The following Computer Art projects have been used for classes taught at both the High School and Middle School level. Rather than include them in a formal lesson plan format, I've written out basic concepts and assessments, since schools often vary greatly in the lesson plan format that they require from teachers. All lessons should be accompanied by example images, including professional, fine art, and student works, when possible. See the student work page to get an idea of results.

The main focus of most Computer Art classes will be learning Adobe Photoshop. This program is the industry standard and has depths of complexity that may never be explored, but still offers the most useful and innovative tools for any level of application. The most unique thing about Photoshop is it's ability to let you work in image layers.


Space: The Illusion of Depth

The most important thing is to first get used to using the basic tools, which involve the Layering, Selection, and Color Picking tools. Because of this my first lesson focuses more on these tools, and less on photographic content. Photoshop is not meant to be a drawing program, yet this first project involves very rudimentary drawing in order to have some image to work with. Again, the objective is to get used to using the tools without worrying so much about any sort of photographic imagery.


The colors and shapes you see are created by manipulating some very basic colored brush strokes.


"Edit- Transform" is used to create the shapes

Shapes are placed on separate Layers

Filters are used, except for ones like "twirl" and "lens flare", which I disallow so that the students try these effects through their own manipulations/transformations.

The most important thing to stress is that theses images are arrived at through process.... they themselves were not drawn.


Tools Covered:

Selection Tools

Color Picker


Image Adjustments that effect color






gayle gorman - teaching




| media studies | computer art | student work |