Artist's Digital Portfolio Development Archive

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Course description

This course prepares students with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare, develop, and maintain computer-based solutions for professional artist portfolios. The focus is the development of interactive websites and portfolios using Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF.) Students learn strategies for creating website architecture in tandem with issues surrounding the digitizing and preparation of original source material for onscreen and online viewing. In addition, the course covers effective documentation, scanning, and digital compression techniques. The course utilizes software applications such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, and ImageReady, while making use of Final Cut, Compressor and QuickTime Pro. An understanding of basic computer use is assumed.


There are research assignments, weekly technical exercises, and the production of the portfolio during the course. Students are expected to be present for all class meetings. Please email me in advance of the class if you must miss a class. More than 2 absences will jeopardize the completion of work as well as your standing in this course. Students will be evaluated based on participation, student presentation, completion of work, and technical progress over the course.

All students are required to maintain a personal website for this class. All research, documentation,assignments and projects should be posted on your site. Individual websites should be updated weekly and include all of your work for this course. In-class presentation materials should be located on your website.

Final Project: A fully functioning digital artist’s portfolio on the Internet


(Strongly Recommended) Craig Grannell, Web Designer’s Reference, An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS, 2005
David Sawyer McFarland, Dreamweaver 8, The Missing Manual, O'Reilly Press, 2005
Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas, Photoshop CS for Windows and Macintosh : Visual QuickStart Guide


Genevieve Belleveau
Terekah Najuwan
Mary Casserly
Joel Coburn-Neddo
Lisa Dietrich
Andrew Kaluzynski
Kirian Langseth-Schmidt
Jennifer Mattingly
Nathaniel Philbrick
Christina Martinelli
Victoria Pringle
Maria Rabinovich

Course outline

  • This schedule is a guide and is subject to change over the course of the term.

Session 1: February 21, Wednesday
Introduction to the course: what is a digital portfolio, who is it for and how to approach it?
Introduction to digitization: Scanning demo

Assignment: Digitize your art works. Select 20 still images that represent your artistic practice. Burn them onto a CD.
Pick one portfolio website that you like and put in on the links section

Session 2: February 26, Monday
Due: CD of digitized artworks

A basic Photoshop
Introduction to Adobe InDesign
Making a simple PDF portfolio in class.

Assignment: Finish up the PDF.

Session 3, February 28, Wednesday
Due: PDF from Session 2

Introduction to the basic XHTML, CSS
Introduction to Dreamweaver
Coding exercise

Assignment: XHTML, CSS, Javascript coding exercise, Potential audience analysis (Final draft due on March 26th)

Session 4: March 5, Monday
Due: Coding exercise, First draft of PAA

Connecting to your Web server
More Dreamweaver

Session 5: March 7, Wednesday
More on Dreamweaver

Assignment: CSS tutorial

Session 6: March 12, Monday
Due: CSS tutorial

Working with images
Assignment: Website blueprint (Due on March 19th, Monday)

Session 7: March 14, Wednesday
Simple html Table
Putting multimedia on the web: video, sound, flash movie

Assignment: Sketch 5 possible layouts on paper (Due on March 19, Monday)

Session 8: March 19, Monday
Due: Website blueprint, 5 possible layout sketches
HTML Table and CSS layout
-Discuss the blueprint + layout sketches in class
-CSS layout tutorial in class

Assignment:CSS layout exercise

Session 9: March 21, Wednesday
Due:CSS layout exercise

Advanced CSS layout
Making Rollover graphics using Javascript, CSS

Assignment: Final PAA, Color palette

Session 10: March 26, Monday
A brief student presentation of Potential Audience Analysis, a final layout, and color palette.

Session 11: March 28, Wednesday
Putting Video, Audio, Flash movie into the internet
How to use Javascript Snippets

Session 12: April 2, Monday
Due: First rough draft of the final portfolio site (It should have all the pages laid out, working navigation bar, and most of the contents displayed.)

Critique and feedback
Fixing browser specific hiccups

Session 13: April 4, Wednesday
Introduction to the concept of CMS (Content Management Software): Joomla, Pmachine and Wordpress

Session 14: April 9, Monday
Last class. Final projects due.
(The final project must be completed and located on student web pages by the start of class.)


HTML, CSS, Javascript coding exercise

Here's the code we worked on in class
Here's the javascript we played with in class

Write a [Pretty + Creative looking] HTML document using the CSS properties and Javascript learned in class.
This should be emailed to by NOON on Monday, March 5th.
If you have any question, please email me or post it on the wiki question section.

Potential Audience Analysis

Potential Audience Analysis should:
1. clearly identify the potential audience (must be specific – e.g. a specific gallery you’d like to show, a specific company you’d like to work for) [Due March 5th, Monday]
2. 10 adjectives that can describe your P.A. [Due March 5th, Monday]
3. evidence of research[Due March 26th, Monday]
- an interview with your potential audience (e.g. a gallery director) about

       - what platform of computer they have
       - the size of monitor
       - internet speed
       - web browser (safari, IE (version 5, 5.5, 6, 7), Firefox, Opera)

4. Make a connection between you and your P.A.
Pick words that can also describe yourself from the 10 adjectives describing your P.A.

5. Create a color palette that reflects the final words
You are welcome to use these colors on your actual website but you don't have to

Index Page

Due March 7th Wednesday

CSS tutorial

Due March 12th Monday
Make a link to the css tutorial page you made on your index page.

Website Blueprint

Due March 19th Monday
Organize contents you want to put in your website portfolio
It can be a sketch or a word document.

Layout sketches

Due March 19th Monday
Sketch 5 possible layouts.
It can be pencil, pen, watercolor drawings, photoshop documents, or collages.

CSS Layout exercise

Due March 21st Wednesday
Pick one layout sketch.
Translate it into HTML document using CSS layout
Make sure that most of text elements are plain text not an image