Put theory into practice and develop your artistic competency by learning the ‘rules’ to art. Working with the elements (ingredients) and principles (the recipe) of design you will learn perspective, how to draw illusions, create powerful designs, utilise value and imply texture, understand colour schemes and the colour wheel and practice drawing the face. Technique will be developed through a variety of mediums including pen, colour pencil, paint and pastels will be utilised. There are no prerequisites for this course. Please bring an A3 (or larger) Visual Diary to the class. Additional materials will be discussed during the first lesson.

2021 Timetable

Saturdays 8 May - 19 June 10am - 1pm:  6 Sessions

Saturdays 24 July - 28 August 10am - 1pm:  6 Sessions 

Saturdays 16 October - 20 November 10am - 1pm:  6 Sessions 

Course Content

1. Introduction 3 hrs • Overview of Elements and Principles of Design
• Elements and principles of design are defined and practiced
• Master artworks are analysed in relation to the elements and principles of design
• Colour theory packets are distributed
• Visual Diaries and course materials are discussed
2. Line  3 hrs • The aesthetics of line are defined and analysed
• One-point perspective (horizon line, vanishing point, orthogonals) and various other methods are practiced in order to achieve a three dimensional appearance on a two dimensional surface
• Participants develop a line design utilising at least one vanishing point
3. Shape & Space  3 hrs • Organic, geometric, asymmetrical and symmetrical shapes are defined and analysed within the context of fine art
• Contour drawing exercises are practiced
• Repetition, reverse repetition, overlap repetition, reverse overlap repetition, mirror overlap repetition and emphasis overlap repetition are practiced by utilising a single asymmetrical shape
• Participants develop a shape design
4. Texture and Value 3 hrs • Texture and value are defined and discussed by viewing a variety of images including cartoons, photographs, material objects, and fine art
• Value charts utilising hatching/cross-hatching, smudging and stippling techniques are practiced
• Circles are shaded to become spheres through the indication of a light source
• A ‘Texture Monster’ is rendered through rote activity
5. Colour 3 hrs • Participants use watercolours to create a warm and cool colour weave
• Discussion of how humans see colour
• Subtractive and additive colour wheels are defined
• Participants paint a colour wheel using only the three primary colours
• Participants work with shades and tints to paint a value chart that demonstrates the gradation of a single colour
• A variety of colour schemes are outlined and discussed while the colour theory packet distributed in the first session is analysed in further detail
6. Self Portraits 4 hrs • Discussion and image viewing of portraiture in fine art over the centuries
• Critical junctions and tangents are defined
• Participants engage in rote activity to learn the basic ‘rules’ to drawing the human face
• A self portrait is developed utilising soft chalk pastel on a black canvas
• Hand-outs supplement the lesson with further detail

Course Reviews

Thank you much appreciated, you have NO idea how much I enjoyed my classes with you! you are an amazing, enthusiastic and fantastic teacher! i totally appreciate having done the course with you, after 22years of managing the art shop and never really doing anything for myself. I have had a play with lino printing the last week and I have so many ideas of things I wanna do that its ridiculous! I would do another course with you in a heartbeat! You are an asset to the Sydney uni, you have inspired me!


Amazing course and tutor. Looking forward to the Art Basics 2 course starting up next year.


Very enjoyable course thank you for offering a creative that provides a strong foundation to support the creative process.


The tutor planned the course effectively to allow the class to learn the principles of the course and apply it outside of the class in our own time, making sure that the hours spent in the classroom were put to good use.


Very happy with the course and everything and hope Denise will be able to finalize her next course Art course II soon, most students, myself included, would very much like to continue the course and find it is very satisfying, rewarding and meditative.


Great tutor, one of the best I’ve ever had, thorough content, excellent facilities Very happy


I loved Denise and the structure of the course. Well Done. Look forward to art basics 2


The teacher was magnificent, incredibly knowledgeable, and presented the class in a way that made sure no one – regardless of skill level – would feel discouraged. A follow-up course would be the perfect means of capitalizing on the budding talents of students who have taken this course.


I received the tuition advertised in the course, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I want to keep going with Denise instructing, she is very knowledgeable and encouraging.


Great course. I really enjoyed it.


Denise is a wonderful tutor and is extremely passionate about the subject matter


Thank you for an absolutely fantastic course that made visual arts accessible to ordinary everyday people.


Denise was a fabulous tutor. The program has an excellent blend of theory and application, and she provides practical exercises that help to build skill and confidence. I can’t wait for the Arts Basics 2 program!


An excellent course – interesting presentation & wide scope covered.


The course was a great overview of the Arts basics. We covered so much in such a short time and I gained so much knowledge from it!


Loved it. Interested in doing Art Basics 2 with Denise next year.


Great class. Looking forward to Art Basics 2 and beyond!


The course was better than I expected and the tutor gave so much extra information which helped me heaps. I’m looking forward to her next module – Art Basics 2 which I believe she is in the progress of introducing next year. For now, I’ll be practicing what she taught as my knowledge was that of a complete beginner. Basic fundamentals is what I needed to learn.