Studio: Fine Arts

Fine Arts Studio

Heather O'Connell Polacik, Assistant Principal 
The Fine Arts Department provides a rigorous conservatory experience in art education. During the first two years, traditional skills and disciplines are stressed through our foundation level courses which are required by all art majors regardless of what year they enter LaGuardia. This program is based in fine art and prepares students for post-secondary education and twenty-first century careers in the arts related industries.  
Students are grouped heterogeneously. Within each class, the range of abilities, both academic and artistic, is accommodated through individual and small group instruction.

Course Offerings

Advanced Painting – Students will explore a variety of techniques using oil or acrylic paints. Students will utilize reproductions and other reference material, including museum and gallery resources.

Advanced Printmaking – Students will create monotypes, woodcuts, multi-block prints, acid etchings, lithography, and silkscreen.

Anatomy – This course explores figure drawing from observation, including bones, muscles, and nomenclature. Students will learn the skeletal structure and use different techniques in rendering to illustrate the body in action.

Architecture – This course introduces students to the basic principles of architecture. Students will apply these principles towards the completion of a semester long project. Students will learn about structural forms, design functional spaces, develop mechanical drawings and create 3-dimensional models.

Art History – This year-long course takes a chronological approach in studying major art forms and periods from Paleolithic to the present. While visual analysis is a fundamental tool of the art historian, art history emphasizes understanding how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of works of art.

Art History, Advanced Placement – This college-level course involves critical thinking and develops an understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting, and other media. Students examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present from a variety of cultures. While visual analysis is a fundamental tool of the art historian, art history emphasizes understanding how and why works of art function in context, considering such issues as patronage, gender, and the functions and effects of works of art. At the end of the course, students are expected to take the Advanced Placement examination in Art History.

Basic Ceramics – Students will learn basic ceramic methods, including pinch pot, slab, and coiling. Artwork created include functional objects, as well as sculpture.

Basic Printmaking – Students will learn basic print making techniques, including etching, linoleum block printing, and woodblock printing.

Digital Media Design – This is an advanced design course using the computer as a tool to express advanced design concepts. Students will learn Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, PowerPoint, film making, web design, and animation.

Fashion Art – Students will design women’s, children’s, and men’s unconstructed clothing based on a variety of sources: construction lines, other designers, popular media, history, nature, and man-made objects. Using a variety of illustrative techniques, students will present their designs. Creation of a “designer’s book”, which can be used as a portfolio for admission to major post-secondary fashion institutions, is required.

Illustration – The emphasis of this course is on drawing skills to create pieces suitable for advertising, editorial, books, and magazines, and medical/scientific journals. Variety of styles and techniques are explored.

Interior Design – Similar skills used in architecture will be used to create scale drawings, architectural lettering, floor plans, elevations, watercolor rendering, and perspective drawings. Students will create 3-dimensional models that include symbols used in interior design for fixtures and furnishings. The focus will be on site-specific and client-commissioned projects.

Pen and Ink Illustration – Emphasis will be placed on using pen and ink for illustrations in books, magazine spot drawings, school publications, portraits, greeting cards, etc. Techniques used will include stippling, cross-hatching, and drawing with various types of lines. Students will be introduced to the field of Medical/Scientific Illustration.

Photography 1 – Students will learn how to use the equipment, techniques and processes of black-and-white photography. They will develop the ability to “see” photographically as an art form. Emphasis will be placed on photography as an art form which uses metaphor, irony, narrative, as well as essentials of graphic design line, shape, texture, and values. Hand finishing techniques will be explored. Students will mount work for presentation.

Photography 2 – Based on skills developed in Beginning Photography, students will learn advanced techniques in printing and photo manipulation. The course introduces the student to studio lighting, new films, and chemicals.

Realistic Drawing – This drawing class focuses on creating realistic imagery. It will sharpen observation skills, and unique choices of subjects will be emphasized. A variety of media will be used such as: graphite pencil, colored pencils, pastels, pen and ink, markers, silverpoint on a variety of papers. Techniques in each medium will be developed with creative interpretation as the major goal.

Sculpture 1 – Students will be introduced to additive (building up as in clay sculpture), subtractive (carving), assemblage (metals or other materials, found objects, papers) constructions, and kinetic sculpture. Representational and nonrepresentational subject matter will be explored. Preliminary sketches will be used in creating sculpture.

Sculpture 2 – Students will use varied materials including clay, stone, metal, and paper to create several 3-dimensional works of art. Students gain advanced skills in clay, mixed media, and stone sculpting.

Studio Art: 2D Design, Advanced Placement – For this portfolio course, students are asked to demonstrate mastery of 2-D design through any two-dimensional medium or process, including, but not limited to, graphic design, digital imaging, photography, collage, fabric design, weaving, fashion design, fashion illustration, painting and printmaking. Video clips, DVDs, CDs and three-dimensional works may not be submitted. However, still images from videos or films are accepted.

Studio Art: 3D Design, Advanced Placement – For this portfolio course, students are asked to demonstrate mastery of 3-D design through any three-dimensional approach, including, but not limited to, figurative or nonfigurative sculpture, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, glass work, installation, assemblage and 3-D fabric/fiber arts. There is no preferred (or unacceptable) style or content.

Studio Practice 1 (Basic Drawing) – Students will create drawings from observation. Emphasis will be placed on composition and using values (darks and lights) and textures to create two-dimensional visions of three-dimensional objectives.

Studio Practice 2 (Basic Painting in Water-Based Media) – This course introduces the students to color theory. Using watercolor and other color media, students will explore composition and using colors, values (darks and lights), and textures to create two-dimensional visions of three-dimensional objectives.

Studio Practice 3 (Basic Graphic Design) – This course provides an introduction to graphic design and commercial art. Using principles and elements of design, students will create balance, movement, space, proportion, variety, composition, mass, emphasis, and repetition.

Studio Practice 4 (Basic Painting – Oils and Acrylic) – This is the culminating course in the foundation program, which brings into use the student’s skill in drawing, color, and design. Students apply the foundation skills to create works using oil or acrylic paint.

Watercolor Painting – Application of aquarelle (transparent) watercolor techniques introduced in Studio Practice 2. Variety of subject matter includes landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still lifes, interiors, and figures. Techniques such as wet on wet, wet on dry, layered, stop out, resist, mixed media.

Freshman Year

Fall Spring
Studio Practice 1 – Basic Drawing (Double Period) Studio Practice 2 – Basic Painting in Water-based Media (Double Period)

Sophomore Year

Fall Spring
Studio Practice 3 – Basic Graphic Design (Double Period) Studio Practice 4 – Basic Painting – Oils and Acrylic (Double Period)
Basic Printmaking (Single Period) Basic Ceramics (Single Period)

Junior & Senior Year (Double Period Courses)

Fall Spring
Photography Photography
Sculpture Sculpture
Advanced Painting 1 Advanced Painting 1
Mural Painting Advanced Printmaking
Advanced Painting Watercolor
Architecture Interior Design
Digital Media Digital Media

Junior & Senior Year (Single Period Courses)

Fall Spring
Pen and Ink Anatomy
Anatomy Realistic Drawing
Illustration Fashion
Art History Art History
AP Art History AP Art History
AP Studio Art 1 AP Studio Art 2