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Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques

Learn to identify and define various art movements, artists, and their artworks. Convey a personal appreciation for art concepts, techniques, and approaches through the creation and sharing of your own original artwork.


Course at a Glance


About the Course

Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques is an art appreciation course created for individuals without any artistic background. This course introduces you to various art movements, cultural influences, artistic genres, artists, and their artwork. The main emphasis of the course is to teach you hands-on studio arts techniques as you conduct personal research and explore your own creativity. While utilizing historical and contemporary art concepts, the course guides you through different time periods. Examining and discussing artwork is a crucial part of this course, encouraging you to express your opinions about art in an intelligent and articulate manner. By the conclusion of the course, you will compile a portfolio of artworks reflective of your research, understanding, creativity, and personal growth.
Subjects discussed: Fantastic Art, Mail Art, Black and White Portraiture Photography, Installation Art, and 3-D Art.
Art Concepts explored: Line, Shape, Value, Texture, and Color.
Art Mediums used: Graphite Pencils, Charcoal, Pastels, Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic Paint, Collage.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Art Elements & Techniques
Week 2: Fantasy & You
Week 3: Correspondence with Memory
Week 4: Stories Through the Lens
Week 5: Inside the Space
Week 6: Personal Collections
Week 7: The Artist Critique

Recommended Background

An interest in art is recommended, but no formal art training is required for this course.

Suggested Readings

Divinsky has authored an optional iBook titled “Art 10: Introduction to Visual Studies” that covers many of the ideas the course will address.

Course Format

The course will include foundational information on artists and art movements, as well as video demonstrations covering art techniques. 

Each week’s lesson will include a quiz, and students will be asked to complete creative activities (original artwork) throughout the course.


Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class? 
Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of 
Accomplishment signed by the instructor. 
What resources will I need for this class? 
An important aspect of this course is experimenting with the artistic techniques covered. Please note that you are not required to purchase these items. 

It is a good idea to refrain from immediately purchasing all the recommended art supplies, and instead first look over the assignments and decide whether some of the supplies might work with your idea. You can purchase them as you advance through the course and you better understand the art techniques, materials and their relationship to the covered information.

Depending on your interests, here are some items that you should consider obtaining:

  • Heavy weight drawing paper (thick and good quality) - can be purchased by sheet or in a pad 
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser 
  • Acrylic paint or watercolor paint 
  • Watercolor brushes 
  • Scissors and/or Exacto knife 
  • White glue 
  • Newspapers (any newspapers for collage) 
  • Old Magazines (for collaging) 

Other items that are not as essential, but might benefit your student experience depending on what you want to create include:

  • Watercolor brushes 
  • Pastels (oil or chalk) 
  • Charcoal 
  • Kneaded Eraser 
  • Conte Crayons (orange, brown, white) 
  • Black India ink 
  • Ink pen 
  • Variety of pencils (B = soft, H = hard) 
  • Magazines (for cutouts/collage) 
  • Fabric 
  • Sewing needle 
  • Found objects
Where can I purchase these art supplies?
Art supplies can be purchased at a store of your choice.  You will find many of the art items at a campus bookstore. Places like Target and Michaels will carry a small selection of the required and recommended art materials. You are also welcome to purchase your art supplies online from places like Utrecht and Artist and Craftsman Supply:
Finally, it is recommended that you have access to digital camera to document and upload assignments for this course. A scanner can also be used for 2-dimensional works.