Proposed Calendar

Friday, Sep 10: IN class studio day

Friday, Sep 17: IN class studio day

Friday, Sept. 24: Critique on Artist Book + Intro to Word Play

Friday, Oct. 1: Visual Elements Lecture + Intro to Word Play

Friday, Oct. 8: in class studio day + Color Theory Lecture + Intro to Curated Color +

Friday, Oct. 15: Critique on Word Play assignment

Friday, Oct. 22: Curated Color + due + Intro to Photoshop

Friday, Oct. 29: Intro to Photoshop studio day

Friday, Nov. 5: IN class studio day

Friday, Nov. 12: IN CLASS studio day – Intro to Illustrator Typography

Friday, Nov. 19: Critique on Photoshop Collage + time to start Illustrator

Friday, Nov. 26 NO Class – Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, Dec. 3 IN class studio day – Typography

Friday, Dec. 10: FINAL Critique – Typographic Self Portrait

How to Document your Artist Book

Hello students!

Hope your artist book is coming along nicely! Please have a video of your book uploaded by the end of the day Frday, Sep 24 in Canvas.

Images: Total: 3-5 + one short video

  1. One overall of the book – if you made an accordion book, you can photograph it in such a way that we can see the entire book. If you did more of a pamphlet or stab stitch, or anything else, one image of the front/spine of the book is just fine.
  2. (2-4) close-up images of your favorite pages
  3. 1 short (under 1 min) video of your book showcasing how it looks as you turn the pages.
  4. Click on these examples of a short video showcasing an artist book – a video gives us extra information and really highlights the physicality of the book, the object. This can be done simply on your phone- no need for editing, sound, etc – unless you feel into that!

Can’t wait to see what you produced for this first project!

Friday, Sep 10 – Work on your Artist Book

Hello wonderful artists!

This week you are working from home on your artist book that showcases the Principles of Design. I hope you are off to a good start, have spent the week gathering your design concept and materials and are ready to start creating! Remember, any and all materials are acceptable – get messy! (Here is a fun mixed media piece I created with the same title)

I also did a separate post on being able to see the Principles of Design in Graphic Design.

We will talk about binding today as well.

Need some inspiration? Go back to the original post, check out Pinterest – or see additional inspiration here:

Carole Penin

Popular Kinetics Artist Book Exhibit

Local Resource: IS Projects

HOMEWORK: Mark Making: The Value of Value

This project accomplishes the following Course Learning Outcomes:

  •  Demonstrate technical skill to produce a multi-step value scale and a balanced multi-step color wheel in paint, pencil, or digital.
  • Demonstrate technical skill to produce a variety of tactile and visual textures in various mediums including digital.
  • Demonstrate technical skill to produce clean transitions of color in pencil, charcoal, ink and paint, and digital design.

 3 Value Scale Warm up Exercises: 

  1. With a pen or pencil, produce a traditional value scale  using: you may chose color or b/w.

2. With a piece of charcoal or pastel, produce a value scale using: hatching/crosshatching or stipling/scribbling.


3. Experiment with other, patterned lines that help you explore line, shape, texture and value. 10 different experimented small squares.

DUE DATE – 3 .jpg / .png files (one value scale in b/w, one value scale in color and one set of 10 experiments) and submitted to Canvas Assignment “Value Scale”: Friday, Sep 3 by 8 a.m. Click on “Assignments” and you will see “Value Scale Assignment” at the top. 

Friday, Sep 4: Principles of Design + Artist Book


Image reference and additional reading

Unity and Variety

Repetition and Rhythm

Scale and Proportion





Produce an artist book (hand-bound) of pages illustrating each principles of design on one page or one 2-page spread each.

Your book should have be anywhere from 5×7″ to 8.5×11″. The cover should be designed as well with a thicker sheet of paper.

Using a theme of your choice, produce pages that illustrating each of the principles of design. You may use any/all mediums you would like.. be as messy as possible!


Louise Bourgeoise’s fabric book is a great example of simple Principles of Design

Material ideas: 






photography (printed out)

found objects

Simple Bookbinding resources:

pamphlet stitch: Tutorial on 3 hole and 5 hole pamphlet stitch

stab stitch

accordion book

Be inspired! Excellent student examples from previous Design Fundamentals classes:

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Video examples of student work can be seen on the Google Drive titled “Artist Book Videos”

Friday, Aug. 27: Welcome FALL 2021!

