AR261 Painting II

for FA 2004

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Fall 2004

AR261:  Painting II

M & F, 1:50 – 4:30

Alumni Hall, 3rd fl.  Main Studio

Prerequisites:  AR150

Credit hours: 3

Semester dates: August 23 – December 15


Faculty: Donna Bachmann, Associate Professor of Art and

                                                Chair of the Dept. of Art & Design

          Office:  Alumni Hall, Room 31

          Office hours:  MWF 10:50-12:00 and TR 3:40-5:00

          Campus mail box: #42

          Office phone & voice mail: 816-584-6457

          Home phone: 913-384-4419




Mission Statement:  The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.


Vision Statement:  Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.



Course Description:  A continuation of AR260: Painting I.  Students may elect to study transparent media such as watercolor.  All levels of painting are taught concurrently.) Prerequisite: AR260.1:5:3


An intermediate painting course which continues to emphasize direct observation of nature in opaque and/or transparent media.  Draftsmanship and strong form, value and compositional relationships will continue to be stressed as well as the craftsmanship of painting. 


Educational Philosophy

I believe that it is through intensive studio practice that students learn to see, to develop the learnable skills of art making and to critically evaluate the results.  With effort and instruction  anyone can learn.  “Talent” is optional.  The ideal environment for studio practice is an energetic, competitive visual milieu that is intellectually as well as physically demanding. Art and design are labor intensive and cumulative.   I engage each student in an ongoing

discussion about their ideas and their work. Through each project, and through successive semesters, I try to provide the stimulus and support that will help build each individual student’s skill, confidence and portfolio. 


Course Objectives:

The objective of this course is to substantially increase ones knowledge, skill and confidence as a painter as evidenced by the group of paintings produced during the course of the semester.  Students are expected to experiment with media, scale, technique and style.  At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:


·        Demonstrate his/her increased ability to paint as evidenced by the ten or more paintings  produced during the course of the semester.


·        Continue to develop observational, compositional, color mixing and technical skills

 as a painter.


·        Experiment with new media, styles and techniques to expand ones repertoire as an artist.


·        Use painting materials and equipment with greater craftsmanship and facility.


·        Critique his/her own work and that of classmates in appropriate professional language. 



Course Textbook: There is no textbook for this course.   A variety of handouts will be provided as well as reference materials that will be available in the studio.



Academic Honesty: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

Plagiarism:  Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”



The above is Park’s official policy. Fortunately honesty in the studio is seldom an issue.   Of course, you must not turn in any work which you did not do.


Attendance Policy:  Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.

 The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


The above is Park’s official attendance policy.


My attendance policy is as follows:  Attendance is required.  Roll will be taken at the beginning of each class session.  Twenty-seven  2 hour and 40 minute studio sessions are scheduled this semester.  Of these you may have up to three (3)  cuts without penalty, that is  over 10% of the classes.  A fourth cut will directly impact your grade.  You will be held responsible for material covered in your absence.  The exchange between students is an important part of any art class.  When you, or your work, are absent from critique, you are letting your classmates down. 


Athletes:  By the end of the second week, (Sept. 3) please turn in a list of specific class sessions you anticipate needing to cut, signed by your coach.  With that information it may be possible to make plans to compensate you for the missed time.  Providing this information is mandatory. It is your responsibility to provide it.


Late Submission of Assignments: You are required to participate in all scheduled group critiques with paintings to show the class and with your own insights to share.  Paintings are “assessed” at Mid-term and Final critiques.



Course Assessment:  Please note that the different levels of painting students (I, II, II, IV) are subject to different grading standards.  Student assessment is rooted in the quality of work produced  (its originality, quantity and craftsmanship) as demonstrated by:


·        Attendance and participation.


·        The quality of the paintings produced and their development through the semester.


·        Periodic group class critiques in which each student’s work is viewed, discussed and ways sought to improve it.


·        Formal mid-term and final critiques (one-on-one) in which all the student’s paintings from the preceding eight weeks are discussed and evaluated and progress noted.


·        Contributions to group critiques.


Four Informal Group Critiques, two prior to Mid-Term and two prior to Finals are tentatively scheduled for:  Friday Sept. 10,  Friday Sept. 24, Friday Nov. 5,  and Monday  Nov. 22.  to begin at 1:50.  This means that your work should be completed, clearly signed and displayed so that the critique can begin promptly.  Don’t make your classmates wait. 


Critiques are group discussions about current projects.  They are a standard part of all professional art education.  They are meant to help you see, within the context of everyone’s work, where you succeeded and how you can improve further.  Your visual and verbal participation is expected.  The only way to become fluent in the professional language of art

 is to begin expressing yourself verbally as well as visually.


The kind of images we each make is unique and the range of personal styles in painting is unlimited.  The degree to which any painting can be improved and refined is unlimited as well.


Critiques at Mid-term and Finals will be cumulative (combining all your preceding paintings) and will be individual and private.  Each of you will sign up for a specific time slot. 

At these two critiques you will be re-submitting the preceding  paintings for a cumulative grade.  This means that after the initial group critique,  you may rework a painting to improve it.  (When you gain some insight into your work from a critique, you should try to follow through on those new ideas.) 


Mid-term critiques:                     8th week of the semester:  Oct. 11 and 15


Final Critiques (tentative):         Mon. December 13,  3:00-5:00,  and

                                                    Wed. December 15, 1:00-3:00


Extra credit:  Sketch Books.   Drawing is fundamental to painting.  Drawing is how artists think.  The best thing you can do for yourself as an artist is to carry a sketch book with you everywhere and use it daily to visually record whatever you see, think or feel.  A current sketch book will be given generous extra credit commensurate with the amount of work in it.




Work outside of class:  Painting students are required to paint at least one additional three hour session outside of regularly scheduled class time each week.   By the beginning of the second week of the semester please report when and where you will regularly schedule this extra painting session.  Painting is labor intensive.  The more you practice the better you get.  You may find that privacy provides you with a better personal painting environment.


About instruction:  Instruction will be one-to-one.  I will spend time with each of you individually during each studio session.  Please note that much of the instruction you will receive will be by means of my demonstration on your painting.  I can often show you techniques more easily than I can tell you about them.

Please remember to check with me prior to starting new paintings. I can often save you a great deal of trouble at the onset of a project if we work together on it.


About photographic source material:  Source material will be direct observation from nature, imagination  and art history.  NO PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE MATERIAL OF ANY KIND MAY BE USED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE INSTRUCTOR.  Paintings which copy photographs will

 not be accepted for credit in this course.


Studio Regulations:  This is as communal studio and this semester Alumni Hall has the highest number of students enrolled in its history.  Therefore the need to respect each other’s space, work and equipment will be greater than ever.  Do not leave palettes, coffee cups or brushes soaking in the sink!  Scrape paint into the trash—not into the sink and our antique plumbing!


Studio Management:  Our class will use three areas in the studio.  The north end, the south end  and the old art history classroom.  The drawing tables are reserved for the exclusive use of the 2-D design class and the large work tables for the drawing class.  Artists are territorial, please do not trespass on those areas.  Each of you will be assigned your own easel, a high stool and some sort of taboret  which you will not have to share.  Label all your sketch books, paintings, tool boxes, etc. 


Studio Storage:  Most of the file drawers will be taken by the drawing and design students. 

The large lockers in the back hall are reserved for you to share with another painting student.

Small lockers are available in the sink room and cabinet/drawer lockers are also available.   Medium sized painting bins are available in the north end of the studio.  Please label your storage clearly with your name and “Fall 04”.


Studio Access:  You have 24 hour, 7 days per week access to this studio space.  You are even welcome to work during other class times (it is a big studio).  After add/drop your name will be placed on the security list for this building.  When you leave, PLEASE, turn off lights and fans (the breaker box is labeled and behind the door) and shut the windows.  To get in after the building is locked, call security (6444).  Please be prepared to show your Park University I.D. and to cooperate with Park security staff at all times.


