The Student Art Guide is constantly on the lookout for great art teacher blogs and websites for high school Art students (including those studying IGCSE, GCSE, A Level Art, NCEA, IB and AP Studio Art). The majority of Art teacher blogs, however, contain poor quality photographs or have an emphasis on the pedagogy of art education, rather than upon sharing practical advice for students and art teachers. High school art education blogs or websites with a focus on quality artwork seem to be few and far between. Thus, for the benefit of our readers, we have begun to compile a list of the gems we have found. You may also be interested in reading how to create your own website.
Lectures on Digital Photography by Marc Levoy
Marc Levoy, who taught digital photography at Stanford for many years and now leads a team at Google, has uploaded every lecture and made this freely available. The 18 lecture course is targeted at beginners (those with no prior photography knowledge) and covers: lenses, optics, light, sensors, natural optical effects, perspective, depth of field, sampling, noise, image processing, editing, computational photography, history, famous photographers and composition. There is hours of footage, which includes include assignments for students. Videos are also available on Marc’s YouTube channel, with a full playlist of the lectures available here.
Developing Nicely is a stunning blog by Chris Francis, UK Art teacher and Senior Leader at St Peter’s Catholic School, Bournemouth, England. The blog contains thought-provoking articles that are illustrated with creative, contemporary student artwork, such as the examples shown below by Beth. The site is a rich resource for GCSE and A Level Photography students in particular (these are qualifications studied by high school students in the UK) and is guaranteed to keep you engaged for hours. Highly recommended.
Julia Stubbs is an Advanced Skills Teacher in Art and Design at William de Ferrers School, Essex, England. Her website features high quality GCSE and A Level Art artwork, photographed comprehensively and listed with results. Exemplar material is available, as are teaching resources. A brilliant site.
Ms. King’s AP Studio Art class
The website by AP Studio teacher Carrie King contains a superb collection of teaching activities for the Art students at Mt. Eden High school, Hayward, California, USA. The activities cover perspective, line drawing, the depiction of glass and metal objects, working in monochrome, figure drawing and still life arrangements; providing structured activities to help students complete the 12 AP Breadth pieces. Each assignment is accompanied by artwork from Carrie’s own students, such as the two examples below by Tiernan Kang (left) and Sikai Song.
InThinking Visual Arts
InThinking Visual Arts is a website for International Baccalaureate Art teachers. It is written by Heather McReynolds, who has over 20 years of teaching and examining experience. Heather was previously Head of Art at the International School of Florence and now offers training and workshops for IB Art teachers, writes textbooks and shares knowledge via the InThinking Visual Arts website. Although this site is subscription based, there is enough free content to keep you busy for hours. Much of the material is relevant for teachers of any high school Art qualification.
Bartelart.com is the home of Dr. Marvin Bartel, who has many decades of teaching experience, including over 30 years teaching in the Art Department at Goshen College, Indiana, United States. Marvin has Master and Doctor degrees in art education and is a consultant, lecturer and writer. His website contains superb essays about drawing, creativity and teaching art: many interconnected pages that will engage you for hours. The images below are from an invisible figure drawing lesson that introduces students to cross-contour.
Ferhan Khan’s Flickr photostream
Ferhan Khan is an experienced high school Photography teacher from Doha College, Qatar. He has uploaded many outstanding A Level Photography and Art portfolios. These are shared in their entirety, with legible annotation and process documented, making these excellent learning tools. Students investigate exciting subject matter, explore contemporary editing techniques and stage innovative compositions, as shown in the work below by Beth Miseroy below. Some of the work by Ferhan’s has been featured on the Student Art Guide, such as Kareem Al Saady’s 100% AS Photography Coursework project.
Dan China’s Flickr photostream
Dan China is a secondary school Art Adviser with a wealth of experience. His past roles include Ofsted Inspector and Chief Moderator / Examiner. He has worked on curriculum and assessment developments as well as revisions to examinations and assessment strategy. He has published a fantastic collection of student artwork Flickr, depicting some of the best A Level student work from Buckinghamshire schools (2007 – 2011).
Monks’ Dyke Technology College’s Flickr photostream
The Monks’ Dyke Technology College in Lincolnshire, England, has published a range of beautiful GCSE and A Level Art sketchbooks and final pieces from their Art Department (such as the AS Fine Art sketchbook page by Calum Forsyth below) on Flickr, with some exceptional Graphic Design, Fine Art and Photography submissions. A photostream that can keep you engaged for hours!
Fortismere Art Department
Fortismere, a secondary school based in Haringey, North London, has a thriving Art Department. Their website links to Flickr, in which they have categorised an extensive collection of images: A Level Photography, A Level Fine Art etc. While there are a huge number of photographs to go through, there are some really fantastic pieces of work.
AP Central Collegeboard website
Advanced Placement (AP) is a rigorous high school qualification offered to students in Canada and The United States. The College Board AP Central website has three great Art sections: Drawing, 2D Design and 3D Design, which each include a link called ‘Drawing Portfolio with Student Samples and Scoring Guidelines’. These provide access to an excellent collection of student work (such as the beautiful fruit drawings pictured below by Sucha Chantaprasopsuk from Reavis High School), each accompanied by clear explanations for the marks they have received.
Top Art exhibition
The Top Art exhibition features some of the best NCEA Level 3 Photography, Design, Printmaking, Sculpture and Painting (this is the New Zealand equivalent of A2 Art & Design) produced by Year 13 New Zealand high school art students. An excellent source of inspiration for students and teachers.
The New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) publish fantastic resources to help high school art teachers and students. Of particular note are the exemplar material that is provided for NCEA Level 1, 2 & 3 Painting, Photography, Design, Sculpture or Printmaking. This student work is very similar to that which is required for CIE Art & Design and is a fantastic resource for high school Art students studying any qualification. Work of a range of ability levels is shown, along with superb annotation from the examiners. There is also a separate section of Scholarship exemplars (such as the superb example below) – the very best work from Year 13 (A2) students.
The Saatchi Gallery art prizes for schools
The Saatchi Gallery (London) runs major art competitions for high school students, as part of its education programme. The winning and short-listed entries are available for viewing on their website. Although only single artworks are exhibited from each student (as opposed to the complete bodies of work that are available on other websites) the range and quality of work is excellent, making this website a great place for those seeking inspiration. The image below shows Julia Whiting, winner of the 2011 Saatchi Gallery/Sunday Telegraph Art Prize for Schools.
You may also be interested in reading our guide: why you should create your own website (and how to make one).