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.

 Value Scale Exercises: 

  1. With a pen or pencil, produce a value scale using: hatching, crosshatching, stipling/ scribbling and blending.

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


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 Google Drive: Monday, Jan 18 by 8 a.m.

1/25/21: Principles of Design


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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We will go over this further later, but you will take high quality photographs to document your pages of the book, as well as a short video. All documentation will be uploaded to the Google Drive and posted to Critique Hub for crit.

Monday, Jan. 11: Welcome Virtual SPRING 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.

I will meet you on Blackboard Collaborate on the first day of class – Monday, January 11 at 12:30 p.m. –  to go over our plan of action. 

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 www.professorhopkins.com and Value Scale Assignment

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: Principles of Design + Design Project 1Principles 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 Artist: 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


Hope everyone had a lovely and safe Thanksgiving!

How are your Illustrator Typography projects coming along? Reminder – no class this week, Dec. 4.

Please upload your Typographic Portrait into the Google Drive by Thursday, Dec. 10 by 5 p.m.

Live Critique: 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11 – can’t wait.

Please email me if you have any questions!

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!

File formats

Hello students!

I’m looking forward to seeing your 2 Collages soon!

Just a quick note about file formats. You should always have at least 2 files of the same project – one working file, one smaller version.


  • Your “working file” with layers, etc should be saved as a .psd
  • Your compressed, smaller file (for email, uploading to web, etc) should be saved as a .jpg


  • Your “working file” with layers, etc should be saved as a .ai
  • Your compressed, smaller file (for email, uploading to web, etc) should be saved as a .pdf. A PDF is especially important when you are dealing with typefaces, as it embeds them into the document.

Please upload your 2 .jpgs in your Google Drive by Wednesday and don’t forget to participate in our Virtual Critique by commenting on your fellow classmates amazing work on Thursday!

See you Friday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. for mini-critique and Illustrator questions.

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 serious 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

November Calendar:

  • Friday, Oct 30: Curated Color + Intro to Photoshop Collage project
  • Friday, Nov. 6: Live Photoshop Tutorial
  • Friday: Nov. 13: Live Introduction to Illustrator Typography Self Portrait
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18: Photoshop Collage due to Google Drive
  • Thursday, Nov. 19: Virtual Commenting
  • Friday, Nov. 20: Live meeting – mini crit + Illustrator questions
  • Friday, Nov. 27: NO CLASS: Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Friday, Dec. 4: No class – work on your own on Illustrator self portrait
  • Friday, Dec. 11: Last class and Illustrator project due.