Foundational Courses

2D Foundations

2D Foundations, 3D Foundations, and Drawing I are the foundational requirements for all students majoring in studio art or design (for both the BA and BFA degrees). Foundational courses establish a base for the practice and principles for all visual expression.

These three courses introduce students to the compositional strategies that artists and designers use instinctually and purposefully in their work. Foundational courses expose students to craft through a variety of contemporary mediums and techniques (from hands-on to digital) to execute those compositional strategies. Just as importantly, students also learn conceptual development and research strategies and are given real-world context by being introduced to contemporary artists and designers.

The objective of the foundational courses is for students to learn and demonstrate an advanced understanding of the fundamentals of design and drawing through the creative application of learned principles in each of the compositions completed for the courses. Students begin to identify and strengthen their individual art/design statement and to model that statement both visually and verbally. Through class discussion and critique, students strengthen their ability to think and speak critically and confidently about their work and the work of their peers.

For students who have an idea of their path within art or design initially, as well as for those who don’t, the foundations' courses allow time for exploration of media, method, and personal drive. Foundations courses are meant to be taken in the first two years, in order for students to establish a conceptual and technical base, connect with their peer group, and fully explore media through two and three-dimensional strategies.

Skills and Techniques Acquired:

  • Observational Drawing

  • Compositional Strategies for 2D mediums and surface and 3D space

  • Conceptual Development and Research Strategies

  • Color Theory

  • Critical thinking and writing

  • Engagement with 4D/Time-based media

  • Hands-on media: pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, acrylic paint, collage, mixed media  

  • Digital Media: Adobe Creative Suite- Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere


Questions about foundational courses? General questions can be sent to, or, you can contact Director of Undergraduate Studies, Elyse Speaks.