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Course Descriptions

The classes listed below are not necessarily offered every term. For current class schedules, or to register, select Register Now .

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  • ACN-115W

    Basics of Painting: Figure

    Learning to paint the human figure is a natural progression from still life painting. This second class in the Basics of Painting series uses the figure to explore issues such as composition, proportion, shape and value. Students who have an understanding of these essential skills will be more confident painting the figure with conviction. Prerequisite: Basics of Painting: Part 1 Still Life, or by permission of an Art Center advisor.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-116W

    Basics of Painting: Still Life

    This seven-week Basics of Painting class will explore the fundamentals of painting using objects and still life, allowing beginning students the opportunity to learn basic techniques without the pressure that the human figure presents. Students may paint in the medium of their own choosing: oil, acrylic or watercolor. No prerequisite.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-186W

    Best Practices / Oil Painting

    This one-day seminar will show you how to unlock the endless possibilities for painterly expression in the use of oil paints, a painting medium that has been in use for 1000 years. Many artists never go beyond the basics because so little information beyond the basics is readily available, or they are scared off from oil paints believing they are complicated and dangerous. This seminar will provide you with the knowledge necessary to explore the vast potential of this medium, as well as how to use it safely and simply. Through a combination of video demonstrations, slides, and discussions, we will explore why you should choose one oil painting medium over another, one pigment over another, how to produce artwork that will will last for generations, and how you can take advantage of recent technological advances. Appropriate for painters of all levels. (Formerly titled Mastering Oil Painting.)

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-133W

    Creative Letterform

    In Creative Letterform, you will learn to use letterforms as design elements and as a means of communication to convey verbal, emotional and associative information. Gain an understanding of the illustrative and character qualities of letterforms and become familiar with the personalities of various letterforms as you explore contrast, shape, size, color and direction. Discover how to create compositions using the form and construction of letters-straights and curves, verticals and horizontals can produce strong directional movement; thick and thin strokes and varying weights of letterforms can create textures, patterns and rhythms.

    No prerequisites.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-459W

    DIY like an Architect

    Are you a DIY home improvement enthusiast who would rather give up your firstborn than let anyone else design your dream project? Then this hands-on introduction to "architectural thinking" workshop, taught by architect Alla Kazovsky (aka "DIYally), is for you. Having experienced the thrill and satisfaction of forging her own path, DIYally encourages self-reliance in others and, as "architect on demand," spurs others into action by offering advise with no strings attached. Through brainstorming exercises like mind mapping, collaging and 3D diagraming, you will become familiar with the range of tools an architect employs while moving from concept to solution. No prerequisite other than a desire for self-expression.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring and Summer

  • ACN-431W

    Design w/ Technology: Build

    The second of two seven-week courses, Design with Technology: Build provides an overview of building electronics for creative technology. Learn how to build the circuits that connect sensors, LEDs, and IoT (internet of things) to microcontrollers. Hands-on projects will cover the essential components that make up modern electronics and how to build physical working prototypes.

    Prerequisites: This class assumes no prior knowledge. Access to a personal laptop during class time is recommended starting week 1, but not required. Prior enrollment in ACN-430W Design with Technology: Code is recommended but not required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-430W

    Design w/ Technology: Code

    Take your ideas from basic concept to high tech. Today's small, inexpensive and easier-to-use microcontrollers allow artists and designers to incorporate functionality into just about any product or installation. The first of two seven-week courses, Design with Technology: Code provides an overview of programming for creative technology and how it can be applied to further develop concepts. Hands-on projects will explore microcontrollers such as the Arduino; colorful LED displays; sensors to spy on the real world; IoT (internet of things) to link objects to the cloud; and the code that makes it all work. Programming will be in languages such as Arduino, Processing and MicroPython.

