Arts Academy

in the Woods

Home // Course // Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Curriculum Overview

Arts Academy in the Woods Visual Arts Department offers a wide variety of courses including Visual Art Survey (covers all beginning art), Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Studio Art. All classes focus on encouraging students to think and behave like independent artists while also grounding students in the conventions of their chosen medium. The visual arts courses are modeled on the college art curriculum. Focus is put on skill building in the first few years of high school, much like an artist would do at the university level. With an emphasis on creative thought and drawing from life early on, students build on their abilities and grow as skilled artists working independently towards college level portfolios. Our Visual Art students are taught how to properly and safely use all art mediums and materials through teacher demonstrations, hands-on experimentation, and one-on-one guidance based on their own artistic goals. In the classroom we encourage students to make the most of their own choices with materials, process, and interpretation. We embrace our students’ unique, personal vision because the freedom to express also encourages planning, problem-solving, and the production of new ideas.

Class Topics

Visual Art Survey

Artists are introduced to the basic skills of a visual artist and prepares them for other fine arts courses at the Academy. Artists a range of two-dimensional art skills with emphasis placed on basic drawing and painting skills such as: line, value, texture, shape and color mixing. Students build basic skills that will help them develop abilities in drawing and painting. Artists are also introduced to three dimensional art skills and techniques. Using basic skills of ceramics like pinch, coil and slab as well as various sculpture skills such as papier mache and fabric manipulation. Artists are encouraged to find creative solutions for a wide range of different projects. Students will increasingly be learning to analyze art in a critical manner.


Artists explore various drawing techniques and art design concepts. Artists create more complex artwork by building skills in observational drawing. Artists pencil, pen & ink, charcoal and colored pencil while creating various drawings from life. Artists focusing on portraiture will investigate drawing faces from different points of view while incorporating different drawing tools and materials and higher order thinking with their portraits. Advanced artists generate a significant amount of work based on their own interests and creative vision.


Artists examine various painting techniques and art design concepts. Painters create more complex artwork using watercolor painting from basic watercolor to advanced concepts using watercolor paint. Painters using acrylic painting techniques start with basic acrylic techniques and leads to advanced concepts using acrylic paint. Advanced artists generate a significant amount of work based on their own interests and creative vision.


Artists examine various ceramics techniques and art design concepts. Artists create larger, more complex ceramic forms and are are pushed to experiment with a variety of glaze techniques and unconventional building approaches to expand their potential and push their creativity.


This course teaches various sculpture techniques and art design concepts. Artists create three dimensional artwork using materials such as fabric, papier mache, wire, found objects and metal. Artists focus on various techniques in sculpture and building three dimensional forms. Artists will further develops their skills and techniques while exploring jewelry making techniques such as sawing metal and creating rivets. Advanced artists generate a significant amount of work based on their own interests and creative vision.


* indicates required