Welcome Art 256

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5 image panorama.jpg

Panorama of Cairo, Egypt composed of 5 images                 © 2017 Patty Arnold


Santa Maria River Mouth, Painting and Photography combined         © 2017 Patty Arnold

Cuesta DIstance EducatIon — Spring 2019

Instructor: Patty Arnold   

Contact Information: Email: pattyarnold@earthlink.net

Photography www.pattyarnold.comLinks to an external site. 

Book Design www.menageriedesign.netLinks to an external site.

parnold_sm.jpgWelcome to Art 256 Foundation of Digital imaging Art — Adobe Photoshop.

This is a 3 unit course that provides an introduction to Adobe Photoshop and will run 18 weeks. You will want to be ready to start right away with your book and your software.

I currently teach part-time at Cuesta College, and have taught classes for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (online) and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. You will also notice that I have 2 websites as I am an exhibiting photographer and have a small business designing books, ebooks and websites for 4 publishers plus text editing and indexing technical manuals for a small software company in Cambridge, MA and another in Ottawa, Canada.

Photoshop is a constant companion in my work whether it is teaching, photography, or commercial design. I have used and loved this program since version 1.0 from 1989 and still keep the original 4 floppy discs for sentimental reasons.

Note: All students receive an e-mail address that can be accessed through Gmail (my.cuesta.edu). If you do not want to use this e-mail you can login into your Gmail account and set the default e-mail to be forwarded to any e-mail of your choice (check myCuesta for information). Make sure you either check your mycuesta email daily or setup forwarding to the email you prefer to use.

conversation.pngIf you have general questions about the class, tools, assignments or your grades use the Conversations tool on the left menu where you see this icon.

The best way to contact me is by my work email: pattyarnold@earthlink.net

I will hold virtual office hours and post the times in our classroom once we get going. I will respond to your posts and emails within 24–48 hours. I will be checking on the classroom daily and the next week’s lessons and lectures will be uploaded by Sunday of the previous week so that the new week will start on Monday.

Course Information: CRN information unavailable as of 3/28/2018. Update to come.

Presents primary instruction in digital imaging and editing using Adobe Photoshop.

photoshopbook.jpgRequired Textbook

Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2018 Release)

Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2018)

ISBN-13: 978-0134852485

ISBN-10: 0134852486

Here is a link to the material available on Amazon or contact the Cuesta Bookstore. Make sure you have your book and software and are ready to start class. There will not be time in a 6 week class to order these things at the last minute.

https://www.amazon.com/Adobe-Photoshop-Classroom-Book-release/dp/0134852486/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520458811&sr=8-1&keywords=adobe+photoshop+classroom+in+a+book+2018Links to an external site.

Required Software

Before class begins — You will need to purchase and install on your computer Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 you may also may use a slightly older version but instruction will be based on CC 2018 so you may find some things you can’t do as the tools have changed. You can turn in your assignments in either version. Be aware that I will not be able to troubleshoot problems with functionality if you are using an older version.

A good source for this software is https://foundationccc.org/CollegeBuysLinks to an external site. or you can go straight to Adobe for student pricing at https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.htmlLinks to an external site.

We will be using Cuesta’s Distance Education site: CANVAS. Here you will upload your completed lessons from the book, post discussions and your special creative projects.

Make sure you have Adobe Acrobat or at least the free reader as I will post PDFS of project handouts, slides and other items of interest. Also check your web browser and make sure you have the latest Flash Player as I will provide screencast videos of projects I am working on plus demos of tools and tips. Most of these are mp4 files but a few are flash. Your project critiques will also be screencast videos. 

Computer Requirements

Adobe Photoshop ONLY will be needed for this class although I may show or discuss Photoshop integrated with other programs in the creative suite. Make sure you have installed Photoshop and it will run on your system either Windows or Mac OSX.

Online class browser requirements/minimum computer specifications can be reviewed at http://www.cuesta.edu/student/aboutacad/distance/faqs_technical.htmlLinks to an external site.

Canvas course access instructions with login info can be found at: https://www.cuesta.edu/student/documents/distance_ed_students/Canvas_Quick_Reference_Students.pdfLinks to an external site.

Technical Support

If you are having technical difficulties with the course web site, please contact Technical Support. Please call 805-546-3100 ext. 2802 during the hours of 7:30 am–9:00 pm, Mon.–Thu. and 7:30 am–4:00 pm Fri. Or send an email to support@my.cuesta.edu Include your name, class, section number (CRN), and instructor’s name. Describe the problem you are experiencing. This information will be sent to a technical support individual at Cuesta who will get back to you within 48 hours (usually a response will be much sooner).

Your Skills

You need experience navigating and using your operating system. This course will NOT help you with Windows or Macintosh operating systems, nor is the instructor able respond to computer questions not specific to Adobe Photoshop, or the course content. Additionally knowing how to download files, attach documents, use e-mail, and word processing software are critical skills in an online course environment.

If you are uncertain about your abilities, you may want to enroll in DIST 101: Introduction to Online. If you have little or no experience with computers — a good “on campus” class is CAOA 266. Cultivate a willingness to trouble shoot and be willing to seek technical assistance. Bookmark this address: https://cuesta.instructure.com/eportfolios/96/Home/DIST_101__Introduction_to_Distance_Education

Course Policies and Procedures

Expect to spend at least as much time in this course as you do in a traditional class (otherwise it wouldn’t be worth 3 units—would it?). Academic courses, such as this, with a lab component require 2 hours of lecture plus 4 hours of lab each week for a 3 unit course spanning 18 weeks. This is 108 hours so expect at least 6–10 hours per week plus time for special projects. It will go fast and you will accomplish a lot in a very short time! For your creative assignments I will post project instructions and the grading criteria so that you will know what is expected. You will also be required to post to the discussion and critique areas and your posts should be about 150 words. For critiques you will need to explain what is working well and what you would do to improve on the projects for at least two of your classmates to get credit for this.


Online classes also demand dedication in time for reading posted materials and writing independently in the discussion forums. In many ways it is more than an online class. You will be a part of a community and you will need to participate to be successful. The nice thing about online classes is that they can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, but you have to put in the T.I.M.E. It is recommended that you login to this classroom 3 to 5 times per week, along with working on your assignments offline.

EVERY WEEK: You will be required to check the Announcements to see what is expected for the week's assignments and activities. 

Course Objectives

By the end of your 18 weeks you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the use of Adobe Photoshop applications with a basic level of
  • Create composite images using layers and
  • Compare and contrast the different types of file formats and their
  • Evaluate digital images and employ proper adjustments in terms of color balance, hue, saturation, contrast and levels.
  • Compare and contrast image
  • Define the difference between a vector-based art application and a raster-based art
  • Use online resources to continue to learn about Adobe Photoshop.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Art 256 the students should be able to:

  • Successfully apply basic photographic editing software operations
  • Apply and integrate basic photographic and observational techniques
  • Apply the visual elements and principles of design to the two-dimensional format
  • Identify and analyze mixed media and digital design in historical and contemporary
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