    Prerequisites: This class assumes no prior knowledge. Access to a personal laptop during class time is recommended starting week 1, but not required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-111W

    Draw/Paint From Square One

    This is an opportune course for anyone who wants to improve their skills in painting, increase their creativity and expand their habits of seeing. In this drawing and painting workshop you will increase your visual awareness and synchronize your mind, eye and body with the creative process. Working with quick as well as sustained drawing and painting, you will reach for clear observation and authenticity, and create work that combines color, line, image, texture, layers and monotype using wet and dry media. Simple awareness and mindfulness exercises are woven into the course. All levels of experience are welcome.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-014W

    Exploring Light Fundamentals

    Lighting skills are essential to good photography practice. In this seven-week course, you will explore the potential of light using simple tools to illustrate and control many aspects of continuous light sources. Traditional and digital photographers alike will benefit from the skills taught in this course. No darkroom work is required. Students must have access to a 35mm camera SLR or digital SLR and possess basic camera-operation skills.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-389W

    Exploring Square One

    Exploring Square One starts where Drawing and Painting from Square One leaves off, including investigating how meditation informs the creative process. This workshop is about deepening your technical knowledge as well as cultivating insight and confidence in your unique working style. You will work directly and incrementally with a variety of media while reaching for authenticity with your expression and develop paintings based on a wide range of personal or random sources. Demonstrations and experimentation will focus on media, scale, chance and collaboration.

    Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting from Square One or by permission of an ArtCenter counselor.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-219

    Fashion + Costume Drawing

    Working from live fashion and costumed models, students will explore: transitioning from life drawing to fashion and costume drawing; rendering draped fabric on the figure; drawing garment details; drawing historic costume; figure proportion; and experimentation with an assortment of media techniques. Digital illustrators working on laptops are welcome; please bring your own laptop if you wish to work digitally. This beginning-to-intermediate class is designed for: students working on college degree program entrance portfolios; fashion and costume teachers; illustrators; fashion and costume designers and entertainment business artists and designers. Beginning to intermediate level. Please bring the following supplies to the first class: Biggie drawing pad (14x 17" or larger), drawing board, two black Tombow pens and a water brush.

    1 unit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-496W

    Forming the Dream: Cmc 2

    Now that you have completed Crafting a Meaningful Career, you are ready to progress to the next level. To do that, you will need to: define your goals; create your vision and mission statements; identify your market; research the impact of your concept in the marketplace; develop fee structures; and market your concept. To provide you with a roadmap to success, in this class you will begin the process of creating either a business plan or life plan. You will meet with your fellow classmates each week to refine and add value to your concept. And you will discover how others have met the challenges of creating a new way of life for themselves.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-260W

    Furniture Design

    Explore the diverse discipline of furniture design through various projects, such as functional furniture, interior systems, hybrid objects and lighting. Learn how to develop a concept into an actual object through various exercises in ideation, sketching, model building and materials exploration. Students will design and develop final models and basic production drawings, as well as design and fabricate a final 1:1 scale project. Class will meet at South Campus for the first few weeks; remaining classes will be held at the Hillside Campus model shop facilities.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-076

    Intro to I.D. Modeling

    This course provides an introduction to the techniques that will allow you to develop and execute well-crafted models and gain an increased awareness of 3D form. In this seven-week workshop, you will be introduced to the Art Center Technical Skills Center and become familiar with many of the materials that are used to build models for industrial design presentations. Some of the materials you will work with are styrene, urethane foam, and polyester resin. Hands-on exercises include wood lathing, vacuum forming, and mold making. Fiberglass layup and two-part molding/casting may also be covered, if time allows.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-485W

    Launching Your Art Career

    Eager to exhibit your work but not sure what steps to take? This no-nonsense seminar will help get you started. Topics include: setting goals, making connections, managing time, selling your work, and creating an action plan. Open to students and emerging artists who are looking to launch or refocus their art careers, find exhibition opportunities, etc.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-552W

    Letterpress Printing Wood Type

    Get your hands dirty! Experience Archetype Press' collection of vintage wood type. Learn how to hand-set type and print on a Vandercook cylinder proof press. Explore the process of letterpress printing through composition, press lock-up, inking techniques and more. Over the course of four sessions, you will design and print a limited edition of 11" x 14" posters with two or more colors.

