Introduction to Studio Art, or ARTS 1010, is a required course for the Art Practices major here at CU Boulder. Believe it or not, there are lots of great careers that can come out of an art major. From being a graphic designer to a creative director for a major company, there are lots of jobs in the world today that require artistic experience. Before you can become a pro, you’ll need to learn the basics – and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in Studio Art. Here are the top 5 concepts you’ll learn about in this class.

1. Color Theory

A very crucial concept to any artistic practice, color theory is one of the first concepts you’ll cover in this class. While it may seem a bit elementary to be learning about primary and secondary colors in college, there’s so much more to this subject than meets the eye. Mixing colors, creating color palettes, and even learning about contrasting and complementary color schemes can take this subject into a new realm.

2. Balance

Balance is a simple yet important principle of art that can be found in so many different ways. Balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, drawing the viewer’s eye in whatever direction the artist chooses. Being able to fully understand and utilize the concept of balance in your own art is an easy way to take your work from good to great.


3. Movement

This class will teach you how to incorporate aspects of movement in whatever media you’re most comfortable using, whether that be photography, drawing, or even digital art. Studying what conveys movement in different types of art and how various methods conveys different types of movement will show you exactly how you can use this in your own work. You’ll learn this concept very early on in this class.


4. Emphasis

Using emphasis in art can create a whole new level of depth and realism to your work, and it’s a staple concept in this class. Even if you don’t consider yourself a traditional artist, the gesture drawing warm-ups that you’ll do in this class will show you how to understand proportion and emphasize certain parts of an object. This can be incredibly useful in various mediums.


5. Contrast

Last, but not least, contrast is a basic principle of art that you’ll hear over and over again in class. Contrast can be found in colors that directly oppose each other, shadows in a photograph, and even in the content of your art. This can be accomplished in so many ways, and the more uniquely you use this concept, the more interesting it will make your art. Make sure to pay attention and see how you can play around with this concept!


While you may have heard of some of these concepts before, you’ll never see them in the same way after taking Intro to Studio Art. All of these techniques and principles are staples in the art world, and you can find examples of them everywhere. No matter what type of artist you may be, you’ll need to become incredibly familiar with these ideas to become successful in the art world. This class and these five concepts can get you on the right track.


Madi Sinsel

Hello OneClass! My name is Madi and I'm a freshman at CU Boulder (sko buffs). I'm exploring various majors in the art field right now, and I'm specifically interested in graphic design and journalism. My hobbies include making lots of art, watching Netflix in copious amounts, and saying hi to every dog I see.

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