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High School Art Electives: Introduction


We encourage all students to take a high school course in art. Art teaches many of the skills that employers are looking for in job applicants, including creative thinking, detailed and focused problem solving, computer graphic and/or video production, and acute observation. Careers are waiting for the students who can take advantage of the opportunities provided by these outstanding art courses. (Note: other art courses are available. Please check "Step into Your Future" in the Parent section of this website for a complete listing.)

As with the K-8 Curriculum, one art concept per course will be highlighted.


G005 Studio in Advertising (Graphic Design)
Clipart: stylized treeHighlighted Art Concept: Composition


This course explores computer production of graphic and product designs. Student will create two-dimensional graphic designs and three-dimensional products such as logos, poster, page designs, products, and packaging designs. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge and application of the Adobe Illustrator software.

Examples of art lessons for Studio in Advertising Design (Graphic Arts)

  • Applying the elements of design
  • Applying the principles of design
  • Creating a focal point



The 10 Basic Layout Formats

  1. Circus
  2. Mondrian
  3. Silhouette
  4. Big Type
  5. Multi-panel
  6. Frame
  7. Copy Heavy
  8. Picture Window
  9. Rebus
  10. Alphabet Inspired

Sample Lessons

  • Find & Identify Ads with the 10 Basic Layouts


  • Logo Design
  • Identity Packaging
  • Page Design
  • Cover Design
  • Label Design
  • Package Design
  • Product Design


G006 Studio in Ceramics
Highlighted Art Concept: Culture and History


many antique clay pots and urns

The Studio in Ceramics course explores techniques and processes used in clay construction. Students will build projects using several techniques: pinch, coil, slab, wheel-thrown, or combinations thereof. Students will reach an understanding of firing and glazing processes with their projects.



Examples of Art Lessons for Studio in Ceramics

Blue floral vase

  • ceramic history timeline
  • practical functions/spiritual function
  • Maria Martinez carved coil vessel
  • Jomon ware coil vessel
  • Chinese bronze slab vessel
  • Islamic design tiles
  • Celtic design tiles
  • English Toby mugs
  • Southern USA devil pots
  • European gargoyles
  • Greek figure vases
  • Japanese Oribe altered vessels
  • Japanese tea bowls


Adobe, bas-relief, bisque, black ware, Celtic, Chinese, clay, coil, gargoyle, folk art, Islamic, slab


G008 Studio in Advanced Ceramics
Highlighted Art Concept: Connections-History


The Studio in Advanced Ceramics course assigns a series of advanced clay works using previously learned methods. Students will demonstrate proficiency in wheel-throwing, pinch, slab, and coil forms. Three-dimensional concepts will be the focus for designing clay works.

Examples of lessons for Advance Ceramics

Research paper and production of personal ceramic ware based on cultures and main threads of influence from one of the following areas of the world:


  • Far Eastern - China, Japan, Korea
  • Classical or Mediterranean
  • Christian Europe
  • Islamic
  • Non-Islamic, Africa
  • Pre-Columbian


Stock photo: Ancient bust

G007 Studio in Computer Art
Highlighted Art Concept: Media Technology

Stock photo: Ancient bust


Computer Art uses the computer as a fine-art tool. Students will utilize the computer to create fine art as well as combine digital images with traditional (paint, pencil, etc.) media to create unique works of art. Students will experiment with new digital processes and surface printing materials. Computer art will be discussed with respect to its relationship to art history and the development of civilization.



Examples of Art lessons for Studio in Computer Art

  • Combining digital and tradition art materials
  • Using software to create art (Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, In Design)
  • Using peripheral devices for image capture (scanners, digital cameras, tablets)
  • How paper (surface) media effects the product/printing
  • Digital to traditional processes- Traditional to digital processes

Sample Lessons

  • Still Life
  • Digital Painting in Adobe PhotoShop
  • Digital Painting in Adobe Illustrator
  • Digital Collage
  • Portrait
  • Cubist Relief Sculpture in Plexiglas
  • Accordion Design Bo
  • Traditional to digital processes


G001 Studio in Photography
Highlighted Art Concept: Seeing and Observing

Stock Photo:  femail photographer at sunset

This course delves into the processes of traditional and digital photography. Artistic photography and composition are emphasized. Students will use film for traditional methods and digital cameras for current digital image methods. Adobe Photoshop software will be used.


