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

Color + Theory

Hello students!

Hope you are having fun being a virtual Curator! Looking forward to seeing your projects. Below is some additional resources on Color and Color Theory.


Favorite Color Names List

History of Color

“Theory of Colors” published in 1810: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Graphic Design: New Basics

Seurat and Optical Color Mixture


Ben-Day Dots + Roy Lichtenstein

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Primary, Secondary, Tertiary

Color-Wheel-2Complementary vs Analogous

Great resource: Adobe Color CC

Guide to Understanding Color Theory

Enjoy your SPRING BREAK! And see you Monday, March 15 at 12:30 p.m. for intro to our Photoshop project.

Calendar Updates

Hello wonderful artists!

FYI – Calendar for rest of the semester!:

Monday, April 12: Intro to Illustrator – Typography Self Portrait

Monday, April 19: Work day – Illustrator self portrait

Monday, April 26: Live check in – Illustrator project

Monday, May 3: 8 a.m. Typography project due in Google Drive – SAVE as A PDF!

Monday, May 3: Critique and Last class of the semester

Curated Color +



  1. Visually research a contemporary artist on      or Art21. Your selected artist/s MUST be on one of these sites.  or included in the contemporary artist list below.
  2. Curate a Virtual Exhibit of 8-10 images focusing on 2-5 artists working with color as a character. 
  3. To curate your exhibit – research 2-5 artists that you respond to, download and compile 8-10 high quality images, create a title for your exhibit, write an intro paragraph about your “curatorial vision” (this is a short mission of the exhibit)  be sure to site your images with artist name, title, medium and year. 
  4. Create a powerpoint, save to pdf and upload pdf presentation to the Google Drive.

Final Result: 

The goals of this project are to be introduced to a contemporary artist as well as major artists from art history,  learn different color schemes and  address and experiment with color theory.

Historic Examples of Artists who are known for their use of color:

Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Frida Kahlo, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keefe

Contemporary Artists that use Color as a way of Exploring the Figure:

Watch this: Nick Cave‘s “Soundsuits” 

Wangechi Mutu and the Abstract, Magical Figure

Kenhinde Wiley 

Nina Chanel Abney

Mickalene Thomas

Also quite obsessed by @faresmicuephotography seen below

Color Theory Resources:

Types of Color Schemes

Color Matters

Color Theory

Video – Color Theory

Adobe Color

DUE DATE: Uploaded to Google Drive by Monday, March 22, 12:30 p.m.

Visual Elements + Word Play assignment

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Visual Elements: with fine artist reference

LINE: Jackson Pollock, Bridget Riley

SHAPE: Henri Matisse, Alexander Calder

COLOR: Pablo Picasso

MASS: Fernando Botero, Alberto Giacometti

TEXTURE: Vincent Van Gogh, Anselm Kiefer, Chuck Close, Jan Van Eyck, NEW BASICS textbook: pages 18-20

Loving Vincent: the first feature length painted movie!

Book reference: Alphabet: A Miscellany of Letters; A Catalog of Type by Mike Perry;  

Over and Over: Patterns by Mike Perry.


NEW BASICS textbook: pages 18-20

Clever 3D typography

Word play assignment: On separate pieces of paper, explore the Visual Elements through typography. 

  • Choose one a descriptive word for each Visual Element. (5 TOTAL)
    • Each student choosing their own descriptive word for each individual visual element prevents all of you from creating a similar drawing of “line.” So choose a descriptive word for “line” instead – curvy, straight, ragged, jagged, etc. This gets you to brainstorm synonyms and also means we can potentially have each one of you choose a different word. 
  • Create a small (6″ x 6″ – 8x 10″) experiment illustrating your concept through colored pencils, pen, pastels, paint.

Some examples: 

           Line: curvy, straight, ragged, jagged,

          Shapes: round, flat, organic, bulbous, slick,

          Color: bright, bold, clean, pastel, or you could go with super descriptive color words like burgundy, maroon, jade, cerulean. I just read the fantastic book The Secret Lives of Color and was really impressed with the amount of color words that we regularly forget. 

          Mass: considerable, huge, large, substantial

          Texture: abrasive, angular, bouncy, bulky, feathery, hatched, icy, layered, piercing, pulpy, ragged, razor sharp, rough, sandy, sleek, swollen, transparent, wavy


PROJECT DUE uploaded to Google Drive, Feb. 28. by 8 p.m.

NEW Participation Requirement is VIRTUAL CRITIQUE : Monday, March 1 Make 1 positive comment and 1 constructive feedback comment on each student work on Critique Hub before we meet at 12:30 p.m. on Monday March 1.

How to Document your Artist Book

Hello students!

Hope your artist book is coming along nicely! Don’t forget to do an email check in with me. Just a reminder that you are working at home this week – images (.jpg or .png) of your project are due uploaded to our Google Drive by Sunday Feb. 7, 8 p.m. We will meet on Blackboard Collaborate at 12:30 pm . on Monday, Feb. 8 for a “live critique” via our Critique Hub.

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!

During the live critique I will ask you to show your book and turn the pages so we can see the physicality of the book as an object. You should talk about your concept, the materials you used and how you personally interpreted the project.

Don’t forget I also put a few former student video examples of the project in our class Google Drive.

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

Monday, Feb. 1 – 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.

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

Be sure to send me an “email check in” this week with your concept! If you have an idea but not sure how to bind it, please ask and I will point you in the right direction!