Art Lesson Plans

Middle and High School Plans for Art Teachers

Below you will find some of the award winning art lessons plans that I use in my classroom. These plans are designed for the secondary level and encourage students to reach their full potential as artists.  They give the students the confidence to succeed in art.  When using these lessons, be sure to think about the sequence of how they are presented.  Be sure that each activity and concept builds upon the last.  Many of these lessons can be adapted for middle school or college students.  Feel free to amend them to fit with the students that you teach.

(If you are looking for a complete solution for teaching art in your class, check out "The Ultimate Lesson Plan".)

Lesson Plans for ArtThe Ultimate Lesson Plan
“The Ultimate Lesson Plan” is a complete classroom solution for art teachers that includes lesson plans, videos, handouts, quizzes and more. Download the user guide (Members Only)  Become a Member


FREE High School and Middle School ART LESSON PLANS

Art Lesson Plans For Beginning Artists- Level One High School

Color Theory Lesson PlanColor Theory Art Lesson Plan
Students are exposed to color theory by creating a painting using tempera paint that is sectioned according to specific color themes.
Clay Figure Lesson PlanClay Figures Sculpture Lesson
Students construct a clay figure using "scoring a slipping".  A challenging assignment that requires developing the clay in various stages.
Crayon Etching PlanCrayon Etching Mixed Media Lesson Plan
Students create a crayon etching by exploiting the properties of wax-based crayons and water-based ink or tempera paint.
Cross Contour Line Lesson PlanCross Contour Line Drawing Lesson Plan
Students use cross contour lines to create a pen and ink drawing.  Variety of line quality to create the illusion of form is encouraged.
Figure Drawing Lesson PlanFigure Drawing
Students create gesture drawings from live models, then work from photos to create a proportional figure drawing with oil pastels.
Linear Perspective Lesson PlanFuturistic Perspective Drawing Lesson Plan
Students study linear perspective and use it to create a drawing of the future using colored pencils on toned paper.
Object Self Portrait Lesson PlanObject Self Portrait Drawing Lesson Plan
Students create a self portrait by assembling objects that represent their interests.  The completed drawing is finished with graphite on white drawing paper.
Pop Art Lesson PlanLichtenstein Pics Drawing Lesson
After learning about artist, Roy Lichtenstein, students create their own Pop Art drawing using oil pastels, working from newspaper comic clippings.
Magazine Cover Lesson PlanMagazine Cover Design Lesson Plan
Students work as illustrators to create a magazine cover of their choosing.  Fonts must be matched and the cover is required to be completely original.
Highlight Rendering Drawing Lesson Plan
Students work from a still life to create a charcoal drawing that has a full range of value.  The surface is completely covered with charcoal and highlights are erased out.
Giant Junkfood Lesson PlanGiant Junkfood Sculpture Lesson Plan
Students work in small groups to create giant sculptures of food, modeled after artist, Claes Oldenburg.  Paper mache is used over an armature.
Pastel Landscape Lesson PlanPastel Landscape Lesson
Students create a landscape using soft pastels, approaching the work using an ordered approach of layering the background, middle ground, and foreground.

Art Lesson Plans for Intermediate Artists- Level Two or Three High School

Pastel Portrait Lesson PlanPastel Portrait Drawing/Painting Lesson Plan
Students complete a pastel portrait of someone important in their life with soft pastels.
Stippling Lesson PlanPen and Ink Stippling Drawing Lesson Plan
Students work from two references to develop a drawing in which both images are clearly visible.  A challenging assignment finished by stippling with pen and ink.
Reverse Self Portrait Lesson PlanReverse Self Portraits Drawing Lesson Plan
Students create a self portrait drawing from photographs taken with direct light.  Drawings are finished using white media on black paper.
Scratchboard Lesson PlanScratchboard Etching Lesson Plan
Students create images using scratchboard working with etching tools or razor blades.
Texture Drawing Lesson PlanDrawing Paper Bags Drawing Art Lesson Plan
Students work from paper bag still life arrangements to draw accurate texture with graphite pencils on white paper.
Identity Portrait Lesson PlanIdentity Portrait Drawing Art Lesson Plan
Students create a non-figurative scene that represents them as a person.  Drawings are finished using colored pencils.
Master Study Lesson PLanMaster Study Art Lesson Plan (Various Media)
Students are assigned a "Master Artist" to study.  Students complete a proportional copy of the assigned master artist using the same materials and techniques as the master.
Abstract Art Lesson PlanPrecisionist Abstract Drawing Lesson Plan
Students are introduced to Abstract art by creating a Precisionist drawing of an everyday object using oil pastels.

