AR202 Two-Dimensional Design

for FA 2004

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Fall 2004

AR202: Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory

MWF 9:00-10:50

Alumni Hall, 3rd fl.  Main Studio

Prerequisites:  None

Credit hours: 3

Semester dates: August 23 – December 15


Faculty: Donna Bachmann, Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Dept. of Art & Design

          Office:  Alumni Hall, Room 31

          Office hours:  MWF 10:50-12:00 and TR 3:40-5:00

          Campus mail box: #42

          Office phone & voice mail: 816-584-6457

          Home phone: 913-384-4419




Mission Statement:  The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.


Vision Statement:  Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.



Course Description:  Basic principles of two-dimensional design which under lie all art and design are systematically explored in a series of studio assignments in a variety of media, which can include computer-generated images.  Basic color theory will occupy one-third of the semester. 1:5:3


The purpose of this course is to teach visual thinking; that is, to make informed decisions as well as intuitive leaps in making art.  Within the limitations of any design problem—whether a class assignment or a major corporate ad campaign—there are an infinite number of solutions.  An important goal of this course is to learn to generate many visual ideas---the first idea is seldom the most creative.  Another goal is to develop the skills to present those ideas eloquently, in visual terms: “inspiration and perspiration”!  And finally, the student will learn to critique art, that is, to make judgments about how and why a particular visual work succeeds or fails.


Educational Philosophy:  I believe that it is through intensive studio practice that students learn to generate visual ideas, to express them skillfully and to critically evaluate their results.  The ideal environment for that studio practice is an energetic, competitive visual milieu that is intellectually as well as physically demanding.  Art and design are labor intensive and cumulative.   I engage each student in an ongoing discussion about their ideas and their work. Through each project, and through successive semesters, I try to provide the stimulus and support that will help build each individual student’s skill, confidence and portfolio. 


Course Objectives:  At the conclusion of this course the successful student will be able to:


·        Use the elements of art and principles of design in exploring and working with design problems.

·        Demonstrate, in an increasingly challenging series of black and white and color two-dimensional projects, an ability to solve design problems and to generate multiple visual ideas.

·        Apply the principles of color theory and use the specialized vocabulary of color (optical mixes, simultaneous contrast, etc.) in specified projects.

·        Practice good craftsmanship and presentation skills, which effectively communicate visual ideas.  (Neatness counts in design.)

·        Discuss and critique art work, ones own and ones classmates’ using the professional language of art and design in order to discover the ways in which individual works can be improved. (They can all be improved.)


Course Textbook: There is no textbook for this course.   A variety of handouts will be provided as well as reference materials that will be available in the studio.



Academic Honesty: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”



The above is Park’s official policy. Fortunately honesty in the studio is seldom an issue.   Of course, you must not turn in any work which you did not do.



Attendance Policy:  Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.

 The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


The above is Park’s official attendance policy.


My attendance policy is as follows:  Forty-one 1 hour and 50 minute studio sessions are scheduled this semester.  Of these you may have up to four (4) cuts without penalty, that is 10% of the classes.  A fifth cut will directly impact your grade.  You will be held responsible for material covered in your absence.  The exchange between students is an important part of any art class.  When you, or your work, are absent from critique, you are letting your classmates down. 


Athletes:  By the end of the second week, (Sept. 3) please turn in a list of specific class sessions you anticipate needing to cut, signed by your coach.  With that information it may be possible to make plans to compensate you for the missed time.  Providing this information is mandatory. It is your responsibility to provide it.


Late Submission of Assignments:  Late work will be down-graded.


Course Assessment:  Student assessment is rooted in the quality of work produced 

(its originality, quantity and craftsmanship) as demonstrated by:

·        Attendance and participation.

·        Individual design projects.

·        Formal mid-term and final portfolio evaluations/critiques (one-on-one) that review individual progress, and

·        Contribution to class critiques (discussions).


Project grades:  Each assigned project will be critiqued and graded as a group on the assigned date.  Thus you will be able to see and discuss everyone’s work.


