During this course, students were given ample opportunity to work independently so they could concentrate on their own interests and focus on their own projects. Instruction time would introduce the class to concepts such as cloning (turning photos into paintings) and compositing (combining multiple images to create a single one). Students were given the option of which creative projects to submit for their grades. This meant that during a typical class work period, student projects would range from cloning personal photos to working on tribal and kaleidoscope drawings to creating original and derivative characters, amongst others. Before being given the freedom to explore their ideas, students were required to present their plan for class and instructor feedback to be certain the artistic vision was clear and purposeful. This also provided an opportunity for relevant discussions on technique and creativity, as well as important issues such as copyright laws. Grades were comprised both of critical thinking and application of skill, meaning that students needed to have a clear artistic plan with a thought out and well executed final product.
The Digital Painting course utilized Wacom pen tablets so that students would get the feeling of actually drawing. Corel Painting was the software the class used. This course ended up being so successful that Sandy Novak is contemplating offering it in a regular semester and not just in the summer. This is one class that fits the bill as both fun for learning and valuable for future use!
~ Gretchen Dreimiller