Introduction to Computer Art

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ART 250

       Course Name: Introduction to Computer Art

       Credits: 3 (0 lecture; 6 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides hands-on experience with graphic arts, using computer as primary tool for generation and manipulation of visual images. Content includes use of computer hardware, software as well as additional peripheral components as media to create, store, sort, alter, combine and otherwise manipulate images as ideas for use in both fine and applied art and design. Corel Painter used as the main software.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Produce unique visual images using computer hardware and software.
  2. Solve aesthetic and conceptual visual problems with techniques that reinforce the artist's/designer's concept.
  3. Integrate the design process into image-making.
  4. Demonstrate effective use of color.
  5. Demonstrate craftsmanship skills in the production of images

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The computer and Electronic Imaging
    1. Measurements and Hardware
      1. CPU and storage
      2. Input, process, output
      3. Byte and bit
    2. Resolution and Quality
      1. Size of image
      2. Pixels per inch
      3. Byte size
  2. Design Principles
    1. Order verses rhythm
    2. Harmony and repetition
    3. Isolation Dominance
    4. Proportion
    5. Balance
    6. Color theory
  3. Media and drawing
    1. Brushes
      1. Watercolor
      2. Chalk
      3. Charcoal
      4. Markers
      5. Pen
      6. Pencil
    2. Paper and texture
    3. Drawing on the right side of the brain
      1. Drawing with the computer
      2. Drawing exercises
    4. Mixed media
  4. Cloning
    1. Tools
    2. Tracing paper
    3. Multiple imaging and Montage
    4. Copy and paste
  5. Masks, Layers, and Channels
    1. Tools
    2. Alpha channels
    3. Concepts of layering
    4. Blending
  6. Luminosity and stroking
  7. Vector drawing
    1. Tools
    2. Creating shapes
    3. Resolution issues
    4. Manipulation of shapes
  8. Special Effects
  9. Introduction to Animation
  10. Mounting and Preparation of work for portfolio and exhibition

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will be taught using a combination of lecture, demonstration, presentation and hands-on studio time at the computer. Students will print and overmat their work using college equipment, and will have access to the graphic design lab and photography studio.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Attend classes and lab sessions.
  2. Complete assigned artwork by designated dates.
  3. Participate in critiques with completed work.
  4. Present a portfolio of 12 finished and mounted prints at the final critique.
  5. Demonstrate a professional attitude.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  1. 30 sheets of 8x10 ink jet photographic glossy paper
  2. 12-11x14-museum grade white board (4 ply) and 12 backing boards (2 ply) 11x14 for mounting.
  3. Flash drive or portable hard drive for file storage.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Grading
    The final grade will be based upon the following elements and their weights:
    1. Quizzes         25%
    2. Critiques        25%
    3. Final Exam    25%
    4. Final Critique 25%
  2. All prints will be evaluated in the following manner:
    1. Print quality
    2. Craftsmanship
    3. Use of design principles and methods of solving visual problems given in class.
  3. Critiques
    The critique offers students the opportunity to show their work to the class and to the instructor and obtain feed back critical to the development of their own work. There will be four critiques. The following will be due at each critique:
    Critique #1            assignments 1,2,3
    Critique #2            assignments 4,5,6 (mounted)
    Critique #3            assignment 7,8,9 (mounted)
    Final Critique #4    assignments 10,11,12 (mounted) and a portfolio review of all completed work
  4. Final Examination
    A final examination will be administered at the end of the semester on the date indicated on the class schedule sheet. The final examination will consist of 25 multiple-choice questions.
  5. Quizzes
    Quizzes will be administered at the critiques.
  6. Attendance
    Attendance is mandatory at critiques and quizzes. Missing a critique (unless approved by the instructor) will result in a lower grade for that quiz and critique.
  7. Assignments
    All assignments are due at the critiques as scheduled.

XI.   Other Course Information

Please note:
Some of the activities, lectures and assignments in this class may include imagery that is controversial, uncomfortable, shocking, has nudity, and personally unpopular to one's beliefs. If a student objects to this practice, he/she is encouraged to discuss with the instructor early in the semester alternative ways of completing course requirements.

Lab hours will be posted, and open lab time will be provided for students.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.