Course Fee:  The $20 fee you paid at registration x 20 (?) students = $400.   Thus far I have purchased  gesso, masonite, oil pastels  and some papers for this class.  I will give you an accounting

and we can decide as a group how best to use the balance.  (The new easels were purchased with departmental funds.)   That money can only provide a partial subsidy  for items best bought in bulk.

You must plan to provide most of your own paints, brushes, supports and miscellaneous equipment.



Studio Safety

Spray Fixative and spray paints in general, MUST NOT be used anywhere in Alumni Hall!  These products can only be used outside for adequate ventilation.   I recommend the west side of the building.

 Solvents, such as the mineral spirits used for thinning oil paint and its clean up,

 must be kept in the bright yellow fire proof cabinet.  Never pour solvents down the drain. 

Used solvents are to be disposed of in the special red storage can inside the yellow cabinet.

Do not eat or drink while using paints.  Always wash your hands after handling paint and solvents.

Using any power tool requires training, goggles AND a buddy!

Information about the safety of specific art supplies (Material Safety Data Sheets) can be found in the large notebook just outside my office and in the reference book with it.  

          The principle hazard in any studio class is the danger of cutting yourself with an


 In the event of an accident use the studio phone to call security (6444) for assistance. 



DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:



AR261: Painting II           Course Calendar:                                                       Fall 2004




Week 1         M  8/23        Introduction, organize studio.               

F  8/25         Painting session.


Week 2         M 8/30         Painting session

                   F  9/3                    Painting session (view Campanella Gallery exhibit by Garry Noland)


Week 3         M  9/6          No Class.  Labor Day.

                   F  9/10         CRITIQUE  #1:  one or more paintings due for group critique. 

2:00-3:00 approx.

                                      Balance of class time: continue painting


Week 4         M  9/13        Painting session

                   F  9/17         Painting session


Week 5         M  9/20        Painting session

                   F  9/24         CRITIQUE #2:  one or more new paintings due for group critique.

                                      2:00-3:00 approx. 

                                      Balance of class time: continue painting:


Week 6         M 9/27         Painting session,

 Prepare to install Lobby exhibit downstairs for “Barefoot in the Park”

(Play performances are Oct. 1,2 & 8, 9 at 8 pm)        

                   F 10/1          Painting session.


Week 7         M  10/4        Painting session

                   F  10/8         Painting session,  Visiting substitute professor?

(Donna at Mid-America College Art  Association  conference in Minneapolis.)


S  10/9         Art@Park!!!  Dept. of Art & Design will again have its own display booth

S  10/10       on the lawn in front of the chapel.  30-40 other professional artists craftspeople will exhibit.  Music, food, fun and flamingos!


Week 8         M  10/11      MID-TERM CRITIQUES:  Minimum of five (5) resolved painting

                                      studies due for private individual critiques.  

                   F  10/15       MID-TERM CRITIQUES  continue.



            M-F  10/18-22      FALL BREAK.  No classes.



Week 9     M  10/25          Painting session.  (View Campanella Gallery exhibit by Richard Mattson.)


                 F   10/29         Painting session.


Week 10    M  11/1           Painting  session.

                 F  11/5            CRITIQUE #3:  one or more paintings due for group critique.

                                      Approx. 2:00-3:00.  Balance of class time, resume painting.

                                      Week 11    M  11/8           Painting session. 

                 F  11/12                   Painting session.


Week 12    M  11/15         Painting session.  Prepare to install Lobby exhibit downstairs for

“One-Act Plays”  11/18, 19 & 20,  8 PM

                 F  11/19                   Painting session.


Week 13    M  11/22         CRITIQUE #4:  one or more paintings due for group critique.

                                      (NOTE:  This critique falls on a Monday.)

                 F  11/26                   No class.  Thanksgiving Holiday.


Week 14    M  11/29         Painting session. 

                 F   12/3           Painting session.  (View senior exhibit in Campanella Gallery)


Week 15     M  12/6          Painting session.

