Welcome to our Visual Arts site!

This site outlines the major goals, studio habits and expectations for your course. You can also find your  syllabus and a list of vocabulary to prepare you for exams. 
We offer Introduction to Art, Drawing & Painting 1, Drawing & Painting 2, Senior Art, AP Art, Printmaking & Silk Screening (1 Sem), Ceramics 1 (1 Sem) Ceramics 2 (1 sem) and Graphic Arts.

Essential Questions:  
  1. What is Art?

  2. Why does our culture value art?

  3. What does it mean to think like an artist and how can we practice this?

  4. What are the 8 Studio Habits and how can I embody them?

  5. What are the safe and proper techniques used in the art classroom/studio?

  6. How do artists function in today’s society?

  7. How have art movements been categorized throughout history?

  8. What are the major art cannons and who are the master artists working during those times?

  9. How do we talk about and respond to art?

  10. What are the visual art terms used during critiques?


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Studio Habits of Mind

Develop Craft 

Engage and Persist

Stretch and Explore





Understand Art World

Elements of Art:

Line:  The path of a moving point (“a dot going for a walk”). 

Color:   Color is the light reflected from a surface. 

      Color has three distinct qualities:

  • Hue/Color—the identity of the color 
  • Value—lightness to darkness of a color
  • Intensity—brightness to dullness of a color

Value/Tone:  The lightness or darkness of a color.

Texture:  The actual or implied surface of an object. 

Shape:  A two-dimensional area enclosed by an outline.

Form:  A three-dimensional shape containing height, width, and depth.

Space:  Organizes elements in a composition while also referring to the 

 distance or area between, around, or within a shape or form.

Principles of Design:

Unity:  This refers to the sense of wholeness, harmony and order in a work of art.

Variety:  The differences among and between the elements in a composition.

Balance:  The weighted relationship between elements in a composition.

Emphasis:  Emphasis can be applied to one or more of the elements to create dominance.

Rhythm:  The repeated use of an element to achieve visual movement in a composition.

Repetition:  The use of an element or elements more than once in a composition.

Proportion:  The size relationship of all parts, to each other and to the whole, in a    composition.

Contrast: The dramatic difference between the elements when compared in a composition

"How is my art graded?" 

Below is an example of a rubric for a specific drawing project.

Every project focuses on 4 of the 8 Studio Habits of Mind and a given set of project criteria that fits into that category.

Project:Observational Drawing

Course:Drawing/Painting I

Ms. French & Ms. Smith


Studio Habits 

of Mind & 

MA Standards

 Exceeds Standard


5 - 100%

Exceeds Standard


4 - 90%

Meets Standard


3 - 80%

Does Not Meet Standard


2 - 70 %

Does Not Meet Standard

In Progress 

1 - 60%






(S3) 40%

- Proportion

- Perspective

- Values

- Composition

Artist paid extra attention to measure all proportions and angles accurately. Drawing has a wide range of values from blacks to whites. No shape is defined by an outline. Composition is especially intriguing and dynamic. 

Artist took time to measure proportions and angles, representing them fairly accurately. Drawing has a range of values from darks to lights. Nearly no outlines are used to define a shape. Composition was well planned.

Artist used measuring techniques to find proportions and angles to the best of his/her ability. A few measurements may be off. Drawing has a variation of values, but may need a wider range.  Some outlines may be visible. Composition was planned and is satisfactory

Artist did more guessing than measuring. Proportions and angles are off. Range of values is narrow--too many areas are similar. Shapes are often defined by an outline. Composition was planned, but could be more dynamic.

Student did not take time to measure proportions or angles. Shapes are defined by outlines rather than value relationships. Student may have spent more time inventing than observing shapes. Composition was unplanned.


(S1,4) 25%

- Mark making

- Neatness

- Refining  


Artist’s use of drawing medium is advanced. All marks work together successfully to enhance values and forms. Marks are extra neat, clean and crisp. Artist accounted for every visible detail.

Artist’s use of drawing medium is successful. Marks are used to show values and forms of each object. Mark making is neat and carefully done. Artist paid attention to details.

Artist’s use of drawing medium meets the standard. Marks make decent sense with with forms and values. Marks are fairly neat. Artist put in a clear effort to observe and draw in details.

Artist put in fair effort into using the medium carefully to show value and form of most objects. Marks could be smaller and/or more controlled. Artist could have paid more attention to the details. 

Student was impatient with his/her mark marking. Forms of objects could have been made clearer with the direction of the marks. Some areas may be fuzzy or incomplete. Details were overlooked.


(S2,4) 25%

- Focus Level

- Use of Time

- Revisiting

- Revising

Artist was very focused and used every minute of class time effectively to persist through the project. Artist was never satisfied with “OK” and continually revisited and revised drawing until the end.

Artist used class time wisely and demonstrated a strong focus level. Artist persisted through challenging ares and revisited and revised on multiple occasions. 

Artist maintained a decent focus level. Artist used most of class time to work on the drawing. Artist was willing to revisit areas that needed improvement. 

Artist struggled to stay on task on several occasions. Artist could have used class time more wisely to persist through areas of difficulty. Artist may have been easily discouraged with challenging areas.

Student was often off task. Student was disengaged in the project and used class time for non art related activities. Student was unwilling or reluctant to revisit or finish some areas. 


(S5) 10%

- Reflection


- Critique 



Artist completed reflection questions honestly and very thoroughly. Artist took time to give respectful and insightful feedback to peers during critiques, using artistic language. Artist appreciated and accepted all peer advice. 

Artist honestly completed all reflection questions. Artist gave helpful and respectful feedback during critiques. Artist appreciated and accepted peer advice during his/her own critique session.

Artist completed all reflection questions. Artist contributed verbally during critiques and accepted the advice from his/her peers during his/her own critique session. 

Artist wrote minimal responses to the reflection questions. Artist was reluctant to contribute during critiques and/or may have had some difficulty accepting peer advice.

Artist did not take reflection questions seriously and/or did not complete them. Artist failed to participate in the critique altogether.