S1 - DAY ONE - Basic Terms


Pertaining to the process involved in the initial stages of art-making (i.e., the initial conception, or idea).



Conception is the birth process of an artistic idea, from the initial creative impulse through aesthetic refinement, problem-solving, and visualization/realization. Execution is the second half of the creative process: the actual carrying out of the idea, in terms of method and materials, which often involves compromises and alterations of the initial conception. Artists often see the initial conception as the guiding force for their aesthetic decisions, in terms of formal elements of design, and in terms of the expressive content desired.




As opposed to subject matter, content is the "meaning" of the artwork, e.g., in Moby Dick, the subject matter is a man versus a whale; the content is a complex system of symbols, metaphors, etc. describing man's existence and nature.



graphic/graphic arts

The graphic arts (drawing and engraving) are said to depend for their effect on drawing, as opposed to color. The term graphic describes drawings or prints which lean more toward drawing (line) than color (mass). I think that this division is less pertinent in modern and contemporary art than in traditional art or art of the past.




A preliminary drawing for a painting; also, a work done just to "study" nature in general.


subject matter

As opposed to content, the subject matter is the subject of the artwork, e.g., still life. The theme of Vanitas (popular a few centuries ago) of vanity, death, universal fate, etc., used in the still life, can be considered the content. The still life objects used in the image are the subject matter. (See also content.)

Other Vocabulary Words To Support Value


Shading - When you represent value in a picture.

Contrast - Extreme differences in colors, textures, and other elements in a picture.

Blending - drawing dark values smoothly a little at a time by pressing harder on a drawing medium

Highlights  - areas on the surface that reflect the most light

Light Source  - The direction from which the strongest light is coming


Sketch - a rough drawing used to capture the basic elements and structure of a situation

often used as the basis for a  more detailed work.

Thumbnail Sketch - crude, small pencil drawings used to develop the initial concept for a design.

Drawing the act of representing an image on a surface by means of adding lines and shades, as with a pencil, crayon, pen, chalk, pastels, etc. Also refers to an illustration that has been drawn by hand.  PORTFOLIO QUALITY…



Sketchbook Activity - Create the two grey scales and each one of the 4 main shapes.

S1 - DAY TWO - Value


A drawing is said to be a value drawing when it is in black and white, when it has no color. Black, white, and the many shades of gray in between the two are called values (and sometimes tones).


Value isn't just important to drawing: it's what allows us to see form!

Our entire visual experience and perception of the world depends on light. Whenever we see anything, it means that what we are looking at is being illuminated by a light source.As an object turns away from the light source, less light can reach it, so it gradually darkens. Eventually the object falls into shadow where light can no longer reach it. This incremental darkening of an object turning away from light creates a range of values.


S1 - DAY THREE - What is it like to be an art student.

Sketchbook Activity.

In your sketchbook write down 3 issues that you didn't expect to hear and explain how

you could handle them or are you ready to deal with them. Simply put, just make a

few quick notes about what you learned from the video.


the arrangement of the design elements to create a single effect. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity.


What is the difference between art & design?

The subject of what separates art and design is convoluted and has been debated for a long time.

Artists and designers both create visual compositions using a shared knowledge base, but their reasons for doing so are entirely different.


Some designers consider themselves artists, but few artists consider themselves designers.

So what exactly is the difference between art and design? In this post, we’ll examine and compare some of the core principles of each craft.


Other Vocabulary Words To Support Design


Proportion - The relative size of objects compared to one another.

Composition - The arrangement or design of objects in a picture.

Scale  - Changing an object's relative size

content - the underlying idea or concept in a work of art that the artist wishes to

focal point or emphasis - emphasizes area of work which commands the most visual attention express



to create designs and pictures for books, magazines, or other print or electronic media to make

 clear or explain the text or show what happens in a story.

S1 - DAY FOUR - Design


S1 - DAY FIVE - Medium


material or technique an artist works in; also, the component of paint in which the pigment is dispersed.



(noun) - In art, "medium" refers to the substance the artist uses to create his or her artwork. For example, the medium Michelangelo used to create David was marble, Calder's stabiles employ painted steel plates and Duchamp's infamous Fountain had porcelain as its medium.


Dry media  - Media free of liquid

Wet media  - Media in a liquid state

Mixed media  - The use of more than one medium in artwork


Watercolor paints  - Paint that consists of transparent pigments in a medium of water


Traditional drawing media

Airbrush, Acrylic paint, Chalk, Charcoal (soft or hard), Coloured pencil, Conté, Crayon, Gouache, Graphite (can be pencils which are small or large sticks similar to charcoal), Human finger (with ink or paint), Marker, Oil paint, Pen and ink, Pencil, Sand, Tempera, Watercolor



preliminary drawing that lies under the final painted or inked image.



the preliminary coats of paint in a painting that render the basic outline before the final paint layers are added to complete the work.

S1 - DAY SIX - Life Drawing & Still Life

Life drawing:

drawings of a human figure. Usually of nude figures so that the artist can understand how the muscles look and how light, tone and shadow reflect around the body.

Still life:

a painting or other two-dimensional work of art representing inanimate objects such as bottles, fruit, and flowers. Also, the arrangement of these objects from which a drawing, painting, or other art work is made.



a painting, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person.



a painting, drawing or photograph which depicts outdoor scenery. They typically include trees, streams, buildings, crops, mountains, wildlife, rivers and forests.



Students must be prepared to make a major commitment. It is our assumption that students entering the program are here to lay a foundation for a career in a design field and will be required to meet rigorous and stringent standards. Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are required as is the ability to read and analyze. Serious students will find that the program will provide them with an excellent opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the job market or advance in education. _Most of the students graduating from the program _continue their education.


Steve Bross

Commercial Art Instructor


Central Montco Technical High School

821 Plymouth Road

Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462


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