I'm currently teaching Drawing and Digital Imaging to freshmen design students at Philadelphia University.
Official University catalog descriptions.
DRAWING ESSENTIALS: This course introduces the student to the process of visual communication using basic drawing techniques and concepts. Students will develop sound observational skills through visualization using a variety of mark-making tools. Students will learn the fundamentals of drawing (line weight, proportion, rendering and perspective techniques) and understand how it applies to design development.
DIGITAL IMAGING FOR GRAPHIC DESIGN: This course introduces the Adobe Creative Suite computer software package of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop as they are used in the Graphic Design industry. Students work through a series of exercises exploring the image creation and manipulation abilities of Photoshop and Illustrator followed by an introduction of InDesign as a page layout program. Good design and craftsmanship are both expected in all course work.
My thoughts on teaching these courses.
(Click image for larger view.)
I love teaching this freshman drawing class. Some students will have had many drawing classes and some none. Some students will have future drawing classes in their major and for some this will be it. So I cover a lot and try to give a strong basis for growth.
I believe everyone can learn to draw, just like everyone can learn to write. Unfortunately, while we constantly practice and hone our writing skills throughout our schooling, drawing stops for many as a topic of study in elementary school. And then when one tries to draw later they compare themselves to great artists and say, Oh, I can't draw". No one compares them selves to Shakespeare and says, "Oh, I can't write".
All it takes is learning a few rules (which may be broken once learned), training our eyes to see, and practice, practice, practice.
Drawing uses muscles, both physical and mental and just as you need to practice to play a sport, or the piano, so do you with drawing.
So my main challenge is to get busy students to practice!
Class work covers the rules, the how-to's, examples, and discussions. We get messy and explore different media. We draw inside and outside. We draw still lives and life models. We learn to see and to move our arms and fingers. Class work teaches you HOW one draws. Practice teaches you TO draw. Sketchbooks cover the practice. Ya' wana draw, ya gotta practice!
Sketches of students at computers - focus, focus, focus
The Digital Imaging (dig img) class is mainly a freshman introductory class to the basic Adobe Software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) used in graphic design. But, it is also an introductory class to the culture of graphic design. Most projects are explored for more than one solution, one chosen after class critique and refined as a final version as an introduction to the idea of exploring multiple concepts. All solutions must communicate via design as well as content. This is not about making something look nice. It is about making something work and work well.
We cover "Best Practices" as they are used with the technology and in the graphic design field and working as a professional designer. Students are excouraged to learn how to learn on their own as software is constantly updated and technology constantly changing. Nothing remains the same in this corner of our world!
This is what makes the course interesting to me - that and the fact that I must keep current with the newest software. If I don't my students will let me know.