Colored pencils are inexpensive, easy to transport and produce fantastic results.
I remember falling in love with colored pencils in my high school art class. I loved how they blended and I was obsessed with pressing down so hard my hand would hurt. They are a great learning tool for color because you can blend and shade without the mess of paint. I love using them in classroom, both when I was a high school teacher, and now for my intermediate level kids.
These tutorials are classroom ready and adaptable for whatever age group you are currently teaching. They are also VERY distance learning friendly if you are preparing for an unpredictable art class experience in the 2020-2021 school year. These tutorials are also great for an artist trying to advance their skills at home. These are very kid friendly, but the principles can be used for a more advanced artist as well.
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This one is SO MUCH fun! It’s a great way to practice color blending in a sketchbook. I used the most basic Crayola Colored Pencils for this! You can level up by trying it on toned paper or by using the more expensive brand Prismacolor.
Teachers: This is a great way to focus on color theory and shading. I am 100% putting this in my Google Classroom for next year. If there is one thing 2020 taught me, it is be prepared for anything. This is a distance learning friendly artwork that can be adapted for whatever skills you want to focus on. I can see some fun name designs happening with this technique as well.
This is a personal favorite. I love using this in my art station rotation during state testing. You can switch up your color scheme to make it any plant you want and it is beyond satisfying to repeat the leaves over and over again. There are really great Georgia O’Keeffe connections begging to be made!
The scale of this artwork can be adapted to make a really impressive larger scale artwork or a more quick study.
Eye Drawing & Self Portrait
My students are OBSESSED with this artwork. I always get told by other teachers that they know when I’m teaching this lesson because little eye drawings keep popping up on their notes and projects in other classes. I love this artwork because it’s very adaptable. I’ve used the eye drawing tutorial as a stand alone technique and I’ve also integrated it into a full blown lessons focusing on symbols and self-portraits.
It can also be adapted for a sub lesson and I made a distance learning friendly pencil only tutorial when our school was shut down for the rest of the year. (It was the most popular distance learning lesson, too!)
This last tutorial is not something I have used in the classroom, but I think it would make a great extension artwork for early finishers or students who want to advance their art skills outside of the classroom. Using toned paper is a sure fire way to make your colors pop and make your artwork look more refined.
I share some of the color blending advice that changed my art style when I was a kid. I use Prismacolor colored pencils in this tutorial and I just LOVE the smooth blending and vibrant colors.
Here are some of my favorite colored pencil options for the classroom or at home. There are options for a variety of budgets, all of which I have tried at some point in my career!
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