The Precourse, as developed by Johannes Itten and continued by others after his leaving, belonged to the basic pedagogical institutions of education at the Bauhaus. Preceding the actual lessons, it was to mediate the basics of material properties, composition and color theory.

The center of the course was to recognize and design contrasts, that have been implemented using the most varying forms and materials, natural materials and their textures as well as free plasic forms. Special care was given to the interaction of two given elements. To Itten, contrast between light and dark was one of the most important and most expressive means of design.

Another focal point were the studies of materials, during which contrasting properties of the material were to be assembled three-dimensionally or illustrated graphically in a sensually experiencable way.

The properties of abstract graphical elements were explored using "stripe studies". To Itten, the Circle meant movement, the Square calmness, and the Triangle contained strong directional contrasts. These properties were emphasized in drawings or neutralized through correlative layout.

Nature studies were aimed at realizing and drawing objects in their hue and/or characteristic form either in front of the models or by memory: the studies were to be designed from within your inner experiences of the real objects. These depictions often deceptively matched the material properties of the original models. "Analysen alter Meister" (analysing old masters), together with exploration of contrast, form and color, served the sensual realization of form, color and the dynamics of a piece of art.

The most popular tool of design was charcoal, that allowed finest nuances in color and whose flexibility was fully utilized by the scholars. Next to this many different three-dimensional structures and collages have been produced during theses courses.