Undergraduate Degree




DA1000 Thinking and Communicating Visually I

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]



NIL (For IEM Students only)

Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

Through practice-based teaching to introduce to students who are not from a primarily art or design background, drawing as a thinking and development tool with a key place in the creative process.


This course will focus on developing visual thinking through use of the ‘concept sketch’ in art and design practices. The students will practice drawing as a tool for communication and for idea development. The focus will primarily be on drawing objects and figures in space. Drawing from observation and from reference will feature. The class will consist of lecture, demonstration, class work, homework, oral critique and field trips. 
Course Outline

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• What is an artist and designers drawing for? Process/ concept sketch/ presentation drawings

• The elements of drawing: 

- Line, shape, form, organic/geometric, value, texture, colour, space etc 

• Line and shape: 

- Observational drawing, object drawing etc 

• Perspective: 

- 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, observing perspective, constructing 

- Architectural drawing

• Tonal drawing: 

- Three value tone, edges value (blend, sharp etc), materials etc

• Drawing as a development tool:

- Design thinking, the sketchbook, the brainstorm etc


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Continuation, through exercises and projects, of the principles and process covered in weeks 2 – 6

• Final project development


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The students will have a practice-based familiarity with drawing. The students will be able to use drawing as part of a thinking and development process.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Jack Foster, How to Get Ideas, Berrett-Koehler

  2. Rudolph Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye, University of California Press

  3. Rudolph Arnheim, Visual Thinking, University of California Press

  4. Alan Pipes, Drawing for Designers, Laurence King