  • Framing an image
  • Using images to communicate
  • SLR camera adjustments
  • Documentary Photography
  • Color & Movement
  • Thorney Lieberman Style Photograph
  • Surrealism
  • Silver Print


G002 Advanced Photography
Highlighted Art Concept: Critique


This course is offered to those students who have demonstrated mastery (85 percent or above) in the Studio in Photography course. Advanced darkroom and digital studio techniques and processes will be explored. A portfolio of high quality work will be developed.

Example of the Critique Process

  • Describe, analyze, interpret, and judge works of photography by professionals and peers
  • Describe, analyze, interpret, and judge works of photography created by self
  • Select and prepare works for exhibition
  • Sketch, discuss, and explain plans for photographic work


Vocabulary: description, analysis, interpretation and judgment, sketch

  • Dry mount, archival, matt board, ratio, exhibition
  • Jury process
  • Portfolio


Stock photo: Easel

G003 Studio in Art
Highlighted Art Concept: Identity


This is the entry-level art course that satisfies the state requirement for art. It is an exploration of art materials, techniques, art history, and creative ideas. The main topics investigated are design, self-portrait, multicultural artistry, observation and perception, process, and the roll of psychological communication within art.



Examples of Lessons for Studio in Art

  • Lessons explore and discuss: "Who are we in relation to our personal, cultural, and national identity?"
  • Lessons take a look at artists who created works of art that give us clues into their own identities. For example: Warhol's self-portraits
  • Other ways to explore identity:
    • Pencil Self-Portrait
    • Tribal Tattoo
    • Identity Box



  • Self
  • Identity
  • Emotion
  • Communication


G004 Drawing and Painting
Highlighted Art Concept: Communication and Expression


Clipart: Colored pencils

A concentrated study of drawing and painting techniques, including graphite, charcoal, watercolor, acrylic on canvas or board, and mixed media. Portfolio topics include self-portrait, still life, landscape, observation/perception, psychological communication through art, process, and cultural awareness.


Examples of Lessons for Drawing and Painting

  • Students will learn how artists communicate ideas through the making of posters, murals etc.
  • Students will explain, restate and report how artists express and communicate ideas. (Study of Expressionism)
  • Students will sketch and use communication ideas.
  • Students will experiment and solve problems with communication ideas.
  • Students will design and create products to express and communicate.
  • Students will critique and evaluate their art projects.


Vocabulary: communication, expression, influence, poster, mural, propaganda, scale


Advanced Drawing and Painting:
Highlighted Art Concept: Creativity


Stock photo: Painters pallette, bush and paints

Examples of Art lessons for Advanced Drawing and Painting



  • Synectics - combining unusual things in ways not previously done
  • Students will define the term and idea of creativity.
  • Students will explain, report, and summarize the need for an artist to stay creative.
  • Students will demonstrate and practice creativity in all work.
  • Students will analyze, examine, and point out creativity in their own and other artists' work.
  • Students will categorize, create, design, modify, organize, propose, and construct in a manner where they express creativity.
  • Students will appraise and evaluate their own creativity.


Vocabulary: Creativity, synectics, perception, surrealism, juxtaposition, collage


G010 Studio in Media Arts
Highlighted Art Concept: Exploration


Clipart: CD ROM's

Media Arts explores contemporary mass media art including: two-dimensional animation, video filmmaking, web design, and other art forms that are viewed ""on screen." Creative sound may also be explored. Students will produce this kind of media using a variety of technology equipment and software.


Examples Art Lessons for Media Arts


  • Choosing Software
  • Materials Exploration
  • Types of Media Arts (photography, film or video, audio, computer or digital arts, animation and interactive media such as video games and websites)

Sample Lessons

  • Flip Book
  • Thaumatrope
  • Single Image Manipulation Stop Motion Video
  • Cut Paper Stop Motion Video
  • Found Object Stop Motion Video
  • Lego Brick Film Stop Motion


  • Claymation Stop Motion Animation
  • Flash (vector/2D) Animation
  • Documentary Film
  • Short Subject Film
  • Public Service Announcement Film
  • Garageband Sound Clips
  • Web sites
  • Video game design


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