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Introduction to 2D Art: Developing a portfolio with drawing, painting, and more!

Department: Visual Arts                             

Instructor: Grace Mae Huddleston 
Instructor's Email:
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

This exciting course gives students of all skill levels the opportunity to learn about and try out
a variety of 2D (or two-‐dimensional) art making techniques such as drawing, painting, and more. No
previous art making experience is required, as the small class size will allow for highly individualized
instruction. At the end of the course students will have a diverse portfolio of artwork that showcases
both their technical and creative skills in a variety of mediums. This course not only hones students’
art making skills but also their communication and self-expression abilities, key skills for any career

Whether you are looking to learn to draw and paint or are hoping to refine your skills for life
after high school, this course will have something interesting and fun for you!

During the beginning weeks of this class students will explore many methods of 2D art making
through sketchbook exercises that allow them to tap into their creative thinking while developing their
technical art making skills. The middle weeks of the course will focus around small project-based
assignments that allow students to dive deeper into making art as they put their newly honed skills
into practice. Finally, the last weeks are a time for students to challenge themselves with one or two
in-depth capstone projects. For this portion of the class students will be applying practiced skills into
making more complex art pieces that are technically strong and conceptually meaningful. Throughout
the course time, students will also be introduced to key examples of contemporary and historical
artworks through lectures, discussions, and fieldtrips to provide context and inspiration to empower
their artmaking.

The course is designed for all skill levels, and each student will be challenged and supported in
a manner that is right for them. Communication is key when finding that balance and together
students will utilize peer-to-peer discussions, written reflections, individual meetings with the
instructor, and formal group critiques to empower and constructively facilitate their individual artistic

Learning Outcomes 

This art-focused course will guide students as they develop their technical abilities and creative ideas with 2D art such as painting, drawing, and more! By the end of the course students will have developed a dynamic art portfolio that showcases their technique as well as their unique creative ideas.

Upon completion of the course students will have:

  • Gained exposure to and practice in various 2D art making techniques including realistic and expressive drawing, painting, and more
  • Learned about applicable contemporary and historical examples of techniques learned
  • Practiced key professional skills such as clear communication and presentation of creative ideas
  • Created a diverse portfolio of pieces that demonstrates their skills in areas both technical and creative which can be used in applications to art exhibitions, scholarships, and colleges where applicable

Course Outline

  • Part 1 of 3: Learning and practicing art skills
    • Sketch book activities
      • Life drawing “field trip” to a visually interesting locale on campus
    • Learning the basics of drawing, painting, and more
    • Short-form artmaking prompts to begin developing creative ideas
    • Introduction to historical and contemporary art examples
  • Part 2 of 3: Project-based assignments
    • Applying practiced skills to make smaller art pieces
      • Students explore chosen media from part 1’s activities
      • Trips outside the classroom to draw nature and architecture on campus
      • Discussions and small-group critiques to highlight artist strengths and facilitate development of technical skills
    • Introduction to art analysis
      • Write a reflection on and make a piece inspired by an artist of your choice
      • Museum field trip to local San Diego museum and contemporary art gallery
  • Part 3 of 3: Capstone art projects
    • Students hone in on specific art materials and use them in complex projects to communicate meaningful messages
    • One-on-one meetings with instructor and small group check ins with peers to receive guidance as projects unfold
    • Final group critique of art to showcase their development and highlight areas for future growth
    • Optional: students develop a social media account or website that is an online representation of their portfolio

*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students.