Art Foundations

Singapore American School High School – Art Foundations Syllabus

Instructor Details: Matthew Laurence   Office : H100   Studio: H100G

Phone #: 6363 3404 ext 6528      Email:

Studio Open: After school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Free Blocks

Lunch and Flex Period Wednesdays

Course Description:

Art I: Foundations ID: 46100    Grade: 9-12    Length: Semester

Credit: Visual/Performing Arts    Homework: Minimum

In this survey course students are exposed to a variety of media through study of the elements and principles of art and design. Students acquire and apply skills using a variety of media and techniques. Pencil, charcoal, colored pencil, various paints, clay, sculptural materials and linoleum for printmaking are examples of media offered to Foundations of Art students. Emphasis is placed on skills acquisition and creativity. This course enables students to identify their strengths and possible areas of interest for future development. It provides the necessary foundation for the more advanced Studio Art courses.

Units/Projects: Each unit will run for approximately four weeks

Unit 1: DrawingMedia: pencil, color pencil, charcoal, pen and ink   Processes: contour line, shading, rendering, value study, crosshatching, one and two point perspective

Unit 2: PaintingMedia: tempera, watercolor, and acrylic paint     Processes: wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry, dry brush, graduated wash

Unit 3: SculptureMedia: wire, paper, newspaper, nylon, wood, clay    Processes: additive method, subtractive method, slab building, construction

Unit 4: PrintmakingMedia: linoleum, block printing ink, screen print    Processes: linoleum cut, registration print, screen printing

Formative vs. Summative Assessment: Formative Assessments takes place in a variety of forms throughout the semester via instructor and peer critique. There is also journal work to be completed as students investigate the concepts of the elements and principles of Art, media techniques, and critical analysis of professional  artwork throughout the semester. This journal work will not comprise of more than 10% of the total grade.

Summative Assessments are the final projects/ works for each unit. These will be assessed using the High School Visual Arts rubric listed below.  These can be found on Powerschool under the Studio work category and will contribute to 75% of the final grade.

At the completion of the semester course work, students will present and showcase a digital portfolio of all of their work through their school blog. This portfolio of work is counted as their final exam for the semester and will contribute to 15% of the final grade.

Required Course Materials: All materials needed for the course will be provided; however, students will be asked to bring in personal objects and mementos as the content to some projects.  Access to a digital camera is very helpful but not necessary. Cameras will be used for reference gathering and documentation of completed work for final portfolio. Most camera phones, iPads, Point and Shoot are sufficient. DSLRs are available for sign out as well.

General Course Policies: Students are required to adhere to the SAS Core Values which include respect, responsibility, honesty, fairness and compassion.  It is imperative that students feel safe to be innovative and take risks in an environment that remains organized, user friendly and positive.

You are expected to:

  • Be prompt, come prepared to work and to share ideas

  • Respect others, the room, and it’s contents

  • Manage the cleanup of your space and help others do the same

  • Be alert, focused, and use your time wisely

Tech Integration:

Google Docs

  • All documents will be shared via Google Docs

Teacher Website

  • In addition to Google Docs access, additional support material, student examples, and links to art resources can be found on my teacher website:

Google Calendar

  • Studio projects for each unit (Summative Assessments) and Journal assignments (Formative Assessments) will be listed on the class Google calendar the school day that it is assigned. You will also see them posted on Powerschool.  This calendar will be used to help you stay organized and to help me communicate with you regarding deadlines and reminders.


  • FInal exam portfolio presentation via Blogger.

Semester Grade Breakdown:

The Semester Grade will be weighted as follows:

  • 50% Studio Projects

  • 35% Journal Assignments

  • 15% Final Portfolio presentation of all studio work

Absences/ Submission of Late Summative Work:

  • Late work will automatically drop half a letter grade for each day late up to two days. A work that is submitted two days late will result in the drop of a full letter grade. If you are on campus you are responsible for submitting work.

  • Pending assignments due to absence are due upon returning to school.

  • Assignments should be submitted upon arrival to school if class is missed due to late arrival or early dismissal.

  • Please note that this is by day and not by class.

  • Please see or contact me for prolonged absences.

  • If late work is not submitted before exam review days, a NC ( no credit ) will be given and will calculate as a zero on a nine point scale.

Alternative Credit or Mastery Policy:

  • Redos or reworking a studio project will not change the initial grade given; however, reworking or redoing a studio project for the betterment of your portfolio is encouraged and will enhance final grade as part of the final exam.

Academic Dishonesty:

The High School Visual Arts Department will strictly adhere to the Academic Dishonesty policies laid out in the Student Handbook. This includes but is not limited to reference material.  All images used for reference to a Studio project must be an original image.  Images from sites such as Creative Commons, Google can not be used.

Grading: The High School Visual Arts Department assesses work in the following five areas:

  • Creative and Analytical Thinking

  • Manipulation of Material

  • Problem Solving through the Elements and Principles of Art

  • Presentation and Quality

  • Time Management, Process and Work Ethic

These five areas will be assessed in this class in equal parts using the High School grading scale listed below:

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Additional Responsibilities:

  • Art Foundations students are required to choose their own work and to assist with the Art Exhibition before, during or after the show.