educational articles
Educational Articles

All About Art

Leonardo da Vinci

Art provides a special opportunity to teach and to learn. Not only does art enrich the learning process by stimulating imagination and creativity, but it enables students to learn math, history, science and language arts from an entirely different perspective. The life and work of Leonardo da Vinci, the legacy that he left behind, perfectly illustrates the integration of art, science, technology, natural history and critical thinking. According to the art education advocates at Americans for the Arts, "Kids who are involved in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement." Study of the arts can make an important contribution to every student's well-rounded education. Today, art resources are readily available online. For teachers and students who have access to the Internet in their classrooms, art is just a mouse click away.

Art History

  • American Historical Periods: Online exhibit from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
  • Japanese Prints: From the Library of Congress, an online exhibition of Japanese prints and drawings from the 17th to the 19th century.
  • The Renaissance: Art and history exploration includes art works exploration, patrons of the arts and the artist's life.
  • Impressionism: Lots of paintings and artists to learn about here.
  • Modern Art: A galactic journey the Museum of Modern Art and some of its paintings.
  • Odyssey: Art and architecture in the lives of the people of the Near East, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa and the Ancient Americas.
  • Portrait Detectives: Art history through guided tours of six paintings.
  • American Landscapes: Landscapes is just one of the themes in this interactive website about the art history of the United States.
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Drawing

  • Colored Pencil Techniques: Simple lesson in using colored pencils to draw and color a flower.
  • Mr. Picasso Head: Interactive virtual drawing site.
  • Drawing Tips: How to draw just about anything, with 140 simple techniques for eyes, noses and 138 other cool things.
  • Drawing Lessons: Five drawing lessons from artist Jeanine Jackson. Be sure to take a look at her gallery.

Architecture

  • Be an Architect: When does a shelter become architecture? What does an architect do? Learn about what it takes to be an architect, then design a house.
  • Skyscrapers: From skyscraper basics to the Loads Lab, all about designing skyscrapers.
  • Architecture in Space: Take a virtual tour of the International Space Station and its building structure.
  • Rescuing World Monuments: From the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Statue of Liberty and lots of places in between, this site explains how these important monuments were saved.
  • Buildings & Structures: A gallery of images with brief explanations about the buildings and their style of architecture. Lots of things for future architects to enjoy here.

Painting

  • The Art Zone: Interactive art activities that definitely take learning about art to a new level. Create paintings online with BRUSHter.
  • A Brush with Wildlife: Learn how to create a composition with wildlife artists. Choose Art Principle Animated first and then head to the Composition Studio to get started.
  • Restoring a Master: Learn how two priceless paintings are restored.
  • Painting Trees: For the more experienced student artist, how to draw and paint a purple tree.
  • Water Color: How to use the wet-into-wet watercolor method to paint a picture.
  • Paint by Number History: An exhibit about this popular way to paint from the National Museum of American History.
  • Pastel Technique: Drawing a white duck on dark paper, for the more advanced student artist.

Art Terms and Definitions

Famous Artists

  • Inside Art: Explore a Vincent Van Gogh painting from the inside.
  • Marianne North: About the famous botanical artist who gave a whole collection of her paintings to Kew Gardens, along with a gallery to house them.
  • Rembrandt: Exhibition at the Louvre, Paris, France, called Rembrandt the Draftsman.
  • Mary Cassatt: Website all about the American painter and print maker, Mary Cassatt, along with images of her paintings.
  • Picasso: Online tour of his world, life and works.
  • Dr. Seuss: The life and interesting work of Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Art Lesson Plans

  • At the Smithsonian: Lots of lesson plans about the art of America.
  • Exploring Leonardo: All about Leonardo da Vinci, his life and work.
  • Landscapes: Lessons in classical to modern landscapes from the Getty Museum.
  • Art of Native America: Online lessons about the art and history of Native America, with printable curriculum.
  • Chesterwood: Lesson plans for teaching with historic places from the National Park Service—the work of Daniel Chester French.
  • Political Cartoons: About drawing political cartoons, how to come up with an idea and how to draw an effective political cartoon.
  • National Gallery: Downloadable teacher's notes from the National Gallery, London, England.
  • Planning Art Lessons: Extensive information about getting ready to teach art.
  • Lesson Plans: Four lesson plans from the Art Institute of Chicago, including Play a Painting, about exploring art and music together.

Art Schools

  • SAIC: School of the Art Institute of Chicago founded as the Chicago Academy of Design in 1866.
  • Herberger Institute: Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
  • CalArts: California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.
  • Parsons: The New School for Design located in New York City.
  • Yale University: School of Art at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut.
  • Rhode Island School of Design: Providence, Rhode Island, founded in 1877.
  • CCA: California College of the Arts in San Francisco & Oakland, California.
  • MCAD: Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • UArts: University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • MICA: Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland.

Online resources can open up the world of art for students. Whether art becomes the world in which students eventually go to work or to play, or a little bit of both, just exploring the possibilities is a grand adventure in itself.

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