While learning circuit analysis and design (from Introduction to Circuit Analysis and Design by Tildon H. Glisson ), I caught myself with a thought that experienced circuit designers should have a much clearer mental model to come up with circuits they design.
For example, digital logic circuit can be designed with a help of truth tables, Karnaugh maps and other almost algorithmically implementable techniques. (There are some design issues beyond that, like non-ideal signal/clock propagation, but those could be dealt with).
The question is, are there expressive tools, which help create low-frequency analog circuits given input/output conditions and other possible constraints? Is it kind of art, or is one required to memorize useful building blocks and just align those blocks to get the result? I am not speaking of simulation software, but human mental models, compressed most important body of knowledge serving as effective pathfinder in the realm.
I am not even sure if it is explainable at all (for example, if someone asked me how to program software I would have hard time to explain how to program in general), so I narrowed my question to low-frequency analog circuits, which more or less boil down to resistive circuits and dependent sources (am I right here?). (but I guess, transients is a challenge on its own, and maybe same mental maps help to design in frequency domain too).
I hope this question does not appear as too broad or vague. I believe, if there are answers, they could be as concrete as Karnaugh maps or have 4-6 sentences in their description.