Austin’s Butterfly – A Lesson on Critique

This is one of my favorite lessons. This lesson is one of the moments when I get to watch my students think about art differently and think about their work differently. This lesson ties the content to other subjects and shows how art can be used to learn valuable life lessons beyond just learning to think creatively.

We Begin by doing a quick drawing of a butterfly. I do not explain to the students why we are drawing the butterfly. We have a warm-up drawing for every class and so this becomes our warm-up for the day. Then we watch the following video:

My Austin’s Butterfly Lesson Recording

Student Flipgrid Responses

Painting Our Emotions

Many artists describe painting their emotions and feelings into their artwork. In this assignment we explore how we can represent our emotions in our artwork.

How do we represent an emotion?

What color do you associate with an emotion? Do you think your emotion can be described with shape and with line? How else can we express what we are feeling with art?

Please watch the following video of a lesson I created to help students explore how they can portray an emotion:

Student Artwork Examples

Grid Drawing

Using the grid to create your drawing is a very valuable skill to learn to help you blow up images when drawing or just trying to reproduce a very photo real or highly detailed drawing. Using the grid is a difficult skill at first but as you practice transferring the image square by square it actually makes it much easier to reproduce the image than if the grid was not being used. Please see the examples of student work below to see our success with the grid drawing project.


Nightime Chalk Landscape

For this assignment the students worked with dark grey or black paper to draw a night time landscape. The emphasis was the moonlight reflecting off of the parts of the landscape like a tree brach or fence. We used the chalk pastels to blend easily and also create a true light effect. Please see the examples below for the expectation for this assignment:



Several students have asked if their assignments are all graded. Yes! Of course all of your assignments are graded. That includes all sketchbook assignments, notes in your sketchbook, and class assignments. Even sub assignments count. This week we are discussing grading criteria and self critique in all classes. We are using our grades to help us learn to assess and critique art using Feldman’s Critique Method. We are also using rubrics so the students can understand why their piece is graded the way it is. Grades are about to get more specific. Up until this point they have been more general. Please use the rubric below to assess your students work. It will help you understand my process and what I am looking for. I also want you to know that if an assignment is missing or incomplete your student is responsible to make up that work. They absolutely can make up their work and improve their grade. The artistic process includes revision and reworking so I am trying to get them used to the idea of that process with this leniency of making up work.