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CCOG for ART 284A Spring 2023

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Course Number:
ART 284A
Course Title:
Watercolor I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Explores basic studio watercolor painting techniques, materials, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues to increase visual literacy. Presents a conceptual framework for critical analysis along with basic art theory. Recommended: ART 131A. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course includes lectures, demonstrations, slides, video/films and possible field trips. Homework will include expanded solutions to problems introduced in class and there will be some written assignments.   

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Solve assignment objectives using a variety of acquired strategies for expressing visual ideas through the watercolor discipline and its associated processes, materials and techniques.
  2. Interpret the watercolor discipline through examples of contemporary, historical and diverse cultural perspectives employing a basic vocabulary.
  3. Develop perceptual skills in relation to the physical world and its visual structure via painting practices.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of Visual Arts is essential to the development of the individual and one’s meaningful participation in society. At the heart of artistic practice is the ability to organize experience and recognize its meaning. The creation of artwork and appreciation of aesthetics is a source of great pleasure and also a valuable means to effective visual communication. Participating in Visual Arts is an important way for individuals to connect to the past and respond to the present with a stronger sense of engagement with culture and society.

Course Activities and Design

  • Learn basic watercolor techniques including paper stretching, color mixing and use of transparency in painting applications.
  • Create original watercolor paintings in a variety of compositional and perceptual strategies.
  • Generate ideas/concepts with an awareness of the intended content of the work produced.
  • Utilize a basic vocabulary specific to watercolor painting when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  • Begin to assess personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  • Generate personal work with a nascent awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in the watercolor tradition.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Execute watercolor paintings from direct observation and other sources incorporating a range of technical methods and historical approaches.
  • Complete homework projects which emphasize personalized solutions to concepts introduced in class.
  • Complete writing assignments which address and articulate artistic concepts such as watercolor methodology, individual expression, awareness of cultural context and recognition of significant artists from the discipline.
  • Participate in critiques through application of vocabulary and aesthetic processes in review of individual’s own and other's work.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Methodology, process, modes of representation and ideation
  • Observation and perceptual awareness
  • Visual distillation


  • Color relationships and applied color theory
  • Light source and volume
  • Compositional structure


  • Understanding of proportion
  • Relationships of volumes in space
  • Properties of color and its relationships
  • Methods of self-expression


  • Knowledge of watercolor terminology with respect to methods and techniques
  • Vocabulary of painting tools and processes
  • Ability to transcribe and represent forms in space
  • Relate personal work to historical and contemporary examples of watercolor painting
  • Apply color theory in visual expression
  • Decipher form through visual analysis
  • Critical skills and analysis
  • Interaction of color based on translucent layers