Art Lesson Plans for Advanced Students- Level Four or Advanced Placement

Watercolor Landscape Lesson PLanWatercolor Landscape Painting Lesson Plan
Students are introduced to Abstract art by creating a Precisionist drawing of an everyday object using oil pastels.
Expressive Self Portrait Lesson PlanExpressive Self Portraits Drawing Lesson Plan
Students create expressive self portraits by depicting a part of their personality in a representational drawing with graphite.
Foreshortening Lesson PLanForeshortened Figure Drawing Lesson Plan
Students work from photographs taken at extreme angles to create a convincing drawing of a figure in perspective.
Pixel Pic Lesson PlanPixel Pics Portrait Painting Art Lesson Plan
Photos are pixelated using photo-editing software.  Students work to match observed values to create a tempera painting that appears realistic from a distance.
Memory Drawing Lesson PlanMemory Drawing Art Lesson Plan
Students create drawings that represent memories or past experiences.

The Ultimate Lesson Plans - For Members

Line - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use their knowledge of line, line quality, and cross contour lines to create a finished line drawing using graphite and pen and ink. 8 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Shape - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Part One: Students will use their knowledge of positive and negative shapes to create an ink drawing that focuses only on positive and negative shapes of a still life.
Part Two:
 Students will draw 5 hands from direct observation using simple shapes on white drawing paper with soft graphite pencils. 14 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 4 Handouts
Form - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use their knowledge of shadow structure on objects to draw various forms and label shadow structure on them. 13 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 4 Handouts
Value - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Part One Students will use their knowledge of value to draw an egg from observation on white drawing paper using soft graphite. The focus should be to create an accurate rendering of the egg using smooth gradations of value in order to create the illusion of form and light source.
Part Two Students will create a “highlight rendering” of a spotlit still life using vine charcoal, compressed black charcoal, and a kneaded eraser. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the full use of value in a drawing in order to create the illusion of form and light source. 13 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 5 Handouts
Space - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use their knowledge of linear perspective to create a 3-D maze using graphite and white drawing paper. 29 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 11 Handouts
Texture - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will arrange 3 – 5 paper bags in order to draw them from observation. (Students may photograph the arrangement to help remember the arrangement.) Students will draw the bags from observation concentrating on creating the illusion of accurate texture through the use of value. 10 Presentation slides, 2 Videos, 3 Handouts
Colored Pencils - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use proper colored pencil techniques to draw a collection of transparent marbles from observation. 23 Presentation slides, 2 Videos, 2 Handouts
Color Theory - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will practice mixing colors and handling tempera paint by painting the “Activity Worksheets”. Students will use their knowledge of color theory to paint an object from multiple angles using 3 different color schemes. 29 Presentation slides, 1 Videos, 8 Handouts
The Grid Technique - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use graphite and tempera paint to create an accurate self portrait. 10 Presentation slides, 5 Videos, 3 Handouts
Pastel Landscapes - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will use soft and/or hard pastels to create a pastel landscape drawing of place with some personal significance to themselves. 18 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Figure Drawing - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will create a series of gesture drawings from observation using soft graphite pencils on newsprint paper. Students will use the knowledge gained from warm up activities to create a completed figure drawing with oil pastels. 23 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Clay Figures - The Ultimate Lesson Plan
Students will create small clay figures out of white or red earthenware. (If a kiln is not available, Air Dry Clay can be substituted) Students will work the clay in both the “wet” and “leather-hard” stages to create sculptures that support themselves. 9 Presentation slides, 2 Videos, 3 Handouts

The Ultimate Lesson Plan

The focus on these units is on the core concepts to producing quality artwork. These lessons are designed to emphasize the fundamentals of art by providing students with a rich multimedia experience followed by an art production activity that reinforces concepts. The Ultimate Lesson Plan is available to members. Learn More about Membership

Take a look at the lesson structure...Download the user guide (PDF document)

Why I Love Helping Teachers...

Teachers are special people. Teachers sacrifice their time, finances, sweat, and tears for their students.  With 12 years under my belt as an educator, I know how hard teachers work.  Often, it's work that isn't recognized. 

But this is what makes teachers special people.  They don't teach for the money, the accolades, or recognition - they teach for their students.  They teach because it's important.  They teach because it matters. I've had the honor to work alongside some of the best people on the planet - teachers.

I am an artist, but teaching is my passion and purpose in life. 


Hi, I'm Matt.  I'm fortunate to share my passion with people like you.  Learn more about me here. 

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There are a lot of sites that claim to have good art lesson plans.  Only a few actually offer good art lessons.  Here is a recommended list of valuable resources for art lesson plans on the internet...

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