About Critiques:  Most weekly assignments/projects will be due at 9:00 on Mondays.  This means that your work should be completed, clearly signed and pinned to the bulletin board so that the critique can begin promptly.  Don’t make your classmates wait.


          Critiques are group discussions about the current assignment.  They are a standard part of all professional art education.  They are meant to help you see, within the context of everyone’s work, where you succeeded and how you can improve further.  One of the really interesting things about design is the unlimited number of possible solutions to any given visual problem  and the degree to which any design can be improved and refined.  Your visual and verbal participation is expected.  The only way to become fluent in the professional language of design is to begin expressing yourself verbally  as well as visually.


Critiques at Mid-term and Finals will be cumulative (combining all your preceding projects)  and will be individual and private.  Each of you will sign up for a specific time slots  At these two critiques you will be re-submitting the preceding 7 or 8 projects for a cumulative grade.  This means that after the initial due date and group critique,  you may rework the assignment for a better grade.


Mid-term critiques:                     8th week of the semester:  MWF, Oct. 11, 13 & 15


Final Critiques (tentative):         Mon. Dec. 13:  10:15-12:15  and

                                                    Wed.  Dec. 15: 8:00-10:00  and 10:15-12:15


Studio Regulations:  This is as communal studio and this semester Alumni Hall has the highest number of students enrolled in its history.  Therefore the need to respect each other’s space, work and equipment will be greater than ever.  Do not leave palettes, coffee cups or brushes soaking in the sink.  Scrape paint into the trash—not into the sink.


Studio Management:  You will have an assigned drawing table that you will not have to share.

However, do not leave your artwork or tools out where they can be vulnerable to theft or accidents.

Label all your sketch books, tool boxes, rulers, etc.  They all look alike.


Studio Storage:  You may claim a flat file drawer to share with another 2-D student.  Small lockers

are available in the sink room and cabinet/drawer lockers are also available.  These must also be shared with another student.  Please label your storage clearly with your name and “Fall 04”.


Studio Access:  You have 24 hour, 7 days per week access to this studio space.  You are even welcome to work during other class times.  After add/drop your name will be placed on the security list for this building.  To get in after the building is locked  call security (6444).  Please be prepared to show your Park University I.D.  and to cooperate with Park security staff at all times. 



Studio Safety:  Although I do not anticipate their use in this class, all solvents must be kept in the bright yellow fire proof cabinet.  Never pour solvents down the drain.  Used solvents are to be disposed of in the special red storage can inside the yellow cabinet.  Information about the safety of art supplies can be found in the large notebook just outside my office and in the reference book with it.   Again, I do not anticipate their use in this course, but using any power tool requires training, goggles AND a buddy!

          The principle hazard in a 2-D design class is the danger of cutting oneself with an X-acto knife.  ALWAYS USE A STEEL RULER WHEN WORKING WITH AN X-ACTO KNIFE!  In the event of an accident use the studio phone to call security (6444) for assistance. 





DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:




Course Structure: The semester will be divided into two general areas.  The first part will be devoted to the exploration of the elements of art and the principles of design.  Problems relating to figure-ground, qualities of line, value gradation, pattern, grid systems, planar distortion and  the illusions of space, volume and motion will be investigated in black and white media.  The second part of the semester will be devoted to color theory.


Typical Week’s Schedule:

Monday  9:00:  Critique of past week’s assignment.  Lecture-demonstration-

                      presentation of next assignment.  In-class studio work begins.


Wednesday     Work sessions.  In-class studio work continues.  One-to-one instruction.

& Fridays:        Occasional brief quizzes, slide lectures, videos, guests, etc.


Work Outside of Class:  As with all studio art classes in the United States one meets double-time, nearly six hours per week.  In addition you should plan to spend at least three more hours working outside of class each week.  I urge you to schedule that extra time into your weekly schedule.