                 F  12/10         Last painting session.


FINALS       M   12/13       3:00-5:00  PM,  and                   Minimum of five  (5) new resolved

                                                                             painting studies due for individual

WEEK         W   12/15       1:00-3:00  PM                  private critiques in addition to reviewing

                                                                             the 5 submitted at mid-term (=10 total)



Grading Plan:


Attendance/participation:            10%

Mid-term portfolio                      40

Final portfolio                            50



Grade Scale:


          100 – 90  =  A

            89 – 80  =  B

            79 – 70  =  C

           69 –  60  = D

           Below 60 =  F


Questions????  Please ask them!  In class or out, in person, or via E-mail or voice mail, whatever…  They are the best way to learn.  Remember---I cannot read your mind!  You must let me know if you are having special difficulties or if there is someway I can help you.  It is what they pay me for.




Painting I   Projects:


1.     Color Wheel or Chart based on pigments.  Use the paint “out of the tube” as your hues.

Set them in primary, secondary and  tertiary relationships.  Include tints, shades and complementary relationships.  Without black, use complements to generate shades and tones.

I recommend the use of the painting knife for both mixing and application.  If you have previously produced an elaborate color wheel (in 2-D design?) you may skip this exercise.


2.     Forms in Space

a.       Tone a small canvas with an overall medium color  that varies slightly from light to dark. Let it dry.

b.      In pencil lightly sketch a few floating imaginary three-dimensional forms (cube, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, etc.)  against the toned background.  Let some overlap. Imagine some of them in the distance  and others looming in the foreground.

c.      Determine where the imaginary light is coming from (upper left?  lower right?).

d.      Using a dark glaze (background color,  darkened  and lots of gloss medium)  paint in the shadows.

e.       Using a pale scumble   (back ground color, little bit of white and lots of gloss medium),  paint in the high lights.   Note that both the glaze and the scumble are translucent  and will allow some of the toned canvas to show through.

f.        Finally, paint in the cast shadows  and the reflected lights.


3.     Collage  Forgery:

a.      Produce a quick, simple abstract collage using 5 or 6 solid colors.  Size should be modest.

b.     Prepare a canvas or panel that is exactly the same size as the collage.

c.      Produce a painted “forgery” of the collage on the new support  by “decoding” each color in the collage.  Record each shape—both positive and negative—in paint.  Duplicate the contours:  straight, ragged, etc.

d.     Continue making adjustments until the two works are indistinguishable from one another from across the studio.


4.     Monochromatic Still-Life: 

a.      Set up a simple still-life of 3 to 4 geometric forms against a simple background. 

     Use a view  finder to study and refine the composition.  Consider the direction

     of the light.

b.     Lightly sketch the contour lines  on your support  with graphite or paint. 

     Strive for accuracy.

c.      Choose a pigment for your one color (monochrome).  Analyze each major shape,

both  positive and negative in your set up, to determine its VALUE  (degree of lightness and darkness).  Use your chosen pigment  (ultramarine blue?  acra violet?) as the basis  of the tint or shade for each basic shape in the composition.

d.     Continue  refining the shapes and the values, in relationship to one another,

     throughout  the painting.  Use the techniques of glazing and scumbling from

     “Forms in Space”  to further  enhance the illusion of form and the fall of light.


5.     Plein air Landscape.

a.      Gather together everything you need to paint out of doors.  This can include a sun

     hat, sun screen and a, water bottle.  

b.     Use a view finder to help you compose---360 degrees  of  nature is too much. 

     Choose   a simple view, something you can do in no more than two sessions.

     Include sky, a horizon line and a foreground. 

c.      Paint a la prima  (a single layer of paint,  like Van Gogh.  Start with the deepest space

    (the sky) and move down the canvas, one major shape at a time,  to the foreground.

     Break up your picture plane into the main (abstract) shapes you can see. 

d.     Discover and match the colors you see.

e.      Do not bother with texture—the fluffiness of the clouds,  leafiness of the trees.

Focus on shape and color.