    No previous experience necessary. Note: Please wear comfortable closed-toe shoes and clothes you don't mind getting stained with ink.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-445W

    Linocut Prints Letterpress Wk

    In this hands-on workshop you will learn the process of carving linoleum blocks and using the Vandercook No. 4 Proof Press for limited edition printing. In this workshop we will cover the fundamentals of carving, tools, color mixing, and the reduction print process. Participants will produce a limited edition print.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-128

    Mastering Color:Artist/Design

    Color is one of the main communicators in any visual endeavor. In this seven-week workshop, students will learn to use color in ways that enhance the aesthetics and usability of their work. Topics covered include: understanding and controlling the three characteristics of color; dealing with tonal and color keys; developing proficiencies using the inherent relationships of colors within the color wheel; and the psychology of color. Discussions of color throughout the visual arts, including photo and film, will also be covered. Class projects will help students become proficient in color mixing and deciding which colors are the best ones relative to a given assignment. This class is ideal for those interested in illustration, design, advertising and fine art, and may be taken in conjunction with Mastering Composition and Design. For more info visit: www.artcenter.robertpastrana.com

    1 unit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-127

    Mastering Composition + Design

    Developing a keen awareness of the communicative power of shapes and designing expressive compositions are the foundations of visual expression. In this seven-week class, you will learn to use design and compositional elements to enhance the effectiveness of your work. Composition will be discussed at two levels: the micro level, managing shapes inherent in the design process; and the macro level, learning effective ways to compose on the page. Time will be spent learning how to effectively control visual priorities on the page, whether in a painting, logo, website or drawing. With open assignments based on a student's area of interest, this course can serve to enhance ongoing projects and inform new ones. This course is suitable for those interested in illustration, design, advertising and fine art, and may be taken in conjunction with Mastering Color for Illustrators and Designers. For more info visit: www.artcenter.robertpastrana.com

    1 unit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-091W

    Meditation, Perception + Art 2

    In Meditation, Perception + Art 1, you learned how meditation benefits our creative and viewing processes. In this eight-week continuation course, you will explore meditation-in-action practices that reveal not only the simplicity, but also the complexity, of seeing things as they are-the natural connections between colors, shapes, seasons, elements, emotions, truths and wisdoms. These discoveries become an unlimited palette to draw upon for inspiration. Because the gap between inspiration and manifestation can be huge and often filled with obstacles like negativity and self-consciousness, you will explore the editing process-a process in which obstacles can be transformed into challenges, and negativity into greater vision and truth. Class will include two museum field trips. Prerequisite: Meditation and the Creative Mind 1, or Meditation, Perception, + Art 1. Formerly titled Meditation and the Creative Mind 2.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-102W

    Photo 102: Taking the Streets

    In this course, you will fine-tune your camera skills and publish a collection of photographs online. You will learn how to focus your "photographer's eye," discover your photographic "nouns"-the persons, places and things that speak to you-and clarify your personal vision as you refresh or continue your visual voyage. You may choose to shoot traditional or digital imagery. Access to a 35mm SLR or a digital camera with manual capabilities is required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-296

    Photoshop Kick-Start 2

    This course continues where Photoshop Kick-Start 1 left off. Many of the skills introduced in Kick Start 1 will now be taken to the next level, with higher expectations, and will include color correction, selection techniques and layer masks. The class will focus on two assignments throughout the seven-week course, giving students ample opportunity to develop their concepts into strong portfolio pieces.

    Prerequisite: Photoshop Kick-Start 1 or equivalent working knowledge of Photoshop, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Access to a computer with current version of Photoshop is required.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-114W

    Plein Air Painting

    In this course, you will explore the on-site plein-air experience of landscape painting and examine the technical questions and formal issues that arise in this genre. Painting on location, you will discover that landscape is more than subject matter; it is a way to explore how an artist organizes elements in a visual field to make a dynamic, coherent and paintable composition. Color theory, composition and quick painting techniques will be the main focus of this seven-week course. Atmosphere and depth-crucial elements in achieving believability-will be studied extensively. First class meeting will be held at Art Center's Hillside Campus; subsequent class meetings will explore various sites around Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-589W

    Powerful Presentations

    How to tell it so you can sell it. Whether you are a creative or business professional, you must learn to connect effectively with your audience and communicate your ideas in a compelling way. This inspirational workshop will help you hone one of the most critical and often overlooked skills that everyone must possess: the professional presentation. Learn how to take your presentation skills to the next level using words, voice, body language and visuals. Mastering these skills is vital to your professional success whether you are a designer, artist, entrepreneur or business leader.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-086

    Product Design: Basics

    Housewares, appliances, electronics, toys, soft goods, sporting goods, tools, lighting and other lifestyle products are just some of the items that product designers create. This seven-week crash course is designed for beginners seeking to explore educational and career opportunities in product design fields and learn basic industrial design sketching and fundamental design processes through hands-on projects. No prerequisite.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-087

    Product Design: Process

    Students with basic skills in product design will learn to apply more advanced "design processes" through one intense project. In-class demonstrations of more advanced rendering and presentation techniques will also be covered. This course is recommended for intermediate or returning industrial design students, as well as design professionals. For individuals interested in applying to Art Center's industrial design or interaction design programs, the project created in this course will be suitable for use as part of your application portfolio.

