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What Should I Teach In My Art Class


Every artist knows how important it is to build a strong foundation of technical knowledge in order to create beautiful works of art. This is why art classes are so important, they allow budding and established artists alike to learn the foundations of the craft, as well as explore new techniques and processes.

In this article, we will explore what should be taught in an art class: from the basics of artistic media through to more experimental methods of manipulating natural processes. We will consider the movement of art over the past hundred years, as well as the way that modern technology has allowed for new possibilities for creative expression. We will also consider the importance of teaching students about their own creative process, and why learning to express one’s thoughts, feelings and emotions through the visual language of art is essential for any budding artist.

Basic Art Materials And Techniques

The first thing that should be covered in an art class is the basics, or fundamental concepts and approaches that should be at the foundation of any artist’s technique. For example, students should learn about the most commonly used materials, such as paint, charcoal, etching, and sculpting materials, as well as how to use them correctly. Basic techniques such as how to mix colors and hold a brush correctly should also be taught.

By covering these basics, the instructor can ensure that all students have a solid foundation to build their art on. In addition, any student taking an art class should be aware of color theory, perspective and composition.

These elements form the underlying structure of any work of art, and having an understanding of them is essential to producing strong artwork. Furthermore, basic drawing skills are extremely important, and any student should be able to draw what they see accurately before they attempt to create a more abstract or interpretive piece.

Exploring Processes In Art

Once the basics have been covered, the instructor can move on to discussing processes, which are conscious and deliberate decisions that the artist makes in order to bring the work to life. For example, the selection of color and materials, the form, palette, scale and composition are all important processes in creating an artwork.

To help students learn about these processes, the instructor could show examples of work from a range of notable artists and discuss the techniques used. The instructor could also discuss the journey of any artwork from an idea in the artists’ head, all the way through to the finished piece. This is an incredibly complicated process and can help to explain why some artworks take months or even years to create.

Furthermore, discussing process allows the instructor to show students how their own work could progress, helping them to make more informed decisions when creating.

The Context Of Artworks

In order to fully understand any work of art, it is essential to also consider its context. Instructors should therefore discuss the various movements in art over the past hundred years and how they have shifted the art world.

For example, discussing how the Impressionist, Modernist, Impulse and Post-Impressionist movements each had their own distinct takes on art production. This can help students to understand how their work fits into the conversations that have been taking place for the past century and a half. Furthermore, the instructor should also discuss the way social, political and even technological advances influence artistic production.

For example, the advent of digital media has totally changed the way art is created and viewed. Discussing these changes can help students to recognize the importance of technology in art and make them aware of the potential for creative exploration within their artwork.

Creative Process And Experimentation

Creative process and experimentation is an integral part of any art class, as it encourages students to look beyond the basics and explore more abstract and innovative ideas. For example, manipulating natural processes such as the weather, the seasons, and plant growth can be incredibly inspiring and can push the boundaries of artistic expression. Exploring these kinds of projects can help to awaken the senses, while also prompting the student to think outside of the box.

The instructor can encourage this process by providing the appropriate materials and giving the students plenty of time and space to experiment. The idea is to get them to engage their creative muscles and find ways to express their own unique style of art.

Teaching Self Expression In Art

One of the most important things a student can learn in an art class is how to use art as a way to express their own thoughts and feelings. To do this, the instructor should discuss the various ways that art can be used to express emotions such as joy, anger, sadness, anxiety, and calm.

They should also explain the importance of using color and texture to create moods and evoke certain responses in the viewer. In addition, the instructor should also emphasize the importance of being true to oneself when creating art. This means understanding what motivates you and exploring forms, techniques, and media that make you feel comfortable and confident.

This kind of exploration will allow the student to hone a unique style, and create artwork that is truly personal to them.


An art class is a great place for students to explore their creativity and develop their artistic skills. By teaching the basics of artistic media, processes, and context, as well as encouraging creative process and self-expression, the instructor can ensure that their students leave the class with a newfound understanding of the craft.

Ultimately, this knowledge can help the student to create artwork that is both informed and beautiful.

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