Course Description

RISD CE teen course: Art School Prep: Fundamentals of Design

If art is a language, formal design concepts constitute its "grammar." Through a series of projects, young artists will develop fluency in this language by learning to incorporate these concepts into their work. Through lectures and demonstrations the instructor first establishes a common vocabulary for design elements and their ruling principles, which provide the framework for the projects. Students will start each project with a series of warm up sketches that will lead them toward their final projects. Early projects include a still life, and a 2D abstract work made of cardboard and based on students’ personality traits. They’ll then dive into designing and creating two sculptures using materials that are both easy to understand and to manipulate. Students will produce 2D and 3D works that they can then use as the basis of a strong portfolio.


Students must be age 13-17 to participate.



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Section Title
Art School Prep: Fundamentals of Design
Jan 16, 2021 to Feb 20, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $315.00 Click here to get more information
Drop Request Deadline
Feb 06, 2021
Transfer Request Deadline
Jan 09, 2021
Withdrawal Request Deadline
Jan 16, 2021 to Feb 20, 2021
Required Software/Technology
Students will need access to a computer and internet, and a smartphone or a camera to document your work.
Necessary Supplies/Text(s)

Must have: 

  • Paper, Cardboard, Foam Board Sheets

(Examples: Printer paper, drawing paper, newspaper ads, magazines, delivery boxes, cereal box, cracker box, toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, any sort of chipboard and cardboard material. We are mostly going to work with what we have at home.)

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat or surface to cut on
  • X-acto knife or box cutter
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Elmer's glue
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Clay or Playdough (I’ll also include a video on how to make porcelain dough which needs Elmer's glue, starch and Vaseline)
  • A potted plant, plastic planter, ceramic planter or a succulent (If you have no potted plants, don't worry, we can figure something out)

Fun to Have:

  • Markers
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Double-sided tape
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