design an image that is currently only inside of our heads. We can share our ideas, feelings, and visions with the world through our own works of art. In order to reach our full artistic potential, we need to start with the basics. After all, you need to walk before you can run.

Let’s face it, creating art doesn’t typically come with a book of instructions. In fact, the exact opposite is likely the case! As an artist, you’re often left to your own creative devices, having to decide what to create and how to create it. But,
if there was an instruction manual on “how to be an artist” or “how to create a work of art”, the elements of design, principles of design, and elements of content would be the main parts of the first chapter. These are the tools each artist uses during the process of creating a work of art. They put all the little pieces together, and create a completed drawing or painting. This is vital information you will need as you journey to become an artist, so get out your pad and pencil to take some notes (consider this your own personal chapter of your “how to be an artist” instruction manual).

Just because we aren’t physically in an art studio at this very moment doesn’t mean we can’t learn all about art as if we were! In this unit, we will gather all of the information we can about creating art as if we were in an actual studio. We will explore different types of genres and styles that many artists use and learn about the differences between representational and abstract art. We’ll learn and practice different tricks and techniques to make our own art shine. And, we will discover ways to connect art with other subjects to bring fun, creativity, and exploration to all learning areas. We may not be stepping into an art studio to do this work, but we sure will step into a digital one! Let’s get started!

Think about your life from when you first started school until now. You have grown and learned so much in the past years! What you knew and the way you acted in kindergarten is so different from what you know and how you act now, but the information you learned in those early years shaped you into the person you are today. This act of growing, changing, and maturing is also something that has happened in the world of art! This unit is going to look at art in some of its oldest forms. We’ll take you through the Stone Age into ancient Egypt, China, and Central America to see where and how practices commonly used today originated. We’ll also discover how these early influences shaped art into the subject we know and love today.

Course Highlights

Create your own works of art!
Discover different art genres and their design principles.
Explore various mediums and how they influence art.
Identify the cultural impact of art and how it has shaped our lives.

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