The University Of North Dakota - Online & Distance Education

Course Information

3 Credits
Correspondence by Mail
Independent Study
$266.17 per Credit (No Fees)

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ART110: Introduction to the Visual Arts

Prerequisites: None
Undergraduate College Credit Courses
Enroll Anytime

Course at a Glance

IMPORTANT! This Independent Study Course is only available in a "Correspendence by Mail" format.


Through this course, you will become familiar with the terminology, techniques, and creative processes used by visual artists. The visual arts encompass both two- and three-dimensional works. Two-dimensional works include image making in the form of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Three-dimensional artists create objects such as pottery, fiber works, and sculpture.

Recently, artists have used the environment as a setting for their art or the earth itself as a medium to be manipulated. Some visual artists move closer to theater with performance pieces that involve human movement. Technological developments have introduced innovative and challenging visual artwork using computer imagery and photography. You will explore all of these varied and exciting aspects of the visual arts.

Humans have always used artmaking to express themselves, reflect on the human condition, and inspire change. Artmaking forms a powerful connection between societies and cultures. To understand more fully the experiences of a given historical era, it is most helpful to examine the art. To understand a particular piece of artwork, you must consider it within its historical context. Artmaking and culture have coexisted and interconnected with one another throughout history.

In our own time and place, children are not systematically taught a visual language in schools as they are taught their spoken and written language. This is unfortunate. As a result, most adults are not aware of their own potential for expressing themselves with a visual language, and they are unable to understand the artwork of others.

One of the best ways to gain an appreciation of artmaking is to explore your own visual language. Although the thought of drawing may cause you stress, you are not graded on the quality of your drawings. There is not a single exercise that you cannot do well, as long as you follow the directions carefully. Despite initial apprehension, most students enjoy the drawing exercises and actually wish there were more!

Required Textbooks & Materials

Frank, Patrick, Duane Preble, and Sarah Preble. Prebles’ ARTFORMS: An Introduction to the Visual ArtsUpper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0-1-3193081-0, 8th ed.

For this course, you will need a sketch pad no smaller than 8½  x 11 inches and no larger than 9 x 12 inches with approximately 30 sheets. You may use a regular #2 pencil, but if you have a variety of art pencils available, they also may be used. You also will need a set of color pencils with at least 12 different colors. Buy the best quality color pencils you can afford, since poor quality pencils will cause a great deal of frustration and disappointment in your work. You will get lots of use out of them in this course.

Lessons & Exams

You have up to 9 months from your enrollment date to complete:

Your grade for the course depends on completing and turning in all assignments as directed in each lesson. Successful completion of the exercises depends more on a willingness to commit time and effort to accurately follow directions than on innate artistic talent.

The final assignment is a paper in which you describe a single piece of artwork seen at an art exhibit. If you live in a remote area or are in the military, you may request a modification of this final assignment. Contact UND Online & Distance Education for more information.

NOTE: Course information, including tuition, technology requirements, textbooks, lessons and exams, is subject to change without notice.