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    Certificate Requirements

    • Course requirements: 8 individual online and/or on-campus courses (5 required courses and 3 electives).
    • Timeline to completion: Most courses last nine weeks or more. Courses meeting for fewer than nine sessions count as half of an elective and need to be combined to fulfill one elective requirement. Most students take two courses per semester. The certificate must be completed in two years.
    • Cost: $814 per course

    Be the creative you were meant to be. Develop a fine art foundation that opens doors to self-expression and helps you find your voice as a visual artist. Beginning artists and illustrators are introduced to the essential tools and concepts underpinning the making of historical and contemporary art; more experienced students enhance their practice in advanced courses like Painting II and Project Studio. Students can complete certificate electives in Fine Arts or Photography or courses in other areas of study within Parsons at Open Campus.

    Required Courses

    1) Color Theory

    Discover color and its implications for designers and artists. Study ideas of space and the use of color to solve spatial problems. Look at color harmony and the way colors interact, as well as color qualities and combinations. Online students must have access to a scanner. There are no prerequisites.

    2) Drawing I

    A beginning drawing course for those interested in having an immersive experience in drawing instruction. In this course, which builds on skills learned in Drawing Basics, seeing form through the use of light and shadow, texture, line, and color are emphasized. Still lifes and live models are used to help students learn the drawing techniques of perspective, foreshortening, gesture, portraiture, and representation of drapery.

    3) Painting I 

    This class is for students with a basic understanding of oil painting, as well as beginning oil painters. Students who wish to build a portfolio to apply for higher education will benefit from this class, as will those who want to improve their painting skills. Both painting from the figure and still life painting are explored. References to art history and contemporary artists are included to support student learning.

    4) Life Drawing

    Drawing is the most accessible form of visual expression. Pick up a piece of charcoal, and it can happen spontaneously. With a range of marks — light, heavy, thin, thick, and variable — drawing enables experimentation. It can also articulate thoughts and communicate viewpoints. David Hockney wrote in a foreword to Jeffery Camp’s book Draw: How to Master the Art, “If you can draw, even a little bit, you can express all kinds of ideas that might otherwise be lost — delights, frustrations, whatever torments you or pleases you. To draw the human body adds LIFE. Devoid of the exacting symmetry, so often found in man-made objects, its spirit can be perceived through a soft touch, or a powerful mark, its flesh, by a twist of the wrist. Whether in revealing the serenity in a child’s face, or the frailty in an aged hand, one thing is clear; artists use similar methods — gesture, contour, values, and composition — yet, seen through their own eyes." Everyone has unique perceptions. Whether you have had previous instruction or are new to the figure, this class is designed to accelerate your growth.

    5) Painting 2

    Students practice painting, from direct observation, abstract motifs for sketches and fully developed pieces created in oil and watercolor. They explore ways to depart from established creative techniques to express their individual vision. Even “mistakes” and other surprises that are part of everyday studio activity are considered in the context of their contributions to creative practice. Students discover their own methods of engaging with painting, bringing the ancient art into the present. Prerequisite: Painting I or the equivalent.

    View fine arts electives here.