Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 115
Course Title:
Basic Design - 2D Foundations
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces two dimensional black and white foundations studio experience centered on creative problem solving. Develops perceptual awareness and understanding. Establishes critical skills and personal artistic vision. Investigates a broad range of materials, techniques and projects to explore black and white design concepts with reference to historical and contemporary perspectives. Basic Design series 115, 116, 117 and 119 may be taken in any sequence. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Course may include demonstrations, slides, lectures, films, and field trips.
College level reading comprehension is necessary.
ART 115 fulfills Arts and Letters requirements for block transfer and PCC graduation.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  1. See and apply design and sources of design with increasing perceptual awareness and understanding in daily living.
  2. Create personally significant works of design applying basic design concepts and techniques.
  3. Assess, evaluate, appreciate and respect design work.
  4. Develop creative solutions to design problems.
  5. Handle art materials with environmental awareness and responsibility.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will:

  • Participate in studio work sessions, class discussions and critiques.
  • Create original visual solutions: from design concept through process to self-reflection and evaluation.
  • Observe and demonstrate understanding of the effect of visual elements and art principles evidenced through the design process, which may include journals/sketchbooks, tests, presentations, preliminary studies, design projects, and/or writing assignments.
  • Demonstrate increasing technical skill and innovation in the application of the design process.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Demonstrate increasing technical skill using two-dimensional art methods and media in black and white, that may include collage, paint, drawing, computer tools, etc.
  2. Practice observation of visual relationships found in natural and manmade designs.
  3. Demonstrate understanding and use of basic formal design concepts; elements and principles of two-dimensional design, as they apply to two-dimensional black and white formats.

Unifying/Organizing art principles may include Harmony/Chaos, Variety/Boredom, Repetition, Rhythm, Balance, Emphasis and Economy, Proportion, Randomness, Composition/Design

  • Create, recognize and analyze the concepts and relationships of COMPOSITION/DESIGN. Define and explore the PICTURE PLANE, recognizing:
    • Dynamic and Static divisions
    • Balance through symmetry and asymmetry
    • Rhythmic arrangements
    • Unity of the image
    • Expressive effects through composition

Art Elements may include Line, Shape, Value, Light, Color (related to Value), Texture/Surface, Space, Form, Spatial Illusion

  • Observe, recognize and employ LINE and IMPLIED LINE related to value, shape, form, space and expression.
    • Practice varied materials and tools that make linear marks.
    • Distinguish between line in nature and non-objective line.
    • Observe line as contour (boundary), cross-contour (surface direction).
  • Define and recognize SHAPE as it applies to two-dimensional design/composition, such as:
    • Geometric/Organic
    • Implied/Closed/Open Shapes
    • Figure/Field/Ground or Positive/Negative relationships
    • Compositional dynamics through shape arrangements
  • Observe, recognize and employ VALUE using practices that may include:
    • Practice awareness of light/dark contrasts and their visual effects.
    • Create a gray-scale, (value system) based on a ten-step scale including black and white.
    • Observe expressive use of value contrast in a composition.
    • Manipulate value to create visual weight in a composition.
    • Observe value in relation to textural densities.
    • Observe and control modeling in light.
    • Observe and recognize the characteristics of value in color.
  • Observe, recognize and employ TEXTURE using practices that may include:
    • Define the relationship of Pattern to texture.
    • Observe, create and contrast the tactile and visual effects of a textured surface and textural illusion.
    • Explore expressive possibilities of texture.
  • Observe, recognize and employ SPACE and SPATIAL ILLUSION using practices that may include:
    • Demonstrate control of spatial effects on a two-dimensional surface.
    • Examine effects of overlapping, relative scale, relative position, diagonals and atmospheric perspective in creating spatial illusion.
    • Demonstrate understanding and apply the principles of linear perspective.

        4.  Understand and utilize aspects of perceptual, conceptual (imagining, experiencing, visualizing, symbolizing, playing) and                               expressive processes in creating works of two-dimensional design.
        5.  Discuss an understanding of historical and contemporary perspectives in the use of visual elements and art principles their                           relationship to content and manifestation of ideas.