Art Distance Learning Ideas

Art Distance Learning Ideas

The year 2020 will be one of those years we never forget. It has completely turned public education on it’s head leaving students, parents and teachers feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I channeled my stress during quarantine into cranking out art distance learning ideas on YouTube.

This post includes links to FREE full length video tutorials that I have either used, or plan to use, for distance learning. They can be done at home just for fun, in a distance learning or home school situation and also a traditional classroom setting.

We are all embarking on the 2020-2021 school year differently, whether we are homeschooling, returning to the classroom with or without masks, transitioning to distance learning or to an undetermined setting.

We are in this together.

Whether you are a parent, art teacher, home school teacher or a self-taught artist I hope you can find some inspiration or some stress relief with these art distance learning ideas.

Art Distance Learning Lessons


Drawing will be essential when teaching students without a closet full of art supplies. Luckily drawing can be really fun, and I have found that if I teach it in a slow and structured way all kids can feel successful. I love the surprise when a “I can’t draw kid” sees their finished drawing.

Colored Pencil Blending

Colored pencils are great for distance because they are inexpensive and familiar. I think colored pencils create great results in elementary all the way up to high school students. These tutorials focus on inexpensive Crayola packs, but students can certainly level up with a more expensive brand.


Teaching 3-D is my passion. I focused in ceramics in college and my first six years teaching I was the sculpture and ceramics teacher at a high school magnet school for the arts. Teaching 3-D experiences allows students the opportunity to use their hands which is so therapeutic and it also highlights that drawing isn’t the ONLY gateway to artistic expression.

I know teaching sculpture in a distance learning format can be tricky, but depending on your grade level and student population it can be a really positive experience. Check out these 3-D art distance learning ideas to spice up your units.


Collage is a great way for students to express themselves artistically without picking up a pencil. Magazines may not be the household staple that they once were, but they are still an inexpensive and easily attainable art material.

Many teachers have been discussing the option of sending art supply kits home with students, and collage would easily fit into this strategy.

Mixed Media & Basic Supplies

Not all options work for all situations, but the next three tutorials are some ideas I had during the long quarantine of #spring2020. I am obsessed with Black Out Poetry and I haven’t always made time to teach it the past couple years. Depending on my district’s decision, this will be one of my first assignments!


Many students do not have access to art supplies at home, especially painting materials. I am adding some watercolor links with the knowledge that this may not fit into my distance learning plans. I do plan on teaching watercolor in person :::one day::: because socially distancing clean up is SO MUCH EASIER THAN WITH ACRYLIC. I have also seen art teachers discussing adding watercolor paint to sent home art kits or recommended art supplies for students to provide.

Also, watercolor is so fun and therapeutic for adults. I have had to remind myself many times over the past few months to take care of myself and my own personal artistic expression.

Tips on Sharing YouTube Links

I never play a YouTube video at school without making sure my ad blocker extension is downloaded. Do a quick google search for “ad blocker” and it is a simple extension you can add to your work computer so you never have to stress about weird ads interrupting your lesson. I use Google Chrome, but there are many options out there depending on your set up.

Many students will be engaged in their lessons digitally at the start of the school year and you cannot control ads or what their search history will pull up for their next YouTube video. YouTube for Kids is a great option for those under 12, but you can also add your links to Google Slides and control settings there. Check out this post by Alice Keeler for details.

Make your own tutorials!

You are 1,000,000% (I know, math teachers) welcome to use my tutorials in any way that fits your needs. If you are itching to make your own and don’t know where to start, check out my tutorial on making tutorials (so meta).

What distance learning lessons worked for you? I’d love to hear from you. I wish everyone a happy, peaceful and supportive 2020-2021 school year.

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