Visual Arts Courses

Learning To Draw Confidently Without An Eraser

The Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy Fine Arts curriculum offers a variety of courses for students seeking instruction in drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography.  Below is a summary of visual art courses offered at Saint Joseph's. Course availability is subject to student interest.

In addition to course work in the visual arts, Saint Joseph's offers clubs for students interested in the visual arts. Click on the blue "Fine Arts Club" button to learn more about these popular clubs.

For more information about individual courses, contact the school office at

Introductory Courses

Drawing & Painting I. Students explore and experiment with each of the Elements of Art, the "visual tools" that artists use to create artwork, along with the Principles of Art.  Students are introduced to different mediums with introductory tools and materials to basic techniques and how to use those techniques in step by step projects to complete artwork. Contour drawing, perspective, and tonal shading are covered.

Drawing & Painting II. This class expands the student's knowledge by learning more precise techniques in creating their artwork and self expression. Students continue to build drawing skills and experiment with pen and ink and will work with mixed mediums such as watercolor and acrylic paint. The fundamentals of “color theory” will be practiced and explored in directed projects. (Prerequisite - Drawing & Painting I)

Photography/Videography I. In this course students develop basic DSLR camera operation skills, as well as communicating visually and verbally about photography and photographic composition. Course topics include camera anatomy, composition techniques for photos, incorporating the elements of art into their compositions, lighting techniques, and digital editing of photos.  Prominent photographers and their styles are discussed.

Photography/Videography II. In this course, students will expand their interest and skills in photography and videography with more practice and study.  The required projects challenge students to utilize prior knowledge while making connections and transferring knowledge with their photographs.  Students will keep a journal of weekly assignments for the semester.  A weekly “Challenge” is also assigned.  Students share with each other and learn to critique each other’s photos and artistic compositions.  The role and techniques of photojournalism are explored in this course. (Prerequisite - Photography/Videography I).

Sculpture. Students learn to use various materials to create 3 dimensional projects.  Paper, plastic, clay and wire will be among the materials used. Students will gain an understanding of the different styles and techniques used in sculpture. The works of prominent sculpture artists will be discussed.

Advanced Course Work

Advanced Art I. This course is recommended for students who seek to create a visual art portfolio for college or for the AP portfolio review.  Students will build upon skills already acquired in previous art classes. Students will work on creating more complex compositions, including studies of the human face and body, and using more advanced drawing and painting techniques. (Prerequisite - Drawing & Painting I & II)

Advanced Art II. This course continues to build on the student's preparation for the AP or college portfolio review.  The student is expected to apply problem solving skills to improve their mastery of different compositions and materials, including but not limited to correct proportions and perspective in objects and people.  By the end of this course students will have several pieces of artwork for their portfolios. (Prerequisite Drawing & Painting I, II, Advanced Art I)

Advanced Art III. This course is a continued study by the student in preparation for the AP or college portfolio review.  Students will be experimenting with and creating student-driven projects which enable them to develop an overall theme in their artwork (which is required for the AP review). (Prerequisite Drawing & Painting I, II, Advanced Art I, II)

AP Art. This is a rigorous studio course offered to highly motivated students who have completed previous art courses.  In addition to in-class time, students must be prepared to dedicate at least 3-5 hours/week outside of classroom to their art projects. The goal of the AP Art curriculum is the creation of 15 pieces of artwork that are based on a “theme” as well as 10 other pieces of artwork which will be submitted for the AP portfolio review to earn AP credit.  The AP review takes place in May of each year. (Prerequisite - Recommendation from Art Teacher following review of 5 pieces of art work)



Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118