Online Visual Art Course course at Sessions College

Online Visual Art Course

30 hours

4801: Intro to Visual Arts

Explore the purpose and process of art-making

What makes a painting work? What inspires a sculptor to create? Artists are influenced by the language of art and visual communication, historical and social forces, and the evolution of new modes of expression. In this online visual arts course, you'll deepen your art knowledge by exploring your own artistic creativity. You'll look at paintings, sculptures, experimental pieces, and more, learning to critique composition and decode their social or political purpose. Course projects include art themes and creating your own art pieces that demonstrate your grasp of course concepts in the medium of your choice.

Student work by Samantha Mongardi

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete this course in 3-4 weeks


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Carolina Caycedo

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. The Visual Alphabet

      No matter the medium—paint, clay, photo, video, or beyond—the fine arts is based on a fundamental visual language. In the first lecture, you will be introduced to the foundations of fine art work including compositional and visual communication techniques. A wide range of essentials such as positive and negative space, balance and tension, and continuity and interruption are explored. In a feature interview, you'll be introduced to artist Raimond Chaves and his art and design techniques

    2. Historical and Social Function of Art

      Some might say that all art is political in a way, reacting (or choosing not to react) to historical or social events. This week introduces classic and contemporary pieces created to illustrate, enhance, or protest historical, religious, and social events. You'll learn how art tells stories, records data, is used in rituals, makes social commentary, and even is used as therapy.

    3. Art as an Expressive Medium

      Fine arts are all about expression, but there's more to it than just drawing, painting, and sculpture. In the final lecture, we'll compare and contrast the traditional fine arts with other categories of the arts, including visual, applied, and experimental. Interdisciplinary arts that include contemporary dance, fashion, and more are explored, as well as game art through a feature interview with controversial game artist Anne Marie Schleiner.

Sample Student Work

by Stephanie Pitsch

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

In a series of artistic projects, you will be asked to explore the art by art-making, through emotional/composition, by exploring purpose in art, and by creating an interdisciplinary art piece.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?
  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Basic supplies for an artistic medium of your choice (drawing, paint, video, digital imaging, and so on).
  • A digital camera (or ability to digitize film photos) to present your artwork digitally.
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Explore the basic visual elements that form aesthetic experiences.
  • Discover fundamental composition and visual communication techniques.
  • Create art pieces that elicit emotion using specific composition techniques.
  • Examine historical and social purposes of art including religious ceremonies and rituals, storytelling, describing events, creating beauty, generating emotion, recording data, and art as therapy.
  • Research and analyze historical and current uses of art as protest, propaganda, and commentary.
  • Develop a composition relating to specific purposes for creating artwork.
  • Investigate the relationship between the fine arts, visual arts, applied arts, and performance arts as components of the arts.
  • Focus on types and movements of interdisciplinary arts such as fluxus and contemporary dance.
  • Explore trends in interdisciplinary practice such as fluxus and game modding.
  • Develop a personal definition of the arts.
  • Conceptualize and produce an interdisciplinary art piece demonstrating a specific theme.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Enroll today, start tomorrow
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete within 3 months

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $50
Total Course Price $669

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. There are no set logins, so you can study at your own pace. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures and projects designed to stretch your creative skills.

How Much Time Do I Need?

This course can be completed in 30 hours or less. You’ll have three months from enrollment to complete the course studying at your own pace. Extensions are available for those who need more time.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. You’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).