Art and Critical Thinking 1001

This course will look beyond the tools to reshape your thinking and develop your critical thinking skills.

Paul Mellender

Develop your critical thinking skills to create art that goes beyond the visual

This course is for those looking to get a deeper insight into what is meant by ‘art’ and how to use art to direct attention to conceptual issues and push expectations. It’s for those looking to give their work meaning and for those looking to communicate their ideas clearly to their audience.

During this course, we will introduce concepts both old and new; we’ll look at the ‘sequence of art’ (the art cognitive hierarchy) and delve into the concepts of history and superstition. We will demonstrate how to communicate ideas through the visual medium, how to problem solve and critique to find out what is working well and what needs to be improved.

Course Details

  • Type: On-demand
  • Level: Foundation
  • Lessons: 12
  • Tools: Mixed media
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Understand how to decode art, problem solve and develop powerful ideas

Lessons in this course

  • 01. Baseline

    In this lesson, we’ll focus our attention to how we think of vision and our relationship with tools. We’ll learn to look between the lines when creating art, and we’ll push away from folklore and common myths in regard to ‘how we see’.
  • 02. Agency

    Here we will introduce you to the idea of agency and identity. We'll study shape language, the hierarchy of the visual cortex and how feelings play just as important role as seeing when creating art.
  • 03. The body

    This lesson will focus on the somatosensory system, peripersonal space and the mechanosensory system. We'll look at navigating space and the importance of proximity, and how this relates to friends and foes when it comes to designing a narrative. We'll also study creating a point-of-view and shifting identities.
  • 04. Eye motion, cognitive switches and shifting states of reality

    We now turn our attention to motion, time and our eyes. We will look at how dreams and lucid dreams work, and how this affects our reality.
  • 05. Assembling the cognitive tool kit using our material tool kit

    Here we will look at the traditional tools and their connection to the cognitive tool kit. We'll cover topics such as line, light, form, perspective and composition.
  • 06. Affordances, priming and grooming

    Here we will look at training the audience so they have an understanding of the art that you create. We can do this by presenting and hiding information, sharing details for navigation and leading their eye, framing, creating compositions and evaluations.
  • 07. Storytelling and narrative

    During this lesson, we'll study the building blocks of storytelling and narrative. This will include studying the 'sequence' and taking a look at what is considered a conventional sequence, how they are useful and how they are constraining. We'll then look at bringing your own ideas to the table and using the body as a storyteller.
  • 08. Facial expressions

    In this lesson, we'll explore the face and colour signals. We'll examine the ideas of 'projecting' a signal and 'receiving' a signal, and how expression can relate to status, role and identity. We'll examine the ideas of 'projecting' a signal and 'recieving' a signal, and how expressiong can relate to status, role and identity.
  • 09. Old school v new school

    During this lesson, we will discuss traditional art, ideas and superstitions. We'll look at the influence of branding and misdirection and growing as an artist and not just becoming an imitation of others.
  • 10. Animation and realism

    Our eye is an animator as it shifts from one point to the next. Here we will look at how our eyes drive the animation within a static image. We'll study saccades, facial uneveness, the sequence of facial expressions, and motion blindness.
  • 11. Deep truths

    With art we have choices, and although our choices may be limited to a degree, we are still responsible for those choices. So how do we improve and communicate our ideas? He'll we will explore how to grow as an artist and we'll also examine non-art states of experience, such as isolation and sensory deprivation.
  • 12. I wonder what the future holds

    Art is ever changing and udring our final lesson, we'll discuss the business of art, the endeavor of art, our careers expectations, how to invent, protecting your work, vandalism, corporate folklore, keeping dignity and control with portfolio applications.

Tutor: Paul Mellender

Artist...and that should be enough, wouldn't you agree?

Traditional artist, digital artist and CG generalist, with over 30 years professional experience. Over 30 years. Oh man. Has it been that long? Anyway, back to the dry description...sorry for the interruption. Experience across a wide spectrum of industries from film to fine art portraiture. That is always puzzling-what exactly is meant by "fine". That sounds kinda hoaxy...sorry off track. Where was I? Ah! Nimble and adept in various styles and techniques, I still can't help but feel awkward and disingenuous. Look. Let's get down to brass tacks: I'm an artist. This description won't mean nearly as much as looking at my work. It has all the clues and information about my abilities and history on clear display. I'm a terrible salesman, but I love facts and demonstration. What I do is evident and probably doesn't need spin and inflation. If you are curious about my experience in games, film, illustration, concept art or my capabilities, feel free to ask, or have a look at my work. I can't tell better than my work. Have a good one.

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