AR 122 Two Dimensional Design
Jerry Nevins, Professor
Albertus Magnus College

Video tour of all projects
Part 1
Part 2

Grading Criteria... How am I doing?
Office: 203 Aquinas Hall

Examples of the projects in thumbnail form:Day classes

Project list with Video Links

Previous video tour of each project
Projects 1-7
Projects 8-15
Projects 16-24



The objective of this course is to introduce you to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design. Familiarity with the terminology, concepts and basic materials utilized in the studio by visual artists will be explored. An understanding of two dimensional design principles underlies all 2-D art from drawing and painting to photography, illustration and graphic design.

We will exploit the powerful manipulative power of the computer using Adobe Photoshop.

Design is the process of selection of all visual elements used by artists to express themselves. These elements are shape, value, texture, color, line, space and mass. Visual sensitivity and a working knowledge of the design elements is developed by solving a series of 2-D problems, employing a variety of media and materials.

Principles taught in this course have direct application to all art media and provide a foundation and direction for learning skills in other courses.

The studio experience is different from most classes and is interactive by nature. As concepts are presented, projects will be assigned to provide an opportunity to visually express an understanding of the design principles. This interactive mode functions best when all members of the class participate and share their ideas. There is a definite benefit to evaluating projects in progress to ensure successful visual solutions. Building your portfolio of images on each week is vital to doing well and making progress in this class.

This is an A level course and is part of the general education program, "Invitation to Insight" and it fulfils the fine arts requirement. As such, the goals of the class as well as those stated above are to encourage you in:

Creative thinking

Informed engagement of works of art

Developing your vocabulary in art to be able to articulate visual ideas more fully.

Provide an overview of how the ideas in this course illuminate understanding of all two dimensional art including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, graphic design, etc.

The major topics to be covered are:

Introduction to digital bitmapped or raster imaging.

Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Perspective and Color.

Projects will be assigned to visually realize the design principles covered.

The final grade will be a composite of all completed projects and an evaluation of your class participation on the class blog.

Learning Outcomes:

1. To discover the basic principles of two dimensional design through the manipulation of black, white and gray in studying the elements of design.

2. To encourage you to adopt a creative approach to problem solving and to become self-critical in the editing of the work.

3. To develop a vocabulary of terms specific to the visual arts and particularly two dimensional art.


grouping and
figure and ground
Design using chance and happenstance.

Important! Create a Goole Drive folder and subfolder for each project and share it with me as the first thing to do. Video

Download and install Photoshop. It is made available to you as part of your online class. Do this:

1) Go to
2) Type your Albertus email address under where it says sign in. Click Continue.
3) It will redirect you to the Albertus sign in portal. Sign in like you normally do.
4) Scroll down the page until you see "creative cloud." Click download.
5) Go through the installation process. and then download photoshop through the creative cloud application on your desktop.

Update: new video using Photoshop 2021 The tools are the same today as in the past.


Do at least 6 - 10 pieces for each project!

1. Basic Elements. Dot(s) on a white background List of 4800 adjectives for this project here. Video Demonstration of project 1 here Demonstration using Photoshop CC 2017 here

2. Discovered Design... Random dots and the relationship of positive and negative space. Video Demonstration of project 2

3. The Grid as a Design Device. Video Demonstration of project 3

4. Mirrored Tiles.... Exploring reflection.Video Demonstration of project 4

5. Rotate the tiles, then create 6X6 grid       Video

6 Rotation...Single letter Radial Symmetry Video Demonstration of project

7. Develop three designs where positive space is dominant in a grid structure, Negative space is dominant in a grid structure and where both have equal weight. Video Demonstration of project 6

8. Create a stamp from photographic image reduced to a bitmap, explore it in repetition in a grid. Video Demonstration of project 7

9. Mirror a triangle, create a kaleidescopic pattern.

10. The Quarter Circle, Combinatorics Video Demonstration of project

11. Color studies using quarter circle designs
Monchromatic value study Video

12. Analogous color, complimentary color studies Video

13.Four pieces exploring reflection and rotation.  The cropped letterform.Video Demonstration of project 13

14. Dimensional rendering, shadows, directed light, embossed formsVideo Demonstration of project

15. Create a cube and tesselate it Video

16. Action script, Spiral forms Video
2018 Video

17. 10 way symmetry drawing Video

18. Letterforms as a design element, radial symmetry, repetition, four pieces. Video Demonstration of project 12

19. Knotwork, Celtic design.... from simple to complex. Great Introduction and tutorial, here. Video Demonstration of project 19

