• Introduction-Intermediate
  • Interdisciplinary

This course is intended to provide students with a compositional skill set to supplement the development of their own personal images or work developed in other classes. Course content includes: understanding the visual potential of the 2-dimensional picture plane, design principles that affect communication and interpretation of an idea/concept, visual aesthetics, and an awareness of and effectively using compositional variables and tools. Students will develop a greater range of methods for achieving visually engaging images and be aware of a variety of options for composition and content development in order to better visually achieve their intended goal.

Topics include: form/shape, scale, direction, placement, depth, space, density, visual hierarchy, relationships of forms, contrast and contradiction, development of surface, media & mark and specifically how they contribute to development of the picture plane. Practical studio work will be a priority and students will be encouraged to work in the medium of their choice (drawing, painting, photography, digital). All media are welcome. Each practical session will be prefaced with a lecture/discussion and image examples. In-class work will range from short compositional studies, to reworking existing work and designing new ideas. Students working both representationally and abstractly are welcome.

Spring 2020:  

8 Weeks: Base Tuition: $349

Upcoming Sections

CodeInstructorDates & TimeDaysLengthRegister
555Gillian IlesApril 30, 2020 to June 18, 2020
TERM - Spring 2020
2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
8-week courses$349.00

What you will learn

  • Understanding the visual potential of the 2-dimensional picture plane.
  • Consideration of design variables that affect communication and interpretation of an idea/concept/sensation.
  • Development of a compositional checklist
  • Determining the compositional needs of an idea.

Materials to Bring

Please keep your receipts to all purchases in case you need to return any materials.

For the first class:

Please bring appropriate materials for doing many compositional roughs (up to 8 in total).  These roughs can be drawings or paintings (e.g. media can be wet or dry media as suits the artist).  

Later in the course, more sustained images will be created through the reworking of existing work and creation of entirely new work.


Media and materials decisions are the student’s choice.  

Students are encouraged to work in and with the media that best compliments their own art-making practice.  

This can include: painting media (oil, water-mixable oil, acrylic, watercolour, and gouache), drawing media (dry – graphite, charcoal, conte, pencil crayon, pastel and wet-inks), collage, digital media and photography.

Students are welcome to change media throughout the course.