6.     Limited Palette Still-Life:

a.      Refer again to the first two directions for the Monochromatic Still-life—set up,

     composition and drawing.   You could use the very same still-life,  interpreting it this

    time in a limited palette.

b.     A limited palette is a” false” palette,  one not necessarily based on the local colors---

     the colors you see.   You may use  white,  yellow oxide or ochre,  and  a third dark

 pigment.   Experiment with the (surprising) range of colors you can generate with

just these three colors.

             c.   The challenge this time is three fold:  to see how close you can come to the local colors,

 to match the values,  AND  to match temperature  (how “warm”  and how “cool”

                   individual  colors  seem),  in your interpretation using the limited palette.

            d.    Within  the restriction of the limited palette,  practice as many of the painting

    techniques  as possible.  Include the fall of light, the cast shadows and the highlights.

     Minimize texture.


7.     Reflected Self-Portrait:

a.     Do a series of sketch book studies of your face based on mirror reflections---

     not  photographs—in order to get acquainted.

b.     Set up yourself and the mirror in the studio.  Get comfortable.  Arrange  the light and a solid backdrop behind  yourself.  I suggest a simple head and shoulders frontal or three-quarters view.   Plan to paint your face about the same size as your face.

c.      Mix a few of the basic colors you see.  Compare  a mixture by holding  a brush full at

arm’s length, squinting  and matching it to:  the high light on your cheek,  the shadow

    under your throat,  etc.

d.     Again, do not be much concerned with texture.  Concentrate on shape and color.

Establish the biggest shapes first and then break those down into smaller ones.


8.     Open Palette Still-life:

a.      Refer again to the directions for the monochromatic  and the limited palette still-lifes.

You could do this still-life using the same set up a third time if you wish.

b.     Just as in the self-portrait study above,  match each of the major colors by holding a

     brush full at arm’s length,  squinting  and comparing your version with the original.

     You may  use as many pigments as you wish.

c.      Focusing, as always on shape and color,  build the image  by establishing the biggest

    color shapes  and then breaking them into smaller and smaller color pieces.


9.     Small Master “Forgery”:

a.      Find 3 or 4 good color reproductions of a “master piece”  painting that you really like.

     Check the art history books  as well as museum postcards and posters.  Find out how

    big the original is  since reproductions are rarely printed full size.

b.     Select a detail, a small portion of the original painting, and lightly mask off that


c.      Prepare a canvas or panel  in proprotion  to the detail you have chosen  and  the exact

    size of the original.

d.     Do some sketches of your chosen piece of the master painting  in order to get

    acquainted with it  and to discover its  gesture  and principle shapes.

e.      Transfer your sketch to the canvas/panel.   Record the  big  color shapes first and then

     break them down into the smaller color shapes.  Or,  you may wish to try to decode

     the master’s  technique.  (This could mean doing an underpainting,  letting it dry,  and

    then going back in with scumbles and glazes,  or working with thick impasto,  or

     pointillism,  etc.)



10.                        Cubist Still-Life:

a.      Once again, you could use that same still-life set up  (but you don’t have to) .

b.     Do a  series of quick linear sketches of the set up from different points of view,  from the side, back, top as well as the front.  Produce drawings the same size as your canvas/panel. 

c.      Using the light box, superimpose  the various  drawings on one another in various ways  to produce a combination image of the still-life that combines vantage points.

Refer to  Analytical and Synthetic Cubism in the work of Picasso, Braque and Gris

to see great examples of how this can work.  Go through several versions  of your drawing until you produce a strong abstract image of the still-life.

d.     Transfer that linear image to your canvas/panel,  continuing to make compositional


e.      Color can be “arbitrary” or “felt”.   It need not conform to what you see--- but  you are

     seeking  color harmony.

f.       Cubist works, although not at all illusionistic,  have a strong sense of volume and

movement.  At a certain point in this process  you must relinquish the still-life  and begin painting  the painting in terms of itself.


