Art Techniques

Brenda Ellis

Welcome to the Art Techniques Lessons  

September 2014: Watercolor Painting Techniques

arttech_sepCelebrations are always colorful. Don’t let another one pass you by without taking out your watercolors to record some part of the event. This month we will explore painting with watercolors. All you need are your paints, brush, paper, water, and a table where you can sit to make your art. Your arrangement of items can be traditional, by overlapping the items, or it can be modern, by lining up the items in a row. I’ve chosen to paint three cupcakes…

To continue this lesson and access the September weekly lessons on watercolor painting techniques, click here.


 Teacher Course Introduction

Would you like to find ways to make your drawings look more realistic or more colorful? In these classes you will explore a variety of art materials that you may already have in your home or are easy to obtain. You will learn ways to use colored pencils, drawing pencils, oil pastels, watercolor paints, and more! You’ll be proud of what you produce because it will be uniquely your own, not copied from the teacher example.

A materials list is given in the first lesson for each month.

Come back each month to discover a new art material and a new type of subject. Come back each week to see the next stage in the teacher’s example. In this class you are the artist! You will select a similar subject from your own environment and look at it as you draw or paint your picture.

Are you surprised that you are not asked to copy the teacher’s example? You will select your own subject for two reasons. First, you will be most interested in a subject that you like, have interest in, or find within your own environment. Secondly, when we look at real objects or high quality photographs, we see much more detail. Artists select the details that are important to their own picture and what they want to accomplish within it. These are important aspects of being a real artist. You will get your information for the picture from a real object (a reference) and you will see the techniques for putting that information on the page within the teacher’s example.

Techniques are methods of using artistic materials or processes for drawing and painting. While there are many things to learn about art, we will focus on art techniques in this class. You will complete a new work of art each week. If you miss a few weeks or simply want a reminder, you can review any or all of the previous teacher’s examples for the month to recall the stages of the process.

Students are building on what they know, and should begin to see improvement in their individual skills as they continue to draw. Encourage students to have fun and to select subjects that they like and that have personal meaning to them.

If you want more opportunities to make art, see how creativity in art, art appreciation, art history, and techniques of the artist come together on the pages of ARTistic Pursuits art curriculum at There you will find books written specifically to different grade levels. Jump right in at your grade level and expand on what you know about art and see what you can accomplish. To see a sample of our curriculum, you can watch a video overview of our course here.

Enjoy your art technique lesson!

Your art teacher,

Brenda Ellis

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Brenda Ellis photoBrenda Ellis, author and illustrator, has over twenty-five years of experience in all aspects of teaching K-12 art. She is an honors graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, where she met her husband, Daniel, who is also an artist. They homeschooled their three children, now graduates, while developing the award-winning ARTistic Pursuits art curriculum for homeschoolers, founded in 1999. Brenda believes that every child can understand the concepts of art and enjoy the process of putting ideas and visual images on paper. She’s committed to helping children become visually aware of the wonderful world they live in, and be able to work in creative ways within it. You can see how instruction in creativity, art history, art appreciation, and technique come together on the pages of her books for Preschool through High School levels at To see a sample of the curriculum, you can watch a video overview of the course here.