 How much time you will find it necessary to work on projects outside of class will vary depending on how effectively and aggressively you use your in-class “lab” time.


Grading Plan:


Attendance/participation:            10%           

Mid-term portfolio                      45

Final portfolio                            45



Grade Scale:


                   100 – 90  =  A

                     89 – 80  =  B

                     79 – 70  =  C

                    69 –  60  = D

                   Below 60 =  F



Questions????  Please ask them!  In class or out, in person, or via E-mail or voice mail, whatever..  They are the best way to learn.  Remember---I cannot read your mind!  You must let me know if you are having special difficulties or if there is someway I can help you.  It is what they pay me for.


About art supplies for 2-D for the first half of the semester:


There is no studio fee for this course.   You are responsible for providing your own tools and materials.   Some materials are available at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  Better places to shop are the professional art supply dealers such as Keith Coldsnow in Westport, Utrecht  and Creative Crafts and Hobbies.   Check the yellow pages under art supplies.


Sketch book


Tracing paper


Graph paper


Pencils (HB & 2H)


Erasers (“Pink Pearl”  & kneaded)


Masking tape


Paper glue  (“Yes”  or “UHU”)


X-acto knife and #11 blades


Cutting surface


Steel ruler (18 inches)


White poster board (cheap) or 2 ply Bristol (heavy, smooth white paper)




Good quality, pointed water color brush


India ink, black, waterproof


Technical pen or equivalent to use with permanent black ink

(There are a variety of products on the market ranging from an expensive set of “Rapidographs”  to disposable pens like “Itoya”


Palette (small china saucer or plastic tray)


Water jar (empty pint jar)


Portfolio (something in which to safely transport your work.  Two pieces of corrugated

          cardboard hinged with duct tape will make a very serviceable one.)


Other useful items:  Triangles, templates, French curves, T-squares.  (The department has a few of

         these but not enough to supply everyone.)




AR202: Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory

Fall 2004


ASSIGNMENT #1:  The Spot Project:  Using a  consistent “unit form” to activate a visual field.


Assigned:                        Monday, August 23


Work days:                      August 25 and 27 (W & F)


Due for critique:               Monday, August 30, 9:00 AM



Format:                           Minimum 8 ½ x 11 white paper but may be larger.


Motif:                              The motif  or “unit form”  or “spot”  must be geometric  such as a small square, triangle, rectangle, parallelogram  or circle  about ¾ on an inch in diameter.


Medium/Technique:          You may choose from the following:


1.     Multiples of your motif can be cut from black construction paper and organized into a collage with paper glue on a contrasting white surface.

2.     You may find or make a template that will enable you to accurately draw multiples of your motif and then “color” each one in with ink or a marker.

3.     You may purchase some kind of commercial  sticker to use as your repeating  spot/motif/unit form.


Procedure:                       Using repetition (one of the principles of design) of your spot, experiment with activating the space of the format by arranging the

                                      spots in a variety of ways.  Spots may touch.  Spots may overlap.  Spots may “bleed”  (be cut off by the edge of the format).  You may use as many spots as you wish.


                                      Consider using a grid to help you organize and control the space of the format.  However, the grid must not be visible in the final presentations.


Amount:                          Produce three (3) different examples for critique.  You may only use one type of unit form within a single composition; but you may use a different motif in each of the three.


Criteria & strategies:         Remember the “spot” (or motif or element or shape or unit form)

MUST be uniform. 


Beware of symmetrical compositions.  These are by their nature static.

Asymmetry is much more dynamic and active—and you are trying to “activate” the space.


Your goal in this project is not to draw a recognizable picture, nor to produce a pattern;  instead, try to manipulate and distort the S P A C E

of the white paper.  A blank white surface can be empty, flat or infinite.

A soon as you place any mark on it you begin to suggest a spacial illusion.


Consider these Principles of Design as worthy of exploration:


·        Proximity (degrees of closeness between the spots),

·        Continuation (the way ones eye is led within the composition), and

·        Rhythm (as in music).