Visual Arts

Ellie Folk Fish

Visual Arts (Beginning): Art I

This is an introductory course for students interested in taking an art class. It provides intensive work with various drawing skills and media while introducing students to the basic vocabulary of art and design. Specific topics covered include drawing, color, architecture, painting, photography, graphics, printmaking, and sculpture.

Student Testimonial: “I learned many techniques, art forms, and art styles to help me better structure my art when I’m creating it – instead of just going in with absolutely no idea about what I’m doing. I really appreciated that my art teacher was as helpful as she was; from her funny and in-depth assignment feedback to being able to contact her through various ways (text, email, call), to her being accommodating with deadlines if something should come up, and to her having so many resources available for extra credit, help, and learning opportunities. She really knows what she’s talking about and it was a great class.” –Ashlyn, senior

NOTE: This course or its face-to-face equivalent is the prerequisite for all Visual Specialization Intermediate and Proficient courses.

Artwork by Ellie
– Folk Art Fish Painting


Animal Photography by StudentVisual Arts Specialization (Intermediate):
The Art of Photography

Explore digital photography techniques and learn to enhance your images with photo editing software in this studio-based class. Through weekly photography projects combined with critiques and class discussions, you will examine the technical aspects of your work and discuss your work in personal and meaningful ways. Course topics will include composition, the elements and principles of design, and art history. This course has been created in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art, with funding provided by a Wells Fargo Grant.

Student Testimonial: “I love photography. I had previously taken Art 1, and I learned so much from that class that I knew I would learn what I wanted to know about photography if I took Photography 1. I knew this class would help me develop the techniques and skills I needed, and I wanted to be able to take extraordinary pictures. I have learned so much in this course about what makes a great photo a great photo. I learned so many techniques and skills like depth and perspective and saw how they could change a photo. I also learned that changing the aperture and lens speed can help capture a focused photo with a blurry background, which is something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do. One thing I appreciated about my online art teacher is how descriptive and caring she is. I appreciated her giving helpful hints and extra credit opportunities. I also appreciated her giving us the flexibility to be creative with our work instead of having to do everything one way. This course allowed me to be able to make friends with students from other parts of the state because we were able to interact. The discussion forums allowed me to be able to see other people’s work, as well as they, see mine. We were able to discuss it, and I loved interacting this way with my peers. This course has people from all over North Carolina as students. I loved seeing the pictures of the beach that some of my fellow classmates would post.” –Brianna, sophomore

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Visual Arts (Beginning), formerly Art I, is REQUIRED.

Photograph by Katelyn S.
– Animal Photography


photo of oceanVisual Arts Specialization (Proficient):
Advanced Digital Photography

This course is for students who are interested in pursuing a more advanced study of digital photography. Through a series of projects and critiques, students will expand their technical abilities and explore their own personal aesthetic. Content, form, aesthetics, technical issues around processing, file formats, controlling exposure, and special effects techniques will be covered.

Digital Photography II students will explore in-depth the techniques and applications of acquiring, manipulating and outputting digitized photographic images utilizing Adobe Photoshop, GIMP Photo-editor (free application that students can download from the internet), or similar program. The study of the elements of art and principles of design, color theory, vocabulary, and art history continues in this advanced-level course. Through weekly critiques and presentations, students will examine the technical aspects of their work including composition, lighting, and shadow.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Visual Arts (Beginning) AND Visual Arts Specialization (Intermediate): Art of Photography is REQUIRED.

Photograph by Gabriella M.
– Landscape: Time and Place


Game Art Design by StudentVisual Arts Specialization (Intermediate):
The Art of Game Design

This multimedia course teaches the basic elements of designing digital (video) games and non-digital (board/card) games. Using works of art from the North Carolina Museum of Art as catalysts for learning, you will explore game purpose and structure as well as character and story development. Other topics will include the history of games, games from around the world, and troubleshooting common obstacles in game design. This course has been created in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art, with funding provided by a Wells Fargo Grant.

Student Testimonial: “I took this art course online because I was extremely interested in the subject of game design and my former online classes have all been wonderful experiences! I learned that it’s very important to start a draft and get a layout of your ideas and art before creating your game or art. I love my online teacher because he’s super funny and extremely helpful!! He added fun little activities within the modules that make the class so much fun!! I also look forward to the survey questions every week during live class!! This online course actually helped me make a friend with someone who lives in my town!! We became partners in class, and while we were talking I found out that she is also going to the same college for the same major as me!!! I love all the connections I’ve made through this class, and I’m also so happy that this class proved to be a safe place where I can share my ideas and collaborate with others.” –Kendra, senior

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Visual Arts (Beginning), formerly Art I, is REQUIRED.

