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Art Class: All About Birds (Ages 12-15)

Susan Garrison
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This ongoing art class is for students who love birds! We'll draw different species of birds and their habitats plus birdhouses, feeders, baths and intricate details of their feathers and anatomy--basically anything about birds!

Class Experience

US Grade 7 - 10
Intermediate Level
  • Students will learn about the anatomy of a bird as we draw and focus on specific parts as well as some interesting facts about a variety of birds as well as identifying features as they learn how to draw specific birds. They will also learn drawing, shading and textural techniques in drawing and painting mediums and how to create a balanced composition while keeping the bird at the focal point.
Homework Offered
I do not usually assign homework; however, your child may need a few minutes after our class to finish painting a background area or perhaps add a few details. Occasionally, I may ask students to paint the background on their own. For instance, when we have a 2 part lesson that takes 2 class sessions to complete, we usually draw in the first part and paint in the 2nd part. Sometimes we have time to get our background painting started or completed in the 1st part, too, but if not, it is best to have the background already painted before we paint our bird in the 2nd part of our lesson. Students may also be excited to continue practicing bird drawings or even keep a bird sighting journal independently for fun.
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
There will be no formal assessment; however, we will take the time to hold up our drawings and celebrate and encourage each other's progress several times throughout the drawing process and again at the end of class. I'll watch for opportunities to give more guidance or tips throughout the lesson.
Grades Offered
Most of our classes will be drawing lessons in which we begin with a pencil and then add color as time allows.  I've also listed some painting materials because we will occasionally be painting.  

paper (sketchbook or drawing paper)
coloring tools (crayons, colored pencils or twistables)
Tip:  Markers can give bold color but are not well-suited for blending and shading possibilities so I do not recommend markers for this class.

Optional:  Your child may become interested in spotting different species of birds and recording their spottings in a journal but this is not required.


pencil, eraser, sharpener
9" x 12" Watercolor Paper (or similar size)
A set of Watercolor Paints (just a simple set of 12 or 24 colors
A few Watercolor Paint Brushes in different sizes
Water in an open cup, can or jar
Paper Towels
Oil Pastels in a variety of colors (be sure they are not the type that can be blended with water--it would say it on the package if it is)
Optional Substitution:  (If your child does not already have a set of oil pastels, crayons could be used instead.)


ONE 8"x10" White ACRYLIC PAINT SURFACE (See Several Options Below):
Stretched Canvas, Canvas Panel/Board, or Acrylic Canvas Paper
(What are the differences? . . . Stretched Canvas has primed (coated white) canvas stretched over a wooden frame & stapled to the wood.  Canvas Panel/Board feels more solid like the canvas is mounted/glued to a stiff cardboard.  Acrylic Canvas Paper is thick, coated paper that is flexible but won't warp and tear as easily as other papers and comes in a pad of multiple sheets.) 

ACRYLIC PAINTS:   (not tempera, not watercolor, not oil)
I suggest as least 1 ounce of several different colors including Blue, Red, Yellow, White & Black plus also Green, Orange, Purple & Brown although your child may not choose to use all of the colors.  (Thicker acrylic paint in tubes are the best consistency for our painting techniques.  If possible, try to avoid using the thinner acrylics in plastic bottles that sound watery when shaken.)  

PAPER PLATE to use as a paint palette. (Optional to use a plastic paint palette instead or even a disposable pie tin)

ACRYLIC PAINT BRUSHES in a variety of sizes.  Include a couple of medium size ROUGH Flat Brushes (looks like a square on the tip but bristles are rough and a little prickly to the touch.  Also include a couple of very small SMOOTH Acrylic Brushes (1 very small Round brush like a pencil tip shape and 1 slender Flat Square Shape)  Please avoid brushes that are flimsy and bend when put under a stream of water. (Those are watercolor brushes instead of acrylic brushes.)

WATER in a metal can, plastic cup or glass jar.


Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I may use "The Audubon Backyard Birdwatcher" or other bird identifying sources as a resource for factual information about birds, however, there is no required book for your child during our classes.  
Joined July, 2020
Teacher expertise and credentials
Bachelor's Degree in Education
Hi, I'm Susan Garrison, a professional artist who also loves teaching kids!  I've been drawing & painting all my life and teaching children for the past 3 decades.  After earning my BS Degree in Art Education K-12 from Middle Tennessee State... 
Group Class


1x per week
70 min

Completed by 23 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 12-16
2-6 learners per class

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