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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-485W

    Business of Art:Getting Start

    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-189W

    Color in Painting 3-Day Intsv

    To focus on color that creates space, mood and light, this three-day intensive will use the "light keys in nature" approach to color that originated with American Impressionist Henry Hensche, the direct successor to the great Charles Hawthorne. Relating this to Monet's ideas on color, we will examine how composition and form can be expressed through color planes. Using Hensche's approach as a basis, we will also examine principles of composition as an example of monumental space. Students will also be encouraged to read Hensche's and Hawthorne's books on painting.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Painting or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-223W

    Costume + Fashion Design

    Explore the conceptual garment design and illustration methods of the entertainment and fashion design industries. This class will cover design foundations, concept development methods, marker and colored pencil illustration techniques, historic costume research and contemporary fashion. Students may use manual or digital methods to execute project concepts and may choose to focus on designs for costume, fashion or video game character costumes. No sewing is involved. Ideal for students interested in costume design, fashion design, and video game character design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • ACN-419W

    Creative Process Demystified

    This one-day course will help to demystify the creative process. Whether your project involves a logo, website, illustration or entertainment design-oriented work, by the end of the day, you'll have a solid understanding of each of the different stages of the creative process and how to use them in your particular area of interest to come up with more creative solutions and make better decisions from the early sketch to the final project in the fields of illustration, graphic design, entertainment design and advertising.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • 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-020W

    Direct Painting: Figure

    This workshop is designed for students with some painting experience who are seeking to reconnect with paint, color and brush. Working quickly from live models, students will complete one or more paintings per session. Short presentations will suggest a direction for the day and will cover some of the following artists: Lucian Freud, Eduard Manet, Alice Neel, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Chaim Soutine and Henri Matisse.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall and Summer

  • 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-497W

    Fulfilling the Dream: Cmc-3

    Building on the first two sections of this class, you will now be ready to address other important issues necessary to begin a successful new career. Continuing on the development of your business plan or life plan, you will address such issues as: forms of management; intellectual property; team building and communication; identifying the competition; identifying your competitive advantage; location; financing your new venture; and defining success. Once finished, you will have the tools necessary to proceed, confident that you have examined the necessary aspects of a fulfilling career, and ready to embrace a new career dimension of your own design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Spring and Summer

  • 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-015

    Intro to Fig. Drawing: Summer

    In this intensive summer course, you will develop observational drawing skills as you investigate proportion, form and gesture. Working from a model, the elements of drawing the human figure and the principles of composition will be examined. The ability to draw the human figure is a vital skill for academic and professional success in many areas of art and design. This class is an essential first step for those planning to study animation, illustration, costume design, character design and concept design. Charcoal, graphite pencil and various other media are used.

    2 units

    Class regularly offered in 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-300W

    Invention Innovation: Products

    This course builds the skills independent designers need to develop, produce and distribute their own products. You will design and develop a product line and a manufacturing company, identify and secure intellectual property, write a business plan, evaluate its feasibility and raise funds. You will also apply the same knowledge to license a product line to an actual manufacturer, as well as generate a business plan and licensing packet to send out to potential licensees. The course uses weekly visual, verbal and writing exercises to show designers the similarities between business and design.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-552W

    Letterpress Wood Type

    Get your hands dirty! Experience the collection of vintage wood type at Archetype Press. 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 two 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 that may get ink on them.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Fall, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-298W

    Manufacturing Techniques

    As a manufacturing center, Los Angeles provides a tremendous resource for designers; just about anything you want to create or put into production can be made here. In this seven-week course, you will receive information on how to work with a wide range of materials and industrial processes including glass, wood, metal, plastic and ceramics. Materials, technologies, processes, production, product planning and the business context of manufacturing will be explored. This class also includes information about working with vendors in the United States and outsourcing overseas, lifecycle analysis, recycling and lean manufacturing methods. Design exercises will be given to explore materials and manufacturing processes.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • 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-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-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, Spring and Summer

  • ACN-210

    Surrealist Pen and Ink

    This new summer-only course is designed for those who want to hone their skills in pen and ink, explore the use of collage techniques in drawing, or gain some hands-on experience with surrealist art. Learn techniques of contour line drawing, shading, pointillism, scumbling, cross hatching, and design fundamentals in ink drawings. Experiment with typography, adding prose and poetry to your work. Create surreal collages based on the techniques perfected by Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, and Man Ray. For the experienced and the beginner alike.

    No prerequisites, however prior drawing experience is recommended.

    1 unit

    Class regularly offered in Summer

  • ACN-307W

    Transpor-Tainment

    From Rey's speeder in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Mercedes' Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept, the lines between sci-fi, production, concept and entertainment are becoming blurred. Automotive design is often energized by the open-minded spirit of the entertainment industry and, likewise, vehicles designed for entertainment purposes need a sense of realism through the fundamentals of transportation design. This intermediate-level transportation/entertainment vehicle design course embraces and nurtures these notions by exploring what it takes to transport humans (and other creatures) from point A to point B. This course examines buyer/character, usage/theme, ideation sketch development and final renderings through two intensive projects.

    Prerequisites: Introduction to Product and Transportation Design or Introduction to Entertainment Design, or by permission of an ArtCenter advisor. Concurrent enrollment in Introduction to Communication Sketching or Visual Communication and Form Development is strongly recommended.

    Noncredit

    Class regularly offered in Summer