11.    Expressionistic Still-life:

a.      Expressionism is the distortion of form and/or the distortion of color in order to express

     emotion.  It is not about what is seen, but rather what is felt.

b.     Review the work of some expressionistic painters.  I consider Van Gogh the father of

    this “ism”  but there are many others to whom you can refer.

c.      You can use the same still-life or one that has more personal meanings for you.

d.      Consider what emotion you are trying to communicate.  Is this a joyful painting or a sad painting  or an angry painting…?  Color choices should be intuitive and spontaneous.  This is risky and it takes practice to get into this “zone”.

e.      Form too will be derived from the emotional content of the work.  A romantic work (think Chagal)  would have more lyrical and curvey forms.  An anguished work might have more jagged contours.


12.                         Non-objective Painting:

a.      I suggest a larger canvas/panel for this work.

b.     A non-objective work has no object---no subject matter.  It makes no reference to outward, visible reality.   This is much more challenging than you might initially suppose.

c.      Using any technique, place lines, shapes, color fields, patterns, etc. on the picture plane.   Paint can be applied with any technique:  washes, impastos,  even collage.

Edges can be hard or soft.  Color can be flat or blended  or any combination.

d.     As with the cubist  study,  one must paint this painting in terms of itself,  not in terms

    of what it is supposed to look like,  since you have no outside reference to guide you.

     You must enter into a “conversation with the painting”:  does this color look good next

     to that one?  Is this shape  beautiful or strong in relationship to this other one?  Etc!


13.                        Open Study:

An open study is just that, you define what the challenge is and what the limitations will be.   Please consult with me.         



Advanced Painting Projects for Painting II, III & IV


 About painting projects:

Painting II, II & IV students will, in consultation with me, determine their own projects.

Refer to the previous  list of Painting I projects.  You  may wish to do versions of some of those exercises, to improve upon earlier attempts or to try ones you’ve not done before. 

The following  Advanced Painting project list describes more complex  visual challenges. 

You can always benefit from doing more than one version of any of these potential projects.


1.          A “White” Painting.   This is a traditional still-life composed of white (or very light colored)

      drapery and objects  (eggs in a white bowl,  etc.)  carefully lit.   It  produces  a very subtle

      range of tones and warm and cool whites to study  and attempt to record.


2.          Nude study based on drawings.   This project uses one of your more ambitious life drawings from a previous  semester as the source material for the painting.  Develop the composition from the drawing,  trying to  extend and interpret the anatomy, gesture and form of the figure.   Color should be none realistic---freely interpreted.


3.         A  collage/assemblage  “a la Bachmann”.


4.          A  Painted Chair,  in the style of a master artist.  That is, a three-dimensional painting you can sit on.  (What kind of chair would Salvador Dali sit on?  Caravaggio?  Lucien Freud?)


5.         A  “MACRO-mini” still-life.   Produce a BIG painting of an extremely small still life---that is a still-life composed of very small objects.  So a spool of thread,  for example,  could be

eight inches tall.  In this way you will have room to visually record everything you can see in       the still-life.


    6.   A portrait or figure study of a friend from life.  Get a friend to pose for you in the studio

         for several sessions.  Pick a simple pose and carefully arrange the background and light.


   7.    Floral Study.   Flowers are a special category of still-life with their very planer petals, linear

     stems and leaves  and open form.   Get fresh flowers to work with!   Sketch to discover their

     gesture.  Keep the set up, background, light, etc. simple.  Try to paint the full size of your

    subjects.  Look at Manet’s flowers.   I recommend a direct a la prima technique.  Paint the

    negative shapes as well as the positive ones.


8.     Musical Abstraction.  Pick a  strong, distinctive work of music you  love.  Arrange  to listen

     to it through ear phones while you paint.   Prepare  a largish canvas.  Work spontaneously and

    intuitively.  Try to respond directly to the rhythm, tone, pattern, color of the music WITHOUT

    thinking about it.  Let the sounds come in your ears and out your brush.  What does the music

    look like?  It is better to choose something without lyrics if you can because you are not

    trying to illustrate the music,  but rather to express its essense.




