When it comes time to apply for jobs in your chosen profession once you graduated from art school, it’s nice to have a competitive advantage. As a student at Academy of Art University, we provide you with a comprehensive foundational skill set that puts you a head above the competition. One way we do this is through our foundations courses. Foundations courses teach students core, fundamental skills in drawing, painting, color, and design. These are required for every student, regardless of skill level. Individual majors will require different foundations courses based on the needs of each program. The focus on teaching foundations has been part of Academy of Art University’s curriculum from its founding 90 years ago, and it remains an important element to this day

What We Teach

Foundations courses focus on the basics, improving the essential skills required for students to specialize in their chosen areas of focus. Courses cover such topics as:

Analysis of Form
You’ll learn to analyze light and shadow, utilizing the five-value system, and apply form/cast shadow edge distinctions to a model form using charcoal. You’ll focus on perspective, composition, and value pattern concepts.
Figure Drawing
You’ll learn the essential and basic principles of drawing the human figure with accuracy to develop an understanding of gesture, proportion, rhythm, balance, structure, and musculature.
Figure Modeling
You’ll explore human proportion, structure, geometry, balance, and anatomy working on projects designed to enhance your understanding of 3D form, volume, and space.
You’ll learn the essential principles of perspective used to create artistic imagery. Plus, learn to integrate figures into scenes and plot light, shadows, and reflections to create believable environments.
Sketching for Communication
Discover how to draw objects, figures, and environments to scale and in perspective utilizing compositional strategies and camera angles within sequential imagery.
Color and Design
Master color with an in-depth study of color and design principles, including color harmony, muting and toning colors, color psychology, advancing/receding color, simultaneous contrast, color proportion, and the influence of light temperature on color, design unity, and visual emphasis.

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