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Course Descriptions

Sample Visual Course Sequence

Grade 9

  • Principles of Drawing *required
  • Design 2D / 3D
  • Digital Imaging/Graphic Design
  • Video Production 1
  • Freshman Seminar

Grade 10

  • Sculpture 1
  • Design 2D / 3D
  • Life Drawing
  • Painting 1
  • Photo 1
  • Digital Imaging/Graphic Design
  • Video Production

Grade 11

  • Sculpture 2
  • Life Drawing
  • Painting 1, 2
  • Photo 2
  • Video Production

Below Courses require teacher recommendation:

  • Art Production: Exhibitions
  • Advanced Drawing and Painting
  • AP Studio Art 2D: Photo
  • AP Studio Art 3D
  • AP Studio Art Drawing
  • Yearbook
  • Journalism

 

Grade 12

  • Sculpture 2
  • Painting 2
  • Photo 2
  • Video Production 2/3

Below Courses require teacher recommendation:

  • Art Production: Exhibitions
  • Art Production: Portfolio Preparation
  • Advanced Drawing and Painting
  • AP Studio Art 2D: Photo
  • AP Studio Art 3D
  • AP Studio Art Drawing
  • Yearbook
  • Journalism

Visual Course Offerings

Design (2D/3D Design)

Design is a foundation level course that emphasizes the elements of art and the principles of design through hands-on projects in both 2D and 3D media. This course explores the history of design from many world cultures as well as contemporary design. Design is preparatory for Sculpture, Painting and the AP Studio Art 2D or 3D Design courses.

Graphic Design/Digital Imaging

A foundation level course that introduces fundamental skills and knowledge for students to become savvy and informed media creators. This course emphasizes digital fluency through projects that focus on a variety of digital media. Units include media and digital literacy, image manipulation, introduction to principles of design, photography, file management, and introduction to copyright/originality issues.

Sculpture 1

A foundation level course in which students learn the three ceramic hand-building methods, the basics of the throwing wheel, and glazing. Students are introduced to the principles of 3D Design and sculpture, along with art criticism, history, cultural context, and the aesthetics that accompany the tradition of ceramics and sculpture.

Sculpture 2

An intermediate course that builds upon the concepts and skills learned in Sculpture 1. Students explore in-depth hand building techniques, such as working with colored slip techniques and carving plaster. This course prepares students for AP Studio Art 3D Design, and includes an ongoing study of the history of sculpture and the cultural and contemporary uses of sculpture.

 

Principles of Drawing

A foundation course that develops skills of observational drawing focusing on the human form, the environment, perspective, and light. This class prepares students for Life Drawing or Painting 1. Students create artworks with a variety of media, techniques and concepts from classical art history to contemporary art.

 

Life Drawing

An intermediate course that continues to develop skills of observational drawing focusing on the human form, the environment, perspective, and light. This class prepares students for AP Studio Art-Drawing. Students create artworks with a variety of themes and concepts from classical art history to contemporary.

Painting 1

A beginning level course to develop skills and artistic expression using a variety of water-based media.  Students create observational, abstract and non-objective artworks through responses to a variety of prompts: still-life, landscape, portraits, photographic, and conceptual. Students are introduced to historical themes and contemporary ideas in painting. This class prepares students for Painting 2, AP Studio Art- Drawing and AP Studio Art- 2D Design courses with portfolio building projects.

Painting 2

An intermediate level course to expand students' technical and conceptual painting skills from observation, research and imagination with increasing complexity of concept/content. Students learn to critique their own work and that of their peers. This class supports the AP Studio Art-Drawing and AP Studio Art- 2D Design courses with portfolio building projects. Painting 2 projects focus on developing skills employed in modern and contemporary art combined with study of the themes and paintings of our times.

Photo 1

An intermediate level course in digital photography emphasizing both creative and technical skills. Emphasis is placed on the elements and principles of design (composition, perspective, depth of field), camera operation, and image manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. Students study works by significant historic and contemporary photographers.

Photo 2

An advanced level course focusing on the creative and technical understanding of both film-based and digital photography. Students learn digital and traditional darkroom editing and printing processes. Students experiment with the relationship between audio and image in a number of short multimedia projects. Students study works by significant historic and contemporary photographers. This class provides students with an opportunity to create works for AP 2D Design.

Principles of Drawing

A beginning level course that develops fundamental drawing and composition skills. Students use a variety of media to create observational, abstract and non-objective artworks through interpretive responses to still-life, landscape, portraits, photographic resource and conceptual project prompts. Student sketchbooks supplement classroom instruction with independent drawing assignments.

Video Production 1

The major emphasis of Video Production 1 is for students to learn various aspects of Videography and Visual Communication techniques, connecting to the knowledge and skills introduced in their core curriculum, particularly in English (ELA). This course prepares students to be cogent communicators in their project-based work, to gain an understanding of the technical skills associated with Videography - sound design, mixing, editing—to train on and use professional grade equipment and to enrich their analytical skills as they become more discerning and self-critical. Students focus on the fundamentals of visual communication as they view and discuss various types of media pieces from blockbuster films to news reports to YouTube clips, performing comparative analysis on media projects from different cultures and times. The ultimate goal of the class is the optimal enrichment and empowerment of the student towards both their career and academic goals. Linked Learning and advanced Project-Based opportunities exist between this course and courses in ELA, Social Science and Science. The content of this course is aligned with the Arts, Media and Entertainment Standards and California high school academic core content area standards.

Video Production 2

Video Production 2 drills down within each of the topics introduced in Video Production 1 to provide more detail, technical information and contextual knowledge, helping students recognize the process of media creation as interdisciplinary and ongoing. Students improve their analytical skills through a rigorous Linked Learning approach, drawing connections between literary concepts, styles, and media itself. As they plan, design, shoot, edit, distribute and exhibit their work, they learn about standards of professional performance and the protocols for success in a group-based environment. Students develop artistically and intellectually, as they face aesthetic and logistical challenges. They continue to develop the speaking, reading, writing and quantitative and qualitative problem-solving skills they have learned during their core classes and that they will use throughout their careers.

The following courses require teacher recommendation:

Art Production: Exhibitions

A college-level course for students who have an interest in learning the art of creating and mounting a gallery show. Students learn how to work in collaboration to organize, design, and install exhibitions and create websites for exhibition. Students also work with peer artists, teachers, administrators and media consultants to prepare for gallery receptions and openings.

Art Production: Portfolio Preparation

A college-level course in which students develop a portfolio of work for college and scholarship applications. Students work independently in this class, guided by supervising teacher feedback and support. This course is often used to support the creation of the AP Studio Art Portfolios.

AP Studio Art 2D

A college credit design class using a variety of 2D media: photography, digital arts, illustration/drawing, and abstract or decorative painting. Students develop a portfolio of 15 images investigate a strong underlying visual theme called a Sustained Investigation. Students submit their portfolio to the College Board in the spring.

AP Studio Art 3D

A college-level course in which students develop a digital portfolio demonstrating understanding of sculptural issues and 3D design principles related to the integration of depth and space, volume, and surface. Students develop a portfolio of 15 images investigate a strong underlying visual theme called a Sustained Investigation.  Students submit their portfolio to the College Board in the spring.

AP Studio Art Drawing

A college-level course focusing on the development of a unique creative approach in various wet and dry drawing media, which may include observational and figurative painting. Students develop a portfolio of 15 images investigate a strong underlying visual theme called a Sustained Investigation. Students submit their portfolio to the College Board in the spring.