VOCABULARY – Art terms that artists use to talk to one another. 

   (It turns out that a picture really is worth a thousand words.)



A la prima                        Assemblage                     Atmospheric perspective


Abstraction                      Cross-hatch                      Color wheel


Collage                            Cast shadow                     Chroma (or saturation or intensity)


Complement                    Dry brush                        Elements of art


Expressionistic                  Form (3-D)                      Glaze


Grisaille                           Hatch                              Hue


Highlight                          Hard Edge                        Imprimatura


Impasto                           Local color                       Limited palette


Linear perspective             Medium                           Non-objective


Opaque                           Optical mix                      Pointillism


Plein air                           Primer (gesso)                  Proportion


Palette (range of colors)    Principles of Design           Pigment


Primaries                         Reflected light                  Scumble


Shade                              Shape  (2-D)                    Support (panel or canvas)


Secondaries                      Tertiaries                         Transparent


Trompe l’oeil                    Tint                                 Temperature


Underpainting                  Value                               Wash


Wet-in-Wet                       ETC!





  • 3 to 5 good quality oil or acrylic long handled brushes.  Get fairly “stiff” bristle brushes.  Beware of brushes that are too “soft”.  Synthetic or natural bristles.  Buy the best brushes you can afford and clean them with soap and water after each painting sessions to avoid paint build up in the metal ferrule which will distort the brush’s shape and cause the bristles to “splay”   losing their “spring”.  Brights are square shaped.  Flats or longs are rectangular.

Filberts  have rounded tops.  Rounds are constructed like watercolor brushes.  See the examples in class  for sizes.


·        Palette or painting knife.  Palette knives have straight blades and painting knives are shaped like long trowels.  These are used to mix paiant on the palette  and to paint directly on the canvas or panel.  Mixing paint with brushes is hard on the brushes.


·        Spray bottle.  Misting your paint on the palette will help keep it moist and will greatly extend the its drying time.


·        Large tube titanium white.


·        Regular sized tubes of 2 yellows, 2 reds  and 2 blues.  By getting warm and cool versions of the three primaries you can, with a fairly limited range of pigments, have a vast range of colors.  I suggest these pigments:  yellow oxide, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light,  (please note that cadmiums are the most expensive and also the most poisonous pigments)  acra violet, ultramarine blue  an pthalo blue.  If you like you can add a green or two.  Brown is unnecessary.  Black is not allowed in the studio; it is not a color.


·        Gloss polymer emulsion/varnish.  This is the medium of acrylic paint.  You MUST have it to improve the handling properties of your paint (otherwise it’s like painting with tooth paste!)

It is also used to make glazes and scumbles.  You will need at least a pint.


·        Water jar.  An old jelly or pickle jar is ideal.


·        Palette cup.  A small saucer or little dish  to hold a a fresh supply of medium to mix with your paint as  you work.


·        Drawing materials.


·        Palette.  The Art Dept. has only a few good glass palettes surviving.  The ideal palette for acrylic is a piece of ¼” plate glass approx. 12x14” or so.  Get the edges beveled  and tape white paper to the back.  Clean it with a  razor blade scraper.  DON’T leave palettes soaking in the sink!  Scrape paint into the trash---not the sink!  PLEASE!


·        View finder.


·        Painting supports.  Gessoed masonite panels  and stretched and gessoed canvases.

You can use acrylic paint on almost any surface that has been prepared with two or more sanded coats of gesso.  The gesso (the modern product is a highly pigmented acrylic primer)

primes the surface and isolates it from the paint film.

 You can gesso matte board or heavy watercolor paper once it has been secured to a rigid surface like a piece of plywood.  Or you can stretch and prime your canvases.  The department has  a staple gun, ammo  and stretching pliers for your use.


·        Gesso brush.  Small, cheap, 3 inch house painting brush.  Much nicer to have your own and not have to go around the studio  trying to borrow one.


·        ETC.  Paint rags, apron or work shirt,  paint box or bag so your gear is portable.




You can’t play basketball if you don’t have a basketball.