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-500W

    Right Brain Business Plan

    Is it time to step away from working in your business to work on your business? Most businesses fail because they don't have a business plan. But now, finally, there is a creative method of designing a business plan tailored specifically to creatives. In this four-session workshop, you will sidestep the traditional, dry approach to business plan creation and instead you will cut and paste, dream and collect, and organize and create a comprehensive, visual road map to the future. Gain clarity and momentum as you align your business with your values, identify your ideal clients and create a marketing strategy that reflects the real you. This class will inspire a business plan as unique as you are. Class meets over 2 weekends.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-303W

    Social Media for Entrepreneurs

    Set up the tools and protocols needed to effectively brand, publish and market your work online. In this seven-week course, you will create a personal identity, edit your work to showcase your talents in a visually compelling way, learn to tell the story of who you are and what you do, find and grow your audience, and build an online presence. Learn methods to effectively engage with followers and maximize the power of search. An ideal workshop for sculptors, artists, photographers, clothing designers, illustrators, jewelry designers, product designers, and any creative with a skill or product they would like to sell.

    Prerequisites: Internet proficiency, an interest in social media, plus images of work you would like to sell or promote.

    1 unit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-377W

    Soft Goods Design 2

    Develop ideas generated in Soft Goods Design 1 to a level appropriate for production or for seeking investors in a crowdsourcing platform. Course will cover in-depth sampling processes, material exploration and selection, sewing techniques, preliminary cost analysis, and methods of creating a compelling presentation of the end product. After completion, students will have a comprehensive knowledge of soft goods design and will be able to turn a preliminary idea into a presentable sample ready for production.

    Prerequisite: Soft Goods Design 1. Access to a sewing machine is required

    1.5 units

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-434W

    Surface Design: Illustrator

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Illustrator tools, tips, tricks and best work practices needed to create commonly used vector-based repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. Hands on projects during the workshop will allow you to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, pattern swatches, pattern maker, manual pattern layout, custom brushes, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Illustrator is ideal to use for vector-based artwork and is equally important as Photoshop is for continuous tone artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1, or basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-433W

    Surface Design: Photoshop

    This one-day workshop provides an overview of Adobe Photoshop tools, tips, tricks and best work practices necessary in creating commonly used repeat patterns for the surface/textile industry. In-class hands-on projects will be done to practice full drop, half drop, brick, diamond, mirror and scatter-toss repeats. Other topics include precise measurements, color editing, define pattern, pattern layers, manual pattern layout using both transform and offset options, technical requirements for mass production, and more. Adobe Photoshop is ideal for continuous tone artwork and is equally important as Adobe Illustrator is for vector artwork. Equal knowledge of both programs is crucial for professional level work in the field of surface/textile design.

    Prerequisite: Digital Design 1 or basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Spring

  • ACN-580W

    Valentine Card Letterpress Wk

    Design, hand-set and letterpress print your own unique valentine cards, notes or gifts using Archetype's extensive collection of foundry type, ornaments, dingbats, and decorative rules. Students will be introduced to the basics of hand-set typography and letterpress printing of the Vandercook proof press. Class meets at Art Center's Archetype Press.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring

  • ACN-122W

    Write/Illus Books for Children

    Explore the principles of children's books and learn what is needed to approach a publisher. Through individual and group critiques, in-class lectures and visual presentations, you will learn the process of writing and illustrating a children's book, including character development, revisions, pacing and design. Discussions will also cover the business side of the industry, including topics like payment, royalties and licensing. The goal? By the end of the term you will be able to develop a presentable picture book dummy suitable for submitting to a publisher.

    Basic drawing skills are recommended but not required.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer