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Marc D'Agusto

Student Work: Introduction to Studio Painting 01


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is open to ALL students.

Studio Painting I is an introduction to the fundamentals of painting, including exercises in the use of color to describe the reflection of light and shapes in space.

Students adapt direct observation toward many contemporary and traditional art forms, bringing an ancient human ability into living practice, and changing how you think about what you see.  Here we use traditional materials – pigments, brushes and canvas, but the goal is to master the grammar of visual representation, and to use this as a structure for exploring all our visual expectations and experiences: our imagination, our memory, our identities, our social and spiritual connections and alienations, our senses of beauty and ugliness. This course introduces basic methods, media and concepts in painting styles, both traditional and contemporary. It emphasizes painting from observation, emotion, and the imagination with development of color, mark making, tone, and form. Formal consideration as well as design principles will be included. Through class critiques students are encouraged to articulate and reflect on their own work and the work of their classmates. Students are also encouraged to develop an awareness and appreciation of painting within the visual arts and the contemporary world. Gallery trips and other related assignments.

Projects: Each student will be required to lead one Critique session - Tonal & Color Studