Laura Ruby

Summer 2013


Introduction to Visual Arts


Art 1000

Course Objectives
Course Content
Writing Criteria
Visual Art Grading Criteria
Participation--Attendance and Punctuality
Visual Perception

The Cultural Image -- Nature and Culture

Setting the Context--The Form

Ways of Communicating


Getting to the Roots--Western Euro-centric Space and Visual Display
Rendering Perspective
Our Own Spatial Culture


Time and Motion--The Movies--The 4th Dimension

Film Time and Movement





This course will explore the nature of the world's visual arts and their influences on the quality of our lives. It will discuss:
  • What is visual culture?:
  • Understanding our own ways of seeing and of becoming visually literate;
  • Employing visual thinking and creating through visual communication;
  • Understanding the roots of visual culture and visual production.
1. To discover the purpose of the visual arts;
2. To realize the scope of the visual arts;
3. To develop an awareness of and appreciation for the diversity of human visual responses;
4. To become aware of and involved in the act of creativity; and
5. To become a motivating force for bettering your visual environment.

Student Learning Outcomes for Art

1) To develop fundamental skills and concepts relative to the practice of art.

2) To develop an understanding and appreciation of the tradition which formed our present approach to the visual arts.

3) To develop the ability to analyze the merits of art works and develop informed opinions applicable to the broad range of human cultural production.

4) To develop specific skills and knowledge of a medium(s) to be utilized as a means of visual communication and self expression5) To encourage the development of new approaches, methodologies and philosophies of art as well as the understanding of traditional modes and paradigms.

  • Prebles' Artforms 10th edition--Patrick Frank
  • selections from The Humanistic Tradition Volumes 3 & 6 --Gloria Fiero
  • packet of Art 1000 handouts 
  • [Art Basics (optional--no author listed)]
  • 30% -- Written Entries (for example: Casablanca --written response to 1 question using light and value terminology)
  • 30% -- Visual Entries/Artworks
    • 5% ---Casablanca value study
    • 5% -- realistic drawing,
    • 5% -- abstract drawing,
    • 5% -- small art projects
    • 10% -- Global Art History Archive
  • 10% -- First Exam (Part Take-Home, Part In-Class)
  • 10% -- Second Exam ( " )
  • 10% -- Class Participation
  • 10% -- Attendance
  • (The class may decide to give more weight to some items at a later time.)
All papers should be:
1. typed, double-spaced, 3/4 to 1+ pages long, 1.5" margins;
2. state your position and present your evidence--support your statement; and
3. be prepared for the discussions to follow--small groups and whole class discussions
All visual artwork will be evaluated in terms of:
l. imagination, enthusiasm, and risk taking;
2. clarity of concept, organization;
3. timely participation (come to class, turn in work on time, and participate in discussions); and
4. quality of execution (craftsmanship and thoroughness) and the ability to be self-correcting.
This course requires full attendance. Visual concepts are often only understood after sharing, comparing, questioning, revising and synthesizing, as well as listening. A tardy or absent student diminishes the overall quality of the class. Three tardies will equal one unexcused absence. Three unexcused absences will lower the final grade.

The policy of Hawai'i Pacific University is clear regarding academic dishonesty. Any student who cheats on an academic exercise, lends assistance to others, or who hands in, as a completed assignment, work that is not his or her own will be penalized. The ultimate penalty is suspension from the University. For more information, go to this link: HPU Academic Honesty Policy and Procedures.


ART KIT available at the HPU Bookstore (almost everything below can be shared)
  • cellphone or digital camera printouts OR thumbnail sketches
  • bristol board pad--vellum (or rough surface--if available), approximately 9" x 12"
  • watercolor compact, small tube of white watercolor paint and #6 brush
  • graphite drawing pencils (2B, HB, 2H) and eraser
  • pencil sharpener
  • ruler
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • mat for framing images
  • Prismacolor or Spectracolor colored pencils
  • shared pad of see-through tracing paper
  • additional materials to be announced later   
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In-Class Discussion Topics
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Visual Artworks
Written Entries/Great Debates








Week One: Syllabus & the Big Picture
Visual Perception
  • setting the context: the perceptual experience
  • I, the observer, and the "stuff" out there
  • gestalt
  • visual illusions
  • setting the context: the the "stuff" out there depicted










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a. Small Art Project

Look through your viewfinder and capture images of a day in the life of yourself. Create 10 thumbnails sketches or photos of objects you come in contact with--home, school, work, leisure. Use a variety of framed points of view--worm's or bird's eye points of view and select tipped/tilted framing or parallel-to-the-horizon framing. These should be done quickly.

1. Informal writing/discussion

We will arbitrarily divide up the class to cover these 4 points of view:

a) worm's eye vs. bird's eye point of view

--how is meaning created from this point of view?


b) tipped or tilted framing vs. parallel-to-the-horizon framing

--how is meaning created from this point of view?

All  papers should be typed, double-spaced. State your position and present your evidence--support your statement. Discussions will follow--small groups and individuals will represent different points of view.



Chapter 1

first readings in pdf packet

Chapter 2



Week One: The Cultural Image--Nature/Culture
  • How do we look at visual culture?
  • Am I a feral child?
  • The Innocent Eye Test
The Innocent Eye Test, 1981 -- Mark Tansey
  • Treason of Images
Treason of Images, 1928-9 -- Rene Magritte
Captain Cook and the Visual Depiction of Hawai'i
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2. Informal writing and discussion

Innocent eye vs. Sophisticated eye


Answer the Innocent Eye Test questions


Innocent Eye Test questions in packet








  Week One: Our Cultural Frame
SHIFT--thinking about self and the world as expressed in visual depictions
The Form--realistic, abstract, non-objective
Cow, 1917 -- Theo van Doesburg
Cow, 1917 -- Theo van Doesburg
Cow, 1917 -- Theo van Doesburg
Cow, 1917 -- Theo van Doesburg


Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 -- Pablo Picasso
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912 -- Marcel Duchamp

2 and 3. Artworks

Using watercolor or colored pencils, render/draw your object 2 times:

2. as realistically as possible

3. in an abstract way

EC. as a study in light and value--aim for chiaroscuro (highlight and shadow) using black pencil only--do not use lines;

EC. establishing a sense of scale--place your object in relationship to another object or in a particular setting. Give some sense of size relationships.

















p78ff Drawing


see handouts in packet



Look over Chapters 4-9

























Abstract Drawing

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[optional artwork

Create a mask or costume based on your depicted animal image. Research another cultural context and use the forms of that culture or transfer these animal attributes into a wearable form in your own personal contemporary context. Please link to Creating a Mask on the website 101]








Week One
Ways of Communicating--icon, index, symbol
Flag, 1954-55 -- Jasper Johns
  • a national icon: the American flag
  • the First Amendment
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3. Informal Writing
 Flag by Jasper Johns
a) this is a flag vs. this is an artwork
b) the flag or flag imagery can be used in artworks vs. prohibition of the flag's use in artworks


read handouts in your packet on the American flag exhibitions and American iconic depictions



Week Two: Light and Optical Correspondences
Light and Film and the Flicks--The Magic Lantern Show
  • light an illuminating notion
  • light logic
  • influences from:
  • The European Baroque Frame
  • German Expressionist Theater and Cinema
  • Edward Hopper
  • film noir
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b. and c. Small Art Projects

b. light logic sketch

c. color projects

read pages in your packet



 light logic

Light logic
1 highlight--the lightest, brightest spot on the object
2 lowlight/midtone--maximum color intensity--this is the local value that an object would have under ambient/indirect light
3 reflected light--the light that hits other things and bounces back on the object
4 core shadow--the shadow on on and created by the object itself
5 cast shadow--the shadow that cuts out the shining light source--its always the darkest part

Chiaroscuro--light to dark
value notation--the illusion of volume

Week Two: A 20th Century Foray 

Gas, 1940 -- Edward Hopper
New York Movie, 1939 -- Edward Hopper
Drug Store, 1927 -- Edward Hopper

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Global Art History Archive 1
Gas, 1940 -- Hopper
New York Movie, 1939 -- Hopper
Drug Store, 1927 -- Hopper


Global Art History Archive 2

Rue Transonian

Global Art History Archive 3

High Noon

The Third Man







Week Two: Cinematography & Film
  • Casablanca and "Play it again, Sam."
Casablanca, 1943 -- Michael Curtiz
Casablanca, 1943 -- Michael Curtiz


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4. Writing

& 5. Artwork

A. Reflect on the Casablanca questions and write on 1 question.

B. Create a value drawing of 1 shot related to your question--do not copy from the xerox images. (Please see separate handout.) This is a study in light and value--aim for chiaroscuro (highlight and shadow) using black pencil only--do not use lines.