Hello students! I’m excited to explore the Principles of Design and Visual Elements through the use of hands-on art projects and Photoshop and Illustrator. We will meet at 8 a.m. IN PERSON to go over everything.

Please click here for our syllabus and always refer to this blog for our assignments, video tutorial requirements and due dates.

Things to go over today:

  1. Syllabus
  2. Schedule (see below)
  3. Introductions + special interests + access to Creative Suite?
  4. Adobe Tutorials
  5. Homework: Explore , simple Value Scale Assignment and start thinking of Artist Book

This is our tentative schedule – but again, absolute deadlines + assignments are always going to be posted here. So check back regularly for updates.

WEEK ONE: Syllabus, introductions, value scale experiments, homework.

WEEK 2, 3, 4: Design Project 1: Principles of Design studio project: Artist Book. Unity and Variety, Repetition and Rhythm, Scale and Proportion,  Emphasis, Balance, Contrast

WEEK 5, 6: Visual Elements + Design Project 2: Word Play studio project: Line, Shape, Color, Form, Texture, Space, Pattern, Composition

WEEK 7, 8: Color Theory + Research ArtistCurated Color + : Complimentary, Analogous, Color Psychology, etc.

WEEK 9, 10, 11: Design Project 3: Juxtaposition Collage: Photoshop – digital collage

WEEK  12, 13, 14: Design Project 5: Self Portraiture through Typography:  Illustrator – digital

Installing typefaces

Hello students! With this Illustrator typography project, you might want to consider downloading custom typefaces! Here is a great website that has thousands of options – DaFont

How to install:

1.Sift through to find a typeface you like

2. Press the “download” button

3. Find the file in your “downloads” – double click the .otf or .ttf file to instal in your FontBook.

4. Once installed in your FontBook – you can use the font on any platform on your computer!

Typographic Self Portrait – Illustrator

Our next project will challenge the following skills:

  • Learning basic skills in Illustrator (pen tool, drawing on a path, installing a typeface)
  • Creative expression through Self Portraiture

Two things you need: 

  1. A photo of your face
  2. Text – could be a series of words, song lyrics, a poem, a combination of all

Student examples: 

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Online examples:

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Once you gather your photo and the text you will be using, we will go over basic Illustrator pen tool skills.

The PEN tool – the pen tool is one of the most important tools to master in Illustrator. Throughout the semester you will get better at the pen tool, but only with lots of practice!

Setting up new document

Selection vs. Direct Selection

Pen tool basics: add, subtract, convert, handlebars, curves, pencil

Good link on drawing basics

Fun interlude: Play this game for a few minutes to practice the pen tool 😉 

More pen tool resources: 

          Pen tool tips

Other general Adobe Illustrator tutorials

Really good Type on a Path tutorial video

Creative Collage – Photoshop

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Mastery of Photoshop selection tools including: Quick Selection Tool, Magic Wand, Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush, Layers.

Photoshop HELP

Photoshop Layers

Photoshop Effects

Fundamental Tools

Assignment : Digital Collages:

Using Photoshop selection tools and the magic wand tool,

make TWO : 8” x 10”collages using sections and pieces of your own original photographs. The two collages can be in the same style/narrative or they can be completely different aesthetics.

Use at least 3-4 different images in each collage – think about how to compose an interesting design with the images that you have. Remember to assess the formal Principles of Design – Balance, Repetition and Rhythm, Scale and Proportion, Contrast and Directional Forces. Be sure to save two versions – a .psd and a .jpg

I’d like your collages to be 75% images taken by YOU. If you need 1-2 stock images – please use or for high quality, free images.

Think of a way to create a collage with any of the following themes: 1. Memory 2. Documentation 3. Texture (see above links for free texture images) 4. Fantastical Landscape 5. Self Portrait See Maggie Taylor’s work or Jerry Uelsmann’s b/w photo work for inspiration on fantastical digital collages.

Great example of masking

Bird Ladies! 😉

General collage links

Technical help with selection tools and masking:

Requirements: (2) – 8″x10″ .jpgs


Monday, April 5: Due in Google Drive by 8 a.m.

Monday, April 5: 12:30 p.m. Live Meeting – mini crit + introduction to last assignment!

2D collage artists to reference: 

Henri Matisse

Robert Rauschenberghere and Norton exhibit  

David Hockney as some really interesting photo collages