Studio Art and Digital Art

In all the Studio Art courses, the focus is on building a strong foundation of technical skills in drawing, design, painting and sculpture.

Along with class projects, students learn through art history lectures, demonstrations, and museum and gallery trips. We also have visiting artists each year to expose students to new art media. Throughout the year, students exhibit their artwork at Williams and at local art galleries such as the Mystic Art Association.

Art I

This course is a foundation course that teaches basic skills in drawing, composition and design, printmaking, sculpture and painting. A variety of media are introduced, including charcoal, pastel, ink, acrylic paint and clay. Art history is introduced with projects and presentations on Impressionism, Post- Impressionism and Cubism. Students learn how to look at and write about works of art. Individual studio work is reinforced by weekly homework assignments.

Art II

Students in this course will develop more complex skills in drawing, two-dimensional design and three-dimensional design. New painting media, such as watercolor are introduced in this course. Students will also learn relief sculpture, including sculpting, mold making and casting. The Art II course is very collaborative and students work together on art projects throughout the year. Art History is taught through a research project that focuses on art and artists in a specific era. Art I is a prerequisite for this course.


This course allows students to cultivate creativity in art while continuing to build a strong foundation. Structured projects in drawing, color theory and painting are balanced with long-term independent projects. Through independent work, students explore the more conceptual aspects of art and may spend extended periods of time with one media. Art analysis and interpretation is utilized to discuss various art movements throughout history. Students will also learn how to articulate their concepts through writing assignments. The Advanced Art course interacts with the Portfolio Development course through projects, critiques, and museum visits. Art I and Art II are prerequisites for this course.

Portfolio Development (Advanced)

This is an intense advanced art course that focuses on the creation of a comprehensive body of art works. Students will work on strengthening skills in drawing, painting and color theory. Students will also choose a concentration and complete a series of conceptual works in a particular media. Photographing artwork will be taught and students will learn how to edit art images and upload images to an online workspace. Students will also learn how to write an artist’s statement, an artist’s resume and other written components of an art portfolio. As part of this course, students will visit area museums and galleries, such as the Lyman Allyn Museum and Cummings Art Center for art criticism. Students will participate in art critiques and will present individual art portfolios at the end of each quarter. Art I, Art II and Art III are prerequisites for this course.

Digital Imaging I

(Grades 10-12)

Digital Imaging is a two-dimensional design course. Using analog, digital and film as the basic tools of expression, emphasis in this course is placed on the principles and elements of two-dimensional design, including composition, rhythm, movement, balance, contrast, repetition, unity and pattern. A firm foundation in photographic and film processes, as well as Photoshop application, will be established. There will be photo-shoots, demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on lab work. Throughout the year, students will incorporate and practice traditional techniques, explore new technology, and develop their personal voice in an atmosphere conducive to continual mentorship and creative exploration.   Art I is a prerequisite for this course.

Digital Imaging II (Advanced)

Grades 11-12

Digital Imaging II (Advanced) focuses on honing the technical photographic and film making skills learned in Digital Imaging I while emphasizing the conceptual aspects of visual story telling through the exploration and development of the theme of the Ethnographic Eye. Advanced students are expected to demonstrate a passion and discipline for the medium, as well as, an independent thought process. As in Digital Imaging I, there will be photo-shoots, demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on lab work. Throughout the year, students will further practice traditional techniques, explore new technology, and develop their personal voice in an atmosphere conducive to continual mentorship and creative exploration. Digital Imaging I is a prerequisite for this course.


Lionfish: A Student Art Exhibit at Lyman Allyn Museum
Opening Reception Thursday, October 17th from 5pm- 6pm

The students in the Art II course and the Portfolio Development course studied the sculptural installation, Lionfish by Kitty Wales, in order to create a series of observation-based drawings. This project develops observation abilities and technical drawing skills.The Portfolio Development students had an additional creative challenge: to depict the idea of lionfish as an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean. This project included research and collaboration as part of the process. The student drawings on exhibit demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving, technical drawing skills and creativity. The exhibit runs from October 2nd- October 31st.


The Art II course is all about collaboration. Last year, Art II students collaborated with Dance students on a multiple part project inspired by Fractals. With the starting point of Ms. Bo's original choreography for the dance, titled "Patterns and Landscapes" the Art II students began researching the geometric concept of fractals. They then studied cross sections of cabbages and created watercolor paintings of their observations of the fractals created by the layers of leaves. From there, they created bold designs of fractals from nature in watercolor and ink. The students each worked on designs for the unitards that the dancers will wear. Finally, using fabric dyes and gutta resist, the Art II students created 16 original unitards for the dancers. "Patterns and Landscapes" was performed at Compchorea 2013. Stay tuned for this year’s collaborations.

Narrative in Art 

The Storybook Series in the Portfolio Development course is a creative challenge that includes concept development, drawing, storytelling and book making. Each student comes up with his or her own story to follow through the series. Although the drawings are a creative endeavor, the project also requires the demonstration of technical skills. Last year, the concepts were unique. One student trailed his pencil on the journey it took when he lost it. Another student followed a sword as it was brought to life. This year’s Storybook Series will include student pairs working together on each series.