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Mission College

Location: E2-202
Instructor: Don Shields
Phone: 408-975-9920

Course Description:
This is an advanced course combining digital manipulation and fine arts concepts using Adobe
Photoshop CS. Specific projects will be executed related to unity, variety, rhythm/pattern,
value/color structure, movement, and balance. As the range of digital art is huge and ever
evolving, advanced student assignments will allow for self-directed projects that explore the
influence of one or more of the following—computer game imagery, digital music, and web-
based art. Students will learn techniques needed to effectively complete the assignments.
Students will visit and research gallery and museum exhibitions. Reading and web art research
are also an important aspect of the class. Students will engage in critiques of peer work.
Credit/No Credit Option.
Prerequisite: Art 034A.
Acceptable for credit: University of California, California State University

No requirement.
Recommended: ● Photoshop CS3: Classroom in a Book, Adobe Press

Materials for Class:
● Folder or portfolio for printed images and drawings.
● Flash drive or portable USB drive to save, backup and transport your digital files.
● Pencils, erasure, a ruler, and paper for drawing and designing.
● You will also need photographs, drawings and other scannable materials.
These can be your own photographs, or work you have created in other digital
applications, or your own original artwork (created in class, or other design,
drawing, or painting classes, or on your own).

Mission College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with
documented disabilities. Students should notify DISC (Disability
Instructional Support Center) located in S2-201 (408-855-5085 or
408-727-9243 TTY) of any special needs.

Students are not automatically dropped from a course, if they don't show up for the first day of
class. It is the student's responsibility to drop the course.

Important guidelines:
Attending every class is extremely important. Each class builds on the material covered
previously. If you miss three classes, you may be dropped from the course. Do not be
late to class as critical issues are generally covered at the beginning of the class. Any class that
is missed, you are expected to find out what you missed, and to bring that missed work to the
next class for the instructor to check.
● Food and drink are not allowed in the Lab. Bottled water is fine if kept away from monitors,
keyboards and CPUs.
● Cell phones should only be on vibrate, and should not be answered during class. You can call
back during the Lab break.
● Playing games, or idly surfing the web, or instant messaging, or visiting chat rooms is not
allowed. One can listen to music while working on assignments if earphones are used, but if the
instructor is lecturing or a critique of work is in progress, all earphones must come off and
student attention is required.

Use of Copyrighted Material:
Do not use copyrighted material in this class without permission from the owner for the
copyright. This includes images, texts, and ideas. Everything that is created by someone else is
considered copyrighted.
Note: It is usually permissible to use images created over 100 years ago, such as fine art
images, but you will need to verify that is acceptable before doing so. The same policy goes for
text. Give credit to the author, artist, or photographer in all cases.

Learning Objectives:
Students will be evaluating and absorbing advanced principles of digital art and advanced use
of the computer as a tool in creating art. Emphasis will be placed on the development of
personal working methods, as well as your use of materials and your understanding of visual
space to develop a more personal vision. In class, students will complete a series of projects
designed to enhance critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and awareness of design in
fine art and applied arts. Current digital trends are examined by students, and this fast paced
and constantly evolving medium is a wealth of artistic options and opportunities for input from a
vast arena of artistic and technical endeavors. In summary, advanced students will create
original digital art based on an understanding of fine arts concepts, arriving at a variety of
images through drawing and photo manipulation and by critically examining works of art from
both digital and non-digital sources.

Art and design topics will include:
● Rhythm
● Contrast of Value Structure
● Balance
● Contrast of line
● Shape
● Color Studies

Assignments include:
● Perspective:
A review of linear perspective and atmospheric perspective will result in a series of drawings of
architecture and inclined planes, as well as a landscape study.
● Waterworld:
Think of an environment that exists beneath the sea. This means using layers of gradients and
making masks on other layers of kelp, floating seaweed, fish layers, possibly scuba diver layers,
etc. Could you have a moving aspect to this project?
● Art of Lines:
Design a scene that includes a person or a character. It could be a self portrait. Think of the
scene or environment that the character will exist in. Are they seated or standing or walking. If
your scene has a powerful wind blowing, how would you draw the wind, and how would it swirl
around your character?
●James Rosenquist
Research the pop artist James Rosenquist's large paintings that draw on his background as a
Assignments continued:
sign/billboard painter. What is his process for creating his work? He borrowed iconography of
the visual marketing industry that reflects American cultural values. One would need acquire a

variety of marketing images and blend those using layers and/or
channels. Complete a project that mixes these marketing iconic images and images of yourself
or your friends. You must adjust the color and values to match your images with the Madison
Avenue material.

Draw a design for an urban landscape. Consider what linear perspective you might use and
create several quick drawings that explore the possible perspective systems. As another layer
for your project, design a character for your city environment. Are they a natural part of their
scene, or is the figure in contrast to their environment?

• Live-action video over Maya 3D environment. Students will write, and direct live-action
sequence, that will be shot against blue screen. This video will be keyed out, and layered
over a 3D scene designed and modeled in Maya.

● Trip to San Jose Art Museum
Students will visit and analyze a show of their choosing at The San Jose Museum of Art, located
at 110 S. Market Street, and San Fernando, has an important painting show that you will want to
see before it comes down September 16th. Todd Schorr: American Surreal is the first mid-
career retrospective of the Los Angeles-based artist. Schorr is a leading figure in
Southern California’s cartoon-based movement, dubbed “Pop Surrealism,” which
embraces low-brow culture and a ribald graphic style indebted to pop sources such as
Mad magazine. You must analyze this show in an over-all look at his work. Then pick a
single piece to talk about in depth. Compare the painting to other artists, such as
Salvador Dali, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Raphael, or fellow California artist Peter Saul.

Also another very good show at the museum is Women’s Work. This is a print show
from the San Jose Museum’s collection of art.
. Students will write an overview of the entire show, and then select one work to write an in
depth analysis of the artist‘s approach to image design and the personal creative process.


● Student Assignments:
Note that student participation in project critiques is required and part of the grade in the project.
Putting forward your views of peer work is an essential part of the artist’s development. Student
participation in the critique process is 15% of the student’s grade.
• Participation in Art Critiques 20%
● Perspective Review: 10%
● Waterworld: 10%
● Art of Lines: 10%
● Rosenquist: 10%
● Urban World: 10%
• Live-Action over 3D 20%
● Research paper on Abstract Expressionism:10%