Foundations of Art

Students in this class will learn the basic skills, techniques and applications related to the major materials in the 2-D & 3-D realm. The focus of this course is aimed at " observational responses from life ". Using our eyes to truly "see" and filter through our minds the world around us is a challenging endeavor that requires continual honing. Responding with our eyes, minds and hands will be done through a variety of forms (materials) and means (methods).

Units if study will be fashioned around the guiding Elements and Principles of Art / Design.

Description :

Exploration, idea generation, critical thinking, craftsmanship-this is where aspiring artists acquire the tool chest that will drive their artistic development. By learning the language of art & design, students will be able to make informed decisions in their progression as an aspiring student.

The studio foundation course introduces students to a wide variety of studio techniques and media that cut across traditions and technologies. Its curriculum is required of all students before they pursue one of our 3 studio strands (Drawing & Painting, 2D Design, and 3D Design). Students learn to take their projects through all stages of the creative process - from inception to design construction, presentation, and revision.

Objectives :

• Gain an understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of the visual arts.

• Develop a practical understanding of the elements & principles of design through the medium of drawing.

Develop perceptual / observational drawing skills ; Representing, inventing, translating, and exploring subject matter through a range of mark-making techniques.

• Gain an awareness of the avenues that exist within the framework of the visual arts, namely those featured in our 3 curricular sub-strands (DP, 2D, 3D).

• Recognize of the interconnectedness of the 3 sub-strands comprising our studio curriculum.

• Develop skills in practice and research , through means of out-of-class assignments .

• Demonstrate the importance of maintaining a sketchbook / journal as a tool that informs artistic growth and development.

• Construct a digital portfolio , which is maintained and revised by the students throughout the course. The presentation of this portfolio will serve as the course's final, weighted accordingly.

Units :

1) Observational Drawing
2) E&P overview / UNITY (HARMONY) & VARIETY
3) BALANCE (plus, discussion about DEPTH)
9) Digital Portfolio

Note: Color indicates units that are best taught in sequence; built upon one another.

DIGITAL PORTFOLIO : special notes

• All HS Art Department teachers require that each and every one of their students develop and maintain a digital portfolio throughout the semester.

• Although some class time will be devoted to the initial set-up of the site, the remainder of the work will be the responsibility of the student. There is a great deal of time necessary for adding, editing, and maintaining the content of this website.

• Due to the fact that this portfolio teaches students much about "process", the effectiveness of it necessitates that students maintain it regularly .

There is a strong emphasis on studio habits and responsibility, as I feel students who are "coachable" and willing to invest 100% of themselves into their art stand the greatest chance for growth. Creativity and skill are obviously critical and welcomed, but work habits and responsibility are more important to me at this level.

These drawings will have relevance to what is being taught in class and has huge bearing to each student's personal growth as an artist. Sketchbooks must be brought to each and every class, as they will be collected periodically for a grade.

Note: If absent for ANY reason, it is the responsibility of the student to take the initiative of asking for missed information, assignments, instruction. All homework and in-class assignments must be made-up within one day of absence. No credit will be awarded for homework or in-class assignments submitted past this expectation.


Current Assignment(s):

• Basic Observational Drawing Exercises
(See link for reference)

a) Volumetric Hand drawings - a mixed-media approach to drawing a hand; Begun with a simple graphite pencil drawing and worked with a variety of materials thereafter. This is a time to explore some of the approaches and techniques associated with the visual arts.

b) Sculpted Hand (& digital manipulation) - students sculpted their hands (according to an additive sculptural process. This sculpture was used to reinforce the volume in their previous "Volumetric Hand Drawing". A picture of this clay sculpture was taken and imported into a digital format. This digital version was then used as a means to explore both Illustrator and Photoshop (Adobe products). Understandign how technology is appropriately used in the service of the visual arts is a key aspect of this course.

• Misc Drawings of White Plaster Casts

• Contour Line Drawing Exercises - A variety of methods were explored with the class. We used the "blind contour line method" and the "modified contour line method" of drawing to reinforce how an alternative approach to how a tangible object can be perceived (by the eye), considered (by the brain), and then rendered (by the hand). This so-called "hand-eye" coordination is an important factor in the development of each students's journey throughout the visual arts.

• Observational Drawing - Still-life - check out the link to reinforce the process(es) related to our current work with still-life objects.

• Word Expression (typography)
Project brief
Link to typographical examples (referred to in class)
Link to Introduction to Adobe Illustrator

• Word Expression (typography)
Project brief
Link to Sketchy Letters

• Figure drawing and sculpting
Project brief

• Landscape painting (color)
Project handout - prompts for consideration, a basic guide to help students along the way
Research document (artist connection) - to be completed by students

Mr. Walker's "Delicious" bookmarks - perform a search for 'painters' or 'landscape"

Some misc. reference links that may be helpful as a framework for our "color studies".

1. Creating "modules"
2. The "Mandala Gallery" - a site devoted to the mandala (circle motif).
3. A basic google search for "Mandala".