Cliff Grade 6 & 7

Visual Arts Beginning 


Teacher Contact- Email is the preferred method  

 This Week In Class 

Content Objective:  Students Create observational drawings that demonstrate awareness of detail and change of value through value changes.

Language Objective:  Students will be able to orally describe why these observational details make a drawing like realistic

6th Grade

Observational Drawing – draw what you see not what you think it looks like.

Interior Room Study Look for detail in the selected part of the classroom and draw what you see.  Use 3 values

Shape, Form, Space and Value 

Shading with Pen stippling, hatching, cross hatching and scribbling

Continues Ribbon in Pen Shading with pen create a continues path

Pen Study We have been drawing from observation and still life. Setting up the composition by looking at a view out a window or go outsideIt is important to move and find an interesting angle.  Draw a site specific view from the outside of the building

Sketchbook Assignment Due Tuesday September 17th:  The DSA Yearbook Staff has asked us to create graphics related to the Roaring 20’s…think Art Deco!

Sketchbook Assignment Due Tuesday September 24th Asymmetry

7th Grade

Combination Drawing (Plant/Animal/Machine) Each student is to research and do a series of drawings from each category of the following categories… animal, plant and machine.  Begin with only line work and add shading or value as needed.  Students can create drawings or compositions by combining those 3 elements. Sketches and planing due Friday August due 23rd, Finished piece due Friday August 30th  

Maze Drawing Using a photo as reference, draw a picture and incorporate this image into a maze Due Friday September 13th.

Personal Object Study  Draw one object repeatedly from multiple views and a variety of sizes to fit the drawing page and create an interesting composition.  Consider the Principles of Design while placing the object in the layout.

DSA Campus Landscape show distance (near and far).  Draw a site specific view from the outside of the building

Sketchbook Assignment Due Tuesday September 17th:  The DSA Yearbook Staff has asked us to create graphics related to the Roaring 20’s…think Art Deco!

Sketchbook Assignment Due Tuesday September 24th Illustration of Your Day

Important Dates to Know

2019-2020 VA Quarter Show Dates

1st quarter Thursday October 10, 6:30

2nd quarter Thursday December 12, 6:30

3rd quarter Thursday February 27, 6:30

4th quarter Thursday May 7, 6:30

Writing Assignment Due Dates

October 1st………Writing Assignment 1

December 3rd…………Writing Assignment 2


Visual Arts Requirements and Policies                                                

It is the responsibility of every student to be familiar with and honor classroom policies and Department Requirements listed on the Denver School of the Arts VA home page.

Students involved in a quality art program will learn to convey ideas, and emotions through their artwork. Students will improve their ability to analyze, critique, and understand as they create.  Students will practice and experiment with a variety of art materials and techniques while developing drawing and painting skills.  Students will learn to express their ideas visually and communicate personal concepts through writing assignments and Artist Statements.

Tool Box

The list of items that must be included in the Tool Box can be found on the VA home page.  Please have these everyday.


A sketchbook is required for weekly sketchbook assignments and may be purchased through the VA Department.

Flash Drive

Each student is responsible for their own work, and also saving that work.  Any writing assignments or digital files must be saved in a secure place not on a school computer.  Saving work on a USB flash drive is an easy way to do so.  Please make sure that you use a 1G or larger.


This course follows The Denver Public Schools Grading Scale


Process 35%

Product 55%

Final Assessment 10%

Please use the parent IC Portal to check grades on a regular basis.  Written work, homework assignments, artistic process, as well as projects are important components of this classWriting and verbal skills are emphasized as major elements in artistic success and are integrated through class discussion, reviews, essays and quizzes.  Students will be presented with a rubric for each major assignment.  It is better to turn in incomplete work than not to turn in anything since nothing turned in will be a zero, however, incomplete work may not be displayed in a final critique or quarter show.  Most assignments are worth 10 points each.  Longer assignments and projects are generally worth 15 – 20 points.

In-Class Assignments

Students will be evaluated on how well they have met the stated objectives for in-class art projects, written assignments, and tests.  With each project students will be working with the Creative Process.  This includes exploring and researching ideas, planning and sketches, creating the piece and finally reflecting, writing an Artist Statement or critique of work. This allows students to explain the concept and techniques used to create the work.  Craftsmanship is also closely looked at in this course, and is included in the grade.  Work is to be neatly presented and labeled with student name.  The presentation of work is a part of the grade.

Sketchbook Assignments

Sketchbook Assignments will be given weekly.  It is important to spend time interpreting each assignment in a unique and creative way.  Each assignment must be done with as much professionalism as possible.  Completed assignments and work must reflect an effort that is to the best of your ability.

 Professional Points

All students are expected to be responsible and to do their best work at all times.  Points may be earned for putting forth best effort each day, being on time and prepared with materials.  Points may also be deducted for late Sketchbook Assignments, class disruptions, misuse of materials, safety violations, lack of participation during class discussions or critiques and not putting forth best effort in class.

Contest Requirements

Middle School students are responsible for participating in 2 shows or contests during the course of the entire school year. These are contests they had to submit work to and must document. The Contest Documentation Form is on the website under VA Forms.

There will be a final exam in the course

Classroom Procedures 

Work outside of class is required

Be in your seat when class begins.

Be open to trying new techniques, receptive to learning about all areas of art and maintain a positive, inquisitive attitude.

Critique participation is an important part of art school process and all students must fully participate

Be open to trying new techniques and receptive to learning about all areas of art.

A positive, inquisitive mind-set is expected from all students.

Critique participation is a major part of the art school process.

Care for the studio space, equipment and supplies in a cooperative and responsible manner. Clean up and replacement of tools is a group responsibility.

NO FOOD (except water bottles with screw lids) is permitted in VA classrooms. Drink cups or cans left at the studio door will be thrown away. Repeated offenders will be assigned cleaning duties in the studio after school.

Students are not allowed in the middle room or Jewelry studio without teacher permission.

Focus for the full block-period without excessive noise or horseplay.

Respectful behavior toward the instructor, peers and the artwork of others

The computers in this lab are not yours. Do not change anything as other VA students use these each period.

Do not save anything to the desktop or computer.

Computers may be used for research as directed by teacher. Each student is responsible for keeping their assigned device secure and safe from falls, spills, etc. and returning the laptops and other digital devices at the end of class.

Cell Phones-may not be used for viewing reference photos or conducting research.

No texting or voice communication during class.

No cell phone use of any kind during testing or critiques.

Cell phones and headphones are a distraction to the learning process and will not be permitted in class. When class begins all devices are put away unless otherwise noted.

There will be no use of headphones or ear buds during instruction. Students may listen to music with teacher permission once the class is working independently as long as it is not a distraction to others and you can still hear me if I need to address the class.

Raise your hand if you have a question or need help.

All artwork must be original work created by you. No copy work.

If it is not yours do not touch it.

Clean up materials and the area you are working in, put away your artwork and tool boxes before you leave the Visual Arts room.