20. The Celtic Knot, Part 2  Newer Video, do this

21. The Painting Machine Write action script Video

22. Fractals: a Glimpse of Infinity 2 minute video introducing what a fractal is.... Video demonstration of project 13. Video:

Ultra Fractal, Part I

UltraFractal, Part II

Online Fractal generator, may use to explore and export images without downloading Ultrafractal

23. Apophysis and Flame Fractals  Video

24. Tesselations based on the work of M.C. Escher

Video Demonstration/ project 24 tutorial is here

Watch M.C. Escher create his "Snakes" Woodcut... Shows him at work in this traditional printmaking technique 1 min 56 sec.


Academic Expectations:

Ask questions about the problem and how it relates to art issues. Show an interest in your own work and what the rest of the class is doing. Do more work that is required by the class assignments. Try to improve you skills with each new problem. Do your best... help others. A portfolio of all of the semester's work will be reviewed at the end of the term. Each project should be put into its own folder on your google drive and there should be 6-10 or more variations in it. Lable the folders project 1, project 2, etc. Each folder is worth 4 points.

Tradition of Honor: As a member of the Albertus Magnus College Community, each student taking this course agrees to uphold the principles of honor set forth by this community, to defend these principles against abuse or misuse and to abide by the regulations of the College. To this end, every student must write and sign the following statement at the end of each examination: "I declare the Honor Pledge."

Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.

Appropriate Classroom Conduct: Students are expected to show a respect for order, the rights of others, and to exemplify a sense of honor and integrity in the classroom. Student conduct is considered an integral part of the educational process. Therefore, no student should be denied the right to learn as a direct result of disruptions
in the classroom. Active learning, open inquiry, and the free expression of informed opinion are the foundations of a liberal education at Albertus Magnus College. However, student behavior that interferes with an instructor's ability to conduct the class is prohibited. Students are expected to be considerate and respectful of the rights, views, and interests of other students and faculty. The faculty member will take appropriate action if students do not abide by these rules.

Accommodations for Special Needs: Albertus Magnus College is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from its programs and services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Office of Disability Services is responsible for the determination of appropriate accommodations for students who encounter barriers due to disability. Contact the Office of Disability Services at or 203-672-6671 to schedule an intake interview and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, the Office of Disability Services will provide you and your instructor with a Letter of Accommodation. Please discuss the accommodations with your instructors as early in your courses as possible

The Germain Center for Academic Success provides quality tutoring services to all students at Albertus Magnus College. Students can make appointments by booking through Navigate, emailing, or calling 203-773-8590. The Germain Center is open for normal hours during the academic year (Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.; Friday, 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.; Saturday, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.) and abbreviated, virtual hours during the winter intersession and mod five. Further, (Online Tutoring 24/7) provides online tutoring for many subjects throughout the year -- even when the Germain Center is closed. Students can access through the link at the top of their eLearning pages. If students have any questions about tutoring, they can email

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The Registrar's Office, Financial Aid, Human Resources, and the Business Office are now located in the former PGS suite, now called the Student Administrative Services Suite, found on the ground floor of Aquinas Hall.



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Recommended Text: Having a copy of one of these texts will greatly enhance your understanding of and ability to create novel designs in this class.

Wong, Wucius, Visual Design on the Computer, 2nd Edition many almost new copies at Amazon starting at $7.99

Lewandowsky and Zeischegg, A Practical Guide to Digital Design Available starting at $5.99 at Amazon... the link will take you there

Recommended Reading:

Arnheim, R. Art and Visual Perception. ________.

Visual Thinking, De Sausmarez, Maurice.

Basic Design:

The Dynamics of Visual Form. Fisher, M.P. and Zelanski, P.,

Design, Principles and Problems. Grillo, Paul Jacques.

Form, Function and Design. Klee, Paul.

Pedagogical Sketch Book. Larkin, Eugene.

Design: The Search for Unity. Itten, Johannes.

Design and Form; The Basic Course at the Bauhaus. ____________.

The Elements of Color. Paratore, Philip Carlo.

Art and Design. Sharpe, Deborah T.

The Psychology of Color and Design. Wong, Wucius.

Principles of Color Design. __________.

Principles of Two-Dimensional Design.

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Class Blog




Morphing Cell
Student Project
Albertus Magnus College
8" X 8"