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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

VISA 1201: Mark and Image

Note: This course is only available for registration to students residing in Canada

This studio course in art, with ten one-hour programs, is for anyone who wishes to explore a new approach to drawing and communication. It begins with the fundamentals of physical mark-making; visual literacy; and points, lines, and shapes. It goes on to look at the human form; at analysis and interpretation of objects, both manufactured and natural; at functional drawing for communicating information; and at advances in electronic technology. Each unit's program begins with a lecture/demonstration followed by a studio session featuring students working on the program theme. Each program concludes with an exhibition of students' work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of VISA 1201, you will be able to:

  • Use a wide range of drawing tools, including pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, Conté, and paint.
  • Use diverse techniques such as frottage, collage, and assemblage.
  • Use the systematic research, experimentation and development method to create original drawings.
  • Draw handmade and manufactured objects.
  • Interpret natural forms in terms of structure, growth, change and relationships, in your drawings.
  • Interpret the human figure in terms of the effects of light and action, and in relationship to particular contexts, in your drawings.
  • Explain the visual language of marks and various communication systems.
  • Describe various traditional and contemporary systems of perspective and projection.
  • Discuss the contributions that selected artists have made to the development of contemporary art.
  • Develop a personal visual language.
  • Represent personal ideas and images of humanity in drawings.

Course topics

  • Unit 1: Material and Action
  • Unit 2: Point and Line
  • Unit 3: Plane and Shape
  • Unit 4: World of Objects
  • Unit 5: Forms in Nature
  • Unit 6: World of Information
  • Unit 7: The Human Image: Figure
  • Unit 8: The Human Image: Context
  • Unit 9: Human Image: Concept
  • Unit 10: Individual Directions

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. VISA 1201 Mark and Image USB
  2. VISA 1201 Art Supply Kit and Sketch Book

Students will receive a supply kit containing studio materials needed for the course.

Additional requirements

Computer with USB port.


There are ten drawing assignments which will test your knowledge of the learning material presented in Units 1-10, and a Final Project, which consists of your complete Notebook Documentation of your work on Assignments 1-10. Students need to achieve a minimum of 50% overall and 50% on the mandatory Final Project in order to pass this course.

The chart below shows the assessment grade weights:

Assignment 1: Material and Action 9%
Assignment 2: Point and Line 9%
Assignment 3: Plane and Shape 9%
Assignment 4: World of Objects 9%
Assignment 5: Forms in Nature 9%
Assignment 6: World of Information 9%
Assignment 7: Human Image: Figure 9%
Assignment 8: Human Image: Context 9%
Assignment 9: Human Image: Concept 9%
Assignment 10: Individual Directions 9%
Final Project: Notebook Documentation (mandatory) 10%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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