C. Sketch a plan view, diagramming the lighting, set and actors.

refer to the questions in your packet



Week Three:
  • Casablanca discussion
  • Carrotblanca
  • film genres
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EC--light in film

Select 1 of the 100 classic films. Write a 1 paragraph synopsis and create a value drawing of a crucial shot.

list located in your packet




Week Three: Getting to the Roots -- Western Euro-centric Space and Visual Display

SHIFT -- thinking about self and the world as expressed in visual depictions


Rendering Perspective -- The Illusion of 3-Dimensional Space on a 2-Dimensional Picture Plane


  • space a 2-D perspective
  • our visual spatial cultural legacy -- 500 years of European Renaissance
  • video: The Day the Universe Changed -- "Point of View"

The Holy Trinity, 1425 -- Masaccio

Global Art History Archive 4 American Gothic










Global Art History Archive 5 The Holy Trinity


EC create a perspective drawing

ch 10, pp411-422





Blackboard/Pipeline: Humanistic Tradition 3: The Renaissance

pp26-33, pp248-270



Week Three: Our Own Spatial Culture

Other Cultural Forays

Japanese ukioye landscape prints and compositinal organization -- in contrast

Wave at Kanagawa c. 1830 -- Hokusai

Naito Shinjuku, Yotsuya, 1857 -- Hiroshige

Islamic Art

Global Art History Archive 6 Wave at Kanagawa




-other cultures but the same time frame




Week Four: Real/Actual Space --Space a 3-D Perspective

  • art in public places
  • Claes Oldenberg -- "Object into Monument"

Clothespin, 1976 -- Claes Oldenburg

Global Art History Archive 7 The Unswept Floor

Global Art History Archive 8 Monk Sewing


pp 416-418, 439, 231-243, 444-445

Dream Window--A Japanese Sense of Space and Place



Week Four: Our Own Spatial Community Culture


5. Writing --  Downtown Art -- field trip to visit and locate at least 9 artworks.

A. Please identify the artworks' and their locations and draw small thumbnail sketches of each work. Please number and identify each of the artworks and answer:

B. Compare and contrast 2 artworks:

a) List each's visual characteristics.

b) How does each artwork relate to its environment?

c) How do viewers/participants interact with these 2 artworks?

d) What is particularly striking about these artworks?


EC Create a watercolor or colored pencil drawing of 1 campus artwork.

please see 2-page handout in packet


Week Four: Our Own Spatial Culture

  • the built environment
  • inventing our own myths: inventions and vernacular architecture
  • the balloon frame house
  • international style/modern architecture: the Seagram building imperialism, skyscrapers
  • Learning from Las Vegas


Chapter 12, p189ff, pp431-433



Week Five: The Postmodern Frame--Art in Our Own Times
SHIFT--thinking about self and the world as expressed in visual depictions
Postmodern Architecture
  • Charles Moore, Frank Gehry, etc. and the pomo Piazza d'Italia
Piazza d'Italia, 1978-79 -- Charles Moore, et. al.


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Chapter 25



Week Five:
Exam--Thinking on Your Feet
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on Visual Culture, Light and Space




Week Five:
  • museum visit
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6. Writing

Reflect on an exhibition at the Hawaii State Art Museum-HiSAM--Visit two different galleries (see handout).


see questions in packet





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EC Select an historical or contemporary artwork from Artforms and place it in its cultural context.


Week Six Preserving Cultural Artifacts

 7. Informal Writing/Discussion from written notes

9. To preserve or not to preserve


read handouts from Puzzles and Artforms




Week Six:
The Postmodern Frame--Art in Our Own Times--Pluralism


Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Economic Class
  • contemporary visual culture
  • Jacob Lawrence and Robert Colescott
  • Barbara Kruger and the Guerrilla Girls
  • high culture & low culture
  • our own contemporary context and pop art
  • Nancy Drew
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Chapter 25




Forward Retreat, 1986 -- Mark Tansey
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EC Answer the Forward Retreat questions

see questions in packet




EC: Aesthetics--How Might We Judge Beauty?
  • "Beauty, Ugliness, and Aesthetic Experience"
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EC Beauty and Ugliness--Select 1 "Beauty..." case study--state the different positions and support your preferred position and why.

Puzzles handouts




Week Six: Time and Motion--The Movies--The 4th Dimension
  • the dynamic image
  • implied movement
    • Mark Tansey, Saul Steinberg, etc.
    • comics, storyboarding and continuity
  • apparent movement
    • the framed and filmed and edited image
    • "What's up Doc?"--animation
  • actual movement
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Global Art History Archive 9
Take One


Global Art History Archive 10
How Green Was My Valley

p133ff--Moving Images

and pages in packet




Week Seven: Film Time and Movement
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d. Small Art Project 

Film Editing--Select another classic film and create a 20 shot storyboard. (Please see separate handout.)


Week Seven: Film Time and Movement
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EC time and motion in film editing

Select another of the 100 classics and create a short storyboard.


Week Eight:
Guernica, 1937 -- Pablo Picasso
  • review &
  • Exam--Thinking on Your Feet
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Guernica -- pp 84, 365, 383-384


Laura Ruby
May 2013