Artwork by Ashley C.
– Game Prototype


Fashion Design by StudentVisual Arts Specialization (Intermediate): The Art of Fashion

Do you have a passion for fashion? In this course, you will explore the artistic process of fashion design and learn how design concepts evolve over time. Drawing on inspiration from prehistoric to contemporary fashion and art, you will learn to plan and create your own fashion designs.

You will be introduced to various types of patterns, fabrics, materials, and drawing techniques that will help you develop your vision as an emerging fashion designer. This course has been created in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art, with funding provided by a grant from Wells Fargo.

Student Testimonial: “I decided to take this art course because I thought I would learn a lot and find it interesting, which I do! I learned how to make my style my own and take inspiration from outside sources to help me make an amazing design. My online teacher gives great feedback to my work and always gives constructive criticism. I have spoken to my classmates and sometimes notice that we have some things in common, which is cool. Also, some of us actually get in contact with each other and talk about why we are in the class and things we like to do and don’t. I think it’s nice communicating with people all over the state.” –Kharyzma, senior

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Visual Arts (Beginning), formerly Art I, is REQUIRED.

Artwork by Vanessa
– Client Design Project


altered book artworkVisual Arts Specialization (Intermediate): Visual Journaling

Visual Journaling is a way to record one’s experiences, thoughts, life journeys, and our inner, visual world. Exploring the connection between the written word and the important imagery and symbolism of our life can allow us to better articulate and express who we are. This course will explore the history of the visual journal and will guide students through weekly art-making experiences in their own visual journals. Students will be exposed to many important and influential contemporary visual journal artists. Students will be required to keep a visual journal and to have access to a variety of techniques and mixed media including but not limited to paint, markers, glue, paper, and a camera for uploading weekly photos of their work.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Visual Arts (Beginning), formerly Art I, is REQUIRED.

Artwork by Kelsey H.
– Altered Book


Art in World CulturesArt in World Cultures

Course Description: Who do you think is the greatest artist of all time? Maybe Leonardo da Vinci? Michelangelo? Maybe a more modern artist like Claude Monet or Pablo Picasso? Or is it possible that the greatest artist of all time is actually someone whose name has been lost to history? In Art in World Cultures, you’ll learn about some of the greatest artists in the world while creating your own art, both on paper and digitally. This course explores basic principles and elements of art and teaches you how to critique different art works. And along the way, you will get to discover some traditional art forms from various regions of the world including the Americas, Africa, and Oceania.
Prerequisites: None


Middle School Art by StudentVisual Arts Specialization (6-8): Middle School Art

The Middle School Art course is designed to be a broad overview of the visual arts. Topics include the art of Western and Non-Western cultures and the history of art.

The course will cover specific art processes to include, but may not be limited to, drawing, painting, printing, architecture design, photography, digital design, games, and sculpture. Careers in the art field will also be explored.

Prerequisites: None. This course is not a prerequisite for any Intermediate level courses. Students will still need to take Visual Arts (Beginning), formerly Art I, to continue to Intermediate level courses.

Middle school students will receive middle school credit only for this course.

Artwork by Pranov A.
– Flat Value Portrait Painting


Student Pet ArtVisual Arts Specialization (6-8): Middle School Discovering Photography

Discover the art of digital photography! This beginner-level course will introduce you to basic digital camera techniques, photo composition, and image-editing software. Through weekly photo projects and interactive class discussions, you will learn to speak the “language of art” and gain a deeper understanding of self-identity, visual storytelling, and your connection to the people and places around you. North Carolina photographic artists will share their images and experiences throughout this course, offering helpful tips to ignite your creative spark. This course has been created in collaboration with the North Carolina Museum of Art, with funding provided by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

Student Testimonial: “This course taught me that cameras can do so much more than just take pictures. It is you who are the artist, and the camera is your tool. Creativity in photography is very important, there are ways to communicate a mood, feeling, or message. I also learned technical skills like converting an image to grayscale, which really helps the lighting. My favorite assignments were photographing nature, like leaves and flowers, animals, landscapes, and buildings. By taking this class I better understand photography, and I see how many different and creative things you can do with it.” Emily M. – 7th Grade

Prerequisites: None. No prior photography experience is required.

Middle school students will receive middle school credit only for this course.

Photograph by Emma S.
– Pet Portraiture