Art Foundations 1 & 2

From: $80.00 / month for 5 months

Grades: 9th–12th (8th graders with approval)

Class:  Thu 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Dates (1st Sem): Aug 26–Dec 20, 2024

Dates (2nd Sem): Jan 13–May 9, 2025

Prepaid: $649 (FY) or $349 (1st Sem)

Instructor: Heather Eades

See Reviews of Instructor Heather Eades


Course Description

This course is year-long, and students who complete both semesters will receive a full high school credit in Visual Arts/Fine Arts. Students may also choose to complete the first semester for 0.5 credits. Students must take the first semester to be enrolled in the second semester of this course.

This live, online visual arts course covers a diverse range of artistic concepts and techniques and focuses on solidifying an understanding of the elements of art (line, shape, form, space, value, color, and texture) and the science behind their use to communicate visually. Filled with fun and individualized projects, students will learn to think like artists and visual storytellers, develop their creative problem-solving skills, and build a strong artistic skill set that can be used to effectively communicate ideas and evoke emotion.

This one-of-a-kind class features weekly live explorations into the art and science of aesthetics, art production, art criticism, and art history, as well as engages students with hands-on, live art instruction and experimentation with a wide variety of artistic methods and materials. Students enjoy creative problem-solving through a variety of contemporary and traditional art-making processes in a very non-traditional studio experience

By the end of the Art Foundations 1, students will:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in fundamental art techniques and media (including but not limited to pencils, colored pencils, pen and ink, marker, acrylic paint, watercolor, oil pastels, mixed media, and clay or other 3D options).
  • Identify, describe, and apply the elements of art (line, shape, form, space, value, color, and texture) to communicate visually.
  • Develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary.
  • Develop critical thinking skills through the analysis of historical and contemporary artworks.
  • Explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression through basic creative problem-solving skills and refine their craftsmanship.
  • Communicate ideas effectively through visual and verbal means.
  • Cultivate an appreciation for cultural diversity in the art world.
  • Apply the constructs of art criticism and critique to works of art, including their own.
  • Build a portfolio showcasing their artistic growth and creative exploration.

Basic Supplies

  • a pencil set
  • colored pencils
  • non-washable markers
  • Sharpie marker (black)
  • oil pastel set
  • watercolor paints
  • acrylic paints
  • assortment of both flat and round brushes in a variety of sizes (5-10)
  • a sketchbook
  • mixed media paper
  • recyclable materials
  • other basic art materials (scissors, glue, etc.)
  • A complete supply list will be emailed upon registration.

Course Structure

Our virtual class time will involve project sharing in a gallery format; interactive learning and discussion, introduction of art concepts, artworks, artists, and art history; demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and media with a weekly visual prompt; and will conclude with introduction and brainstorming as artists on the week’s upcoming project.

Each week’s project allows for complete creative freedom and personalized artwork–the concepts, techniques, and media may be the same for all students but each artwork will be unique to the student.

Homework will be assigned/due weekly on our course website. Students may view the detailed syllabus at any point to see what is coming up next. I will also send out a weekly homework update email to both students and parents. Required reading includes regular handouts, posts, and activities on the website.

Weekly assignments may include:

  • A weekly 60-minute LIVE MEETING. While each live meeting is recorded, our live class provides time to experiment with new media together, try out new techniques together, ask lots of questions, and learn from each others’ successes and challenges together.
  • Interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history in our Canvas discussion forum
  • A short reading assignment from the required textbook (used for both Art Foundations 1 and 2), handouts, or various sources, or a short video assignment regarding art concepts, artists, and their art.
  • Art journal/sketchbook prompts
  • Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
  • Presentations
  • Research, critiques, and compare and contrast papers (only 2 papers max per semester, including a research paper with PowerPoint/Google slide/other media presentations).

Who should enroll?

This course is intended for 9th-12th graders (and 8th graders with permission) who are interested in fulfilling their required high school fine arts credit and acquiring a foundation of basic art skills and knowledge. Students should be able to write a basic high school level paper. Beginning drawing skills are recommended but not required for this class. This class will be the foundational class for all further and more advanced Aim Academy Online art courses.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork

Evaluation and Feedback

All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas; I provide detailed critiques on all artwork (focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept/material use, creativity, and craftsmanship) and respond to course discussion responses personally. Each project has its own grading rubric that is detailed and clear, so students will steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities and artistic style with each assignment.


Once a student has been registered to this course, I will contact families within 1-2 business days. All parents are invited to join their student in Canvas as observers to view their student’s progress, and I will respond to all parents and student questions through our Canvas system emails on our course website within 24 hours. I send weekly email updates to both parents and students to keep everyone moving forward together and aware of upcoming materials, projects, and things to plan for. (As a parent of a current high schooler, I know what it’s like to get those last-minute surprises! “Oh yeah, Mom…I think I need a dowel rod, 10 styrofoam spheres, and a glue you can only order in Alaska by tomorrow….” – Clear communication, I promise!)


Required Texts


ARTTALK student edition (Fourth ed.) by Ragans, Rosalind.(2005)., Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Inc. ISBN: 0-07-830599-3


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Instructor Bio

Heather Eades

For as long as Heather Eades can remember, she has lived by the motto “Create GOOD things. Live a GREAT story.” And as both a maker and creator, her passion is equipping young creatives to do the same. Earning her B.A. in Visual Arts from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH and studies at the Columbus College of Art and Design helped launch her professional career in publishing where she helped create SRA/McGraw-Hill’s elementary art program, Art Connections. Contact: heades[at]


All classes taught by Heather A. Eades