ARTS 007 2D Design & Color

Syllabus 2D Design 2018





Elements of Design

This foundational level hands-on course introduces the theoretical application of the elements and principles of 2-D design and the practical applications of color theory. Exercises in visual thinking and the use of traditional principles of composition and two-dimensional media are emphasized through sequential, skill building projects. The studio art major will gain insight into painting composition and an objective approach to color for the creation of subjective art. Graphic Design majors will learn the most sophisticated approach to organizing space and incorporating color both for web and print applications. General Education students will be exposed to broad visual concepts and theory with many applications including science, business and marketing.


This course is designed for students who wish to gain hands on skill development as well as acquiring a greater appreciation for the history and practice of the visual arts. Two Dimensional Design is open to all students across disciplines where they may learn to understand in a greater capacity how they solve problems. This hands on course gives students the opportunity to learn about the Elements and Principles of Design and their application through various media. Observation and critical analysis are also a key components in understanding how compositions function visually and are skills applicable to all disciplines.

This course is a requirement of students pursuing a BFA in Studio Art, BFA Graphic Design and Minor in Studio Art. Students pursuing a Minor in Graphic Design may choose this class OR Arts 5: Drawing.


Two Dimensional Design and Color is a foundational course focusing on the creative use of the elements and principles of design and practical color theory. It aims to build both a working and a conceptual understanding of the ways in which an artist organizes, or designs, visual art. Exercises in visual thinking and the use of traditional design principles of composition and media are emphasized. Analytical and critical thinking skills will be developed as they pertain to visual art. The course will be comprised of lectures, studio assignments, readings, writing, research, and critiques.


The emphasis is on active discovery and exploration, in a way appropriate to the needs of the learner. In line with this emphasis, the main mode of learning will consist of first-hand experience through structured practical exercises rather than lectures. Students will experiment with diverse materials, line, form, color, texture, text/image interaction, typography, composition, and structure. The underlying goal is for the student to explore different media, techniques and processes of visual creation.


100% coursework and in-class participation:

  • Line Dynamics
  • Line Abstraction
  • Value Structure
  • Color wheel
  • Color schemes
  • Portfolio


An average of the above projects will be used to calculate the final grade.
I reserve the right to adjust the projects as I see fit for the students’ learning benefit.


Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Develop strategies for seeing, designing, and working with two-dimensions.
  2. Recognize the basic visual forces that can be used to activate and organize a composition. These forces are the elements of design (line, space, color, value, balance, texture, time/ movement, and space) and the principles of design (unity, variety, balance, scale/proportion, emphasis, rhythm, repetition, and the Gestalt principles of perception.)
  3. Recognize and apply of psychological, emotional, intuitive, spontaneous,
    and rational judgments in the process of visual organization.
  4. Develop and enhance visual literacy, cultural awareness, and aesthetic sensitivity.
  5. Develop design vocabulary, methodology, and the judgment skills that will allow you to pursue further visual art studies.
  6. Enhance the basic technical skills needed for the execution of well-crafted and technically sound creative work.
  7. Integrate objective design and color theory into subjective art
  8. Use tools to make improved design solutions
  9. Explore the science and behavior of both subtractive and additive color
  10. Create a wide range of design and color exercises
  11. Communicate using the language of digital, print and applied color
  12. Participate in critiques and use constructive criticism to improve project results



  1. Completing projects of increasing complexity based on developing
    skill with a particular media and one or more design concepts
  2. Analysis and critique one’s own work and then application of the skill to the work of others
  3. Readings, lectures, slides, discussion of readings, and a visit to a gallery or museum.
  4. Successful completion of all homework assignments
  5. Positive attendance and attention to all course lectures and demonstrations
  6. The use of design and color taught with contemporary and historical references
  7. Students performing design and color exercises using the textbook as a point of departure
  8. Numerous assignments, broad in scope, allowing students to explore a variety of media
  9. Group and instructor critiques allowing for growth in design and color skills
  10. Demonstrations and samples of art augmenting the artwork in the textbook

Purchase following required supplies as needed

You may get the materials at the bookstore, Hobby Lobby, or order them online. Here are a few resources that are very good: Utrecht:; Dick Blick:; Daniel Smith:


  • 11×14” Bristol Pad

Drawing Materials

  • Pencils: HB, 2B, 6B


  • 1 approx .5 inch Bright or flat (number sizes vary per brand)
  • 1 approx .25 inch Bright or flat (number sizes vary per brand)


  • Rubber Cement 8oz
  • Rubber Cement Pick-up
  • Sketchbook (5.5×8.5)
  • 1 Sharpie black (Extra Fine)
  • 1 Sharpie black (Fine)
  • 1 Ruler (12 inch)
  • 1 Exacto Knife with blades
  • Sharpie Color markers, set of 12

Paint (wait till you need them, I will have some to share)

  • Sargent Art Time Tempera
    16oz bottles from Hobby Lobby
    $1.33-$1.89 depending on whether they have a sale
  • 1 Blue
  • 1 Turquoise Blue
  • 1 Yellow
  • 1 Red
  • 1 White

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s