Art Center Classes // Robert Pastrana

Art Center Classes // Robert Pastrana


ACN 380 // Classes Start Wednesday, May 15th

Sharpen your conceptual problem-solving ability while exploring the creative process in this portfolio building class. Near weekly demos in a variety of mediums are a class staple, as is an overview of the field of illustration. Click for more info.

ACN 128 // Classes Start Thursday, May 16th

To the uninitiated, color can be mysterious and sometimes even frustrating. In this seven-week class, you'll learn how to both control color and develop methods for choosing winning color palettes for your work. We'll explore the myths associated with the psychology of color, and address how color is used in different cultures. Lectures cover both digital and traditional media applications of color. Click for more info.

ACN 127 // Classes Start Thursday, July 11th

Whether you're designing a layout or painting a picture, composition is more than a way to organize the elements on your page. The best compositions help us achieve our main goal – to create memorable and effective visuals that both resonate and communicate clearly with our audience. Click for more info.

 
ACN 484W // Saturday, June 8th // 9am to 5pm

In this one-day workshop, students will be introduced to both visual and verbal tools that will help them come up with a wide range of smart, viable concepts for their work - because out in the field, one idea is never enough. Click for more info.

ACN 419W // Saturday, June 29th // 9am to 5pm

In this one-day workshop, students will gain a solid understanding of each step of the the creative process. Whether you're painting, drawing, or designing, having a solid grasp of the creative process will help you generate better ideas and make better decisions – from your first sketch to your finished project. Click for more info.

 
 
illustration
ACN 380 // Classes Start Wednesday, May 15th

Sharpen your conceptual problem-solving ability while exploring the creative process in this portfolio building class. Near weekly demos in a variety of mediums are a class staple, as is an overview of the field of illustration.


While we explore various mediums and techniques, it's equally important to learn about problem solving and the creative process. With that in mind, the early part of the semester is spent identifying and exploring the decisions that need to be made before a painting can be successful. Doing so has helped both beginners and intermediate students achieve the results shown below.

Click on an image to enlarge.

Close

This class helps beginning and intermediate students explore the many different approaches that professional illustrators bring to their work. We focus on this in two ways – by exploring the painting process and by introducing proper technique through a wide range of different media.

We start by learning how to come up with strong conceptual solutions for our work. This is followed by instruction about color and composition, and how both are intrinsic to the visual storytelling that illustrators do.

Demos are shown throughout the course. Different ways one can use acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, oils or alkyds, and mixed media are emphasized. Note that students aren't expected to try all of the mediums demonstrated throughout the semester.
The demos are meant to introduce new, novel techniques and materials to the class as a means to inspire further exploration.

This class is beneficial as both an introduction to the field of illustration and for portfolio development. Students looking to potentially enter the day program are especially well served by this class.


Syllabus

Week 1 - Class Overview
• The Illustration Process
• Illustration - A Good Idea and a Good Painting
• The Difference Between Fine Art and Illustration
• Coming Up with Ideas: Brainstorming
• The Best Start - Really Ugly Sketches
• How Print Size Affects Your Composition
• How to Test Your Ideas

Week 2 - The Illustration Process In Action
• Demo - Refining Your Rough Sketches
• How to Define Conceptual and Visual Priorities
• All Things Value
• Demo - The All-Important Value Study
• Demo - Three Ways to Get Your Drawing on the Board

Week 3 - Value and Color
• Color Theory Overview
• Demo - Translating Your Value Study to Color
• Classwork - Color Studies

Week 4 - How to Start a Painting
• Starting a Painting Well - Underpainting Explained
• Demo - Acrylic, Part One - Building your Foundation

Week 5 - How to Finish a Painting
• How to Finish a Painting - Goals
• Demo - Blending in Acrylic
• Demo - Acrylic, Part Two - Three Ways to Blend
• How to Stay True to a Successful Study
• Second Assignment - Using Texture Medium

Week 6 - Acrylic the Easy Way
• Demo - Applying Texture Medium
• The Benefits of Toning Your Board
• Value Oriented Color vs. Impressionistic Color
• The Fourth Way to Blend in Acrylic
• Demo - Drybrushing as a Substitute for Blending
• Class Crit - First Assignment

Week 7 - Work In Class
• Work in Class - Texture Assignment
• In Progress - Class Crit

Week 8 - Transparent Color
• Demo - Working on Different Surfaces - Stretching Paper
• Demo - Using Transparent Watercolor
• Demo - Opaque and Transparent Watercolor

Week 9 - Mixing Mediums
• Demo - Making (Almost) Any Surface Paintable
• Work in Class

Week 10 - Work In Class
• Work in Class
• Proposal for Open Final

Week 11 - Colored Pencil Techniques
• Watercolors Due - Class Crit
• Demo - Colored Pencil Techniques (Making Colored Pencils Look Like Pastels)
• Sketches Due: Final Assignment

Week 12 - Oils and Alkyds
The Difference Between Oils and Alkyds
• Demo - Mixed Media (Using Acrylics with Oils or Alkyds)
• Studies Due: Final Assignment

Week 13 - Glazing
• Demo - Glazing Acrylic Work with Oils or Alkyds
• Work in Class on Final

Week 14 - Being an Illustrator
• More Than Painting - Being an Illustrator
• Illustration Resources
• Final Crit

 
color
ACN 128 // Classes Start Thursday // May 16th

To the uninitiated, color can be mysterious and sometimes even frustrating. In this seven-week class, you'll learn how to both control color and develop methods for choosing winning color palettes for your work. We'll explore the myths associated with the psychology of color, and address how color is used in different cultures. Lectures cover both digital and traditional media applications of color.


This class is for beginning and intermediate students looking to better understand and manage color, whether the student works with pigment or digital media.

Students will learn to identify and control the three attributes of color, learn different methods for selecting color for their work, and learn about the psychology of color.

The information best benefits those with interests in illustration, graphic design, fine art, photography and advertising.


Syllabus

Week 01 - Class Overview
• Class Introduction
• The Only Two Problems You’ll Ever Have With Color
• How We See
• The Three Attributes of Color

Week 02 - Value
• The Importance of Value
• The Relativity of Value
• Mood and Value
• Form and Value
• Focus and Value

Week 03 - Hue
• The Color Wheel – Organizing Color
• Additive and Subtractive Color
• Simplifying and Managing Hues
• Color Temperature

Week 04 - Saturation
• The Two Ways of Controlling Saturation
• Using Saturation to Communicate Emotionally
• Matching a Color

Week 05 - Color Relationships
• Relational Palettes and What They Do
• The Danger of Predetermined Palettes
• Two Approaches to Unifying Color
• A Better Way to Choose Color

Week 06 - The Psychology of Color
• Using Color to Describe Emotion
• The Pecking Order of Emotional Communication
• Color Across Culture

Week 07 - Putting it All Together
• Responsible Color
• Self Expression vs. Function

 
composition
ACN 127 // Classes Start Thursday // July 11th

Whether you're designing a layout or painting a picture, composition is more than a way to organize the elements on your page. The best compositions help us achieve our main goal – to create memorable and effective visuals that both resonate and communicate clearly with our audience.


This class is about visual communication. Instead of concentrating on the mere mechanics of composition, students will learn to identify and control core visual elements that do the work of conveying the concepts and emotions that form the bones of our graphic work.

Class instruction is geared towards beginning and intermediate students. A content-directed approach is emphasized as students learn how to use the tools of composition, use compositional themes, and prioritize information on the page.

The class is taught from two perspectives - a picture makers point of view (fine artists, illustrators, and photographers) and a graphic designers point of view. Having both disciplines in the same class helps students attain a deeper understanding of the material.

For their final assignment, students are encouraged to work within their specific area of interest.


Syllabus

Week 1 - Introduction to Composition
• Composition is Communication
• Separating Form from Content
• An Introduction to Content-Driven Design

Week 2 - Compositional Elements
• The Tools of Composition
• How Composition Communicates
• Compositional Themes
• Shape Awareness
• The 'Order' of Seeing

Week 3 - Informal Composition
• Creating Hierarchy
• Guiding the Viewer's Eye
• Composing Visual Images
• Design Your Final

Week 4 - Formal Composition
• Using Grids
• Variety and Unity
• Creating and Controlling Space
• Sketches/Comps for Your Final Project

Week 5 - Value and Color
• How Value Creates Hierarchy
• Value First
• Value Keys
• Color and Composition

Week 6 - Work in Class
• Finals in Progress
• Composition Review

Week 7 - Putting it All Together
• Things to Do When You're Stuck
• Final Presentation

 
idea
ACN 484W // Saturday, June 8th // 9am to 5pm

In this one-day workshop, students will be introduced to both visual and verbal tools that will help them come up with a wide range of smart, viable concepts for their work - because out in the field, one idea is never enough.


All great work starts out with a great idea. This class will teach students the different techniques that creative professionals use to come up with clear and engaging solutions for their work.

Working under the premise that we are all naturally creative, students will learn methods to expand their innate abilities. Creative play is emphasized as a way to develop the ability to quickly get in the 'zone'.

This workshop will benefit those with an interest in any major, as the class covers both visual and verbal-oriented problem solving.


Topics Covered

• The differences between creative play and creative problem solving - and how both are necessary.

• How to use form and function to your advantage.

• How to put yourself in a creative state of mind - comparing stress and play.

• Visual and verbal methods of idea generation.

• How to (and how not to) brainstorm.

• Using external and / or random cues to help generate ideas.

• How to use external limitations to your advantage.

• Becoming aware of internal limitations.

• Using your audience to help define your solutions.

• Using archetypes to expand your solutions.

• The creative process simplified, from idea to final execution and how it differs from what most people do today.

• How to work creatively in a group atmosphere and how it differs from working alone.

• How great ideas and the processes needed to create them vary little between the majority of the arts.

 
process
ACN 484W // Saturday, June 29th // 9am to 5pm

In this one-day workshop, students will gain a solid understanding of each step of the the creative process. Whether you're painting, drawing, or designing, having a solid grasp of the creative process will help you generate better ideas and make better decisions – from your first sketch to your finished project.


Most people start doing creative work before they've learned how to smartly manage the process. They blame inexperience for their initial lack of success, yet fail to realize an important contributing factor – a haphazard approach to the necessary set of decisions that bring our ideas into reality.

Outside of personal exploration, every creative endeavor moves from the idea stage through a series of decisions that end up as your finished work. Knowing these steps and doing them in the right order has both a profound effect on the quality of your work and the amount of time (and stress) it takes to execute it.

We'll go over each step of the creative process in detail, with exercises accompanying each section to reinforce best practices as we make our way through the creative process.


Topics Covered

• What to do before you start - finding the right direction

• How to come up with a wide range of different ideas

• Why you shouldn't doodle too much if you're just starting out

• The three rules for your first round of sketches

• Creating visual structure and hierarchy

• When to look at visual reference (and why you shouldn't do it too early in the creative process)

• Compensate for inexperience by working incrementally

• Transitioning your initial ideas into concrete visuals

• The three properties of color (and which two are most important)

• How value affects hierarchy

• How value sets up color

• Which color property is responsible for mood and emotion

• The pecking order of visual communication

• How to 'stay on message' throughout the entire creative process