Art Class for Teens

Today I have a guest post by my mom who is teaching the twins an art class at her studio in Laguna Beach. She is having so much fun with it that she is thinking about offering it to more teens in the future which I think would be a great idea.


I have decided to teach an art class for teens this new year. I have started with my twin 14-year-old grandchildren to see how it goes. One is very creative, loves to draw, and indeed outshines me at her age. Her brother is creative in math and science and CAN NOT DRAW! and has told me so many times. Which is why I have put together a class I think they both will love, at least they get up in the morning without grumbling and that’s always a good sign. Just in case though, we take a short walk to my favorite coffee shop, order some coffee or hot chocolate, and walk back to my studio in Laguna Beach armed with our hot drinks before tackling an hour of art in my studio.

photo 3 (12)My loose schedule for the semester is this: we start each class with line drawings–blind contour, gestural lines, continuous lines. Right now we are doing blind contour sketches which is drawing an object with a continuous line and without looking at your paper. As they have found, it’s hard not to look at your sketch to see where you are and how you are doing. I have found this is a bit more difficult for someone who does a lot of drawing than it is for the one that doesn’t. This exercise loosens them up plus they’re fun; even for the math/science teens out there.

Here are some of their blind contour drawings.

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Autry takes her sketch book wherever she goes and has drawn a sketch of Tru. This is also a blind contour sketch but drawn in the car; a continuous line and I think, a wonderful, fluid pen and ink drawing:

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The next project we are working on is self-portraits (the selfies of the old days). I have shown them self-portraits of artists from the past as well as more modern artists–to show them different painting styles and let them know that there is never a right way or wrong way in doing this:




We’re in the middle of this project. I am having them do one quickly and then spend a little more time with another one. We will use several mediums in completing these.


During each class I try to introduce them briefly to a bit of art history (while they’re drinking their coffee or tea) as it relates to what we are doing at the moment and by showing some of the artists works and perhaps a bit about the artist that they may find interesting; for instance, Henri Matisse. When he couldn’t paint anymore he became successful doing cutouts. He called it scissor art.



We are trying our hand at this process. First we chose colors similar to what Matisse chose and painted heavy paper with these colors.


Next, we will cut pieces out and put them together and see what happens!

I also have planned a trip to the Laguna Art Museum where we will see an exhibit of Wayne Thiebaud. He is a working artist living in California. A sample of his work:



This is just some of the things I have planned. I want them to focus on creativity and invention. What I don’t want is to spend time on laborious projects in this first class. My goal is to have fun, look forward to getting together, and learn a little bit along the way.

This post is part of the February 2014 Let’s Homeschool High School Blog Hop.

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2 thoughts on “Art Class for Teens

  1. Kuddos, Grandma! How blessed your grandchildren are to have such a talented grandmother who wants to share her experience and knowledge with them. I bet there are lots of homeschool kids in the area who would love to take a ‘co-op’ type art class with you.

    As always, I am thrilled you linked-up with our monthly Let’s Homeschool High School Blog Hop. I look forward to your March blog post!

    Let’s Homeschool High School Admn.

  2. Pingback: Sketches from the Girl | TAD Town

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