BY BILL FERRIS

As school budgets dwindle and schools focus on high-stakes testing in core subjects, some schools see art programs as the go-to budgets to slash. Fortunately, there are a lot of tools and projects out there for art teachers that don’t cost a dime. The following are five of Instructify’s favorite free tools for art teachers.

Color Scheme Designer
We can’t all be interior designers. A lot of people out there, myself included, have no eye for color. Color Scheme Designer is pretty much what it sounds like, and is a godsend for people who need a little help choosing hues for their upcoming art project.

Foldschool
Turn old cardboard boxes into usable furniture with printable blueprints from Foldschool. The projects require a box cutter and a needle, so you may need to do a couple of the steps ahead of time for elementary students. Once they’re built, students can decorate the finished products, so these cardboard stools can turn into fun, fantastic furniture for the younger set.

Artnatomia
Many artists over the years have studied anatomy as a way to improve their representations of the human form. Artnatomia is an online tool built as a way for artists to explore the human face. You can get an up-close view of every muscle in the human face, as well as their function and their role in facial expressions.

ArtRage
About as realistic a painting program as you can get for free. ArtRage lets you choose from a variety of brushes, pencils, crayons and more, all of which are fully smudge-, mix-, and smear-able. You can even choose what sort of canvas you’d like to paint on. ArtRage gives you all the tools to make a masterpiece, and you don’t need to worry if you forgot your smock.

Aviary
Before you spend hundreds of bucks for an expensive graphics suite or face the ethical dilemma of whether to ask your friend to make you a copy of her expensive graphics suite, try Aviary. This free collection of programs will handle all the same stuff as your Photoshops and your Illustrators and such, all for free. That’s a savings of infinity percent. Whether you want to do photo editing, vector graphics, or just edit colors in an image, Aviary has you covered.

Did we miss your favorite tool? Tell us about it in the comments!
Photo credit: LexnGer on Flickr.

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