University of Mary Washington
Department of Art and Art History                       
ARTS 104- Digital Approaches to Fine Art
Mondays and Wednesdays 6- 7:50pm
Professor Rosemary Jesionowski
Office Phone: 654-1905
Ridderhof Gallery
Office Hours:  T/R 1-3pm, W noon- 1pm

The Department of Art and Art History website:

Digital Approaches to Fine Art blog:

Required Text

A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet

Required Technology and Supplies

-Subscription to

-Digital Camera

-USB Jump drive, at least 1G


Optional- Epson Enhanced Matte or Double Sided Matte Inkjet paper, box of 50 sheets, 8 ½ x 11”

Course Description

This is an introduction to using various digital media to create art.  While much of the class will focus on technical aspects of using Adobe Photoshop, we will also explore ideas of what digital media IS and/or can be!  We will also begin to build a vocabulary with which to discuss digital arts both onscreen and in inkjet print format.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will establish a solid foundation of technical skills in Adobe Photoshop.  Successful students will develop critical thinking through class discussions of work produced in the class and of artists working in various digital media.  Students will become familiar with these contemporary artists through research and discussion.  Assignments will be given to strengthen both technical and creative skills.  Throughout the semester, students’ understanding of what it means to take a digital approach to fine art will be strengthened. 

Participation and Attendance

It is important that you attend and participate in class every time we meet.  A lot of material and demonstrations will be given in class so missing class can put you behind.  Class time is the best time to ask questions and learn!  You are responsible for getting accurate information missed during an absence (make friends with and exchange email addresses with your classmates).  Please arrive to class on time and ready to work (bring all needed materials with you- no “running back to the dorm”!).  Note that participation is worth 20% of your semester grade. LACK of participation includes, but is not limited to: missing class (even on “work days”), arriving late or leaving early, coming to class unprepared to work, not working during designated work days, sleeping during class, not participating in class discussions, poor attitude and/or disrupting class.

A big part of this class is learning how to talk about art so participating in class discussions and critiques is very important.  I expect you to contribute to every discussion so that everyone gets constructive input on his or her work.  Please don’t be afraid to make comments, ask questions, and basically verbalize anything you may be thinking about the work we are discussing (unless it is destructive).  I also expect you to participate during demonstrations and open work time.

After three absences (excused or not), your grade will drop by one letter grade per missed class.  Six or more absences will result in a failing grade for the semester.  Three tardies/early departures will equal one absence.


You will maintain a blog throughout the semester.  Each week, I will give you an artist to research.  Please post your results on your blog: one paragraph about the artist’s work, one paragraph explaining what you think of it, and at least one image of the artist’s work.  I will check your blogs every Monday for the previous week’s artists.  Please site your sources (including links if applicable)

All assignments are also to be posted to your blog.  Please resize your images to fit onto your blog and save them as jpegs before posting them.

Art Every Day

Spend no more than 5 minutes making a piece of art every single day of the semester.  Post them to your blog.

Artist Presentation

You will be responsible for presenting your blog entry and thoughts to the class for one of the assigned artists and for leading a short discussion on that artist’s work.

Classroom Conduct

Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible adults in class.  Please respect each other and me!  As noted above, poor classroom conduct can adversely affect your grade.

Cell phones, texting, and other uses of personal technology


Please turn off your cell phones or put them to silent.  Texting in class is completely inappropriate and will not be tolerated (I will confiscate your phone and hold it hostage until the end of the class period). I am signed on to the emergency text message system, so I will let you know if there is an emergency.

iPods and other portable music devices with headphones are also banned from use in the classroom.  We can make mixed CDs to listen to as a class and you’re always welcome to bring in music for us all to listen to.


There will be 2 quizzes throughout the course of the semester.

Final Project

At the end of the semester you will present a final project.  This should be your best work of the semester, truly illustrating your mastery of the material covered throughout the course.  I will discuss the details of this project after Fall Break.


Your final grade will be based on these components:

5% Quizzes

15% Blog + artist presentation

20% Final Project

20% Participation (this includes exercises)

40% Assignments


The assignments and final project grades are broken down into the following:

-technical aspects

-creativity (did you approach the assignment in a unique way)

-self motivation

-whether the project was completed properly (did you follow directions)

-participation in critique


*Keep in mind that while art can be subjective, grading art is not.  Your work will not be graded based on personal opinion or whether you have “natural talent”.  You will be graded on how successfully you have applied the information that is discussed in class to your own work (from technical demonstrations to discussions of readings) and how you spoke about others’ work in critique.

Assignments will be graded and handed back no later than two weeks after they have been turned in.

A grade average of D or below at mid-term will be reported as unsatisfactory on the mid-term grade reports.

Academic Misconduct

You are expected to do your own work when it comes to all assignments.  This includes written assignments (plagiarism will not be tolerated) as well as visual assignments.  We will discuss the differences between appropriating imagery and plagiarizing imagery.  Any alleged Honor Code violations will be reported to the Honor Council.

Students with Disabilities

***Please provide a letter from the office of disability resources to me within the first two weeks of the semester so that I can best accommodate you throughout the semester.

Office of Disability Resources
Lee Hall, rm 401
Tel: (540) 654-1266 / Fax: (540) 654-2155
Virginia Relay: (800) 828-1140


Email Etiquette

This may seem unimportant, but consider how you interact with me and with your classmates via email.  Please address your email in some fashion: “Hi Rosemary”, “Dear Professor Jesionowski”, etc.  Please write in complete sentences.  Be aware of the tone of your writing- read over it before you press send; writing in all caps makes it seem like you are yelling, writing in a lower case makes you seem lazy, extra exclamation points or question marks make your message seem condescending.  Close your email with something: “Thank you”, “Best”, “Sincerely”, etc. and put your name!  Please note that I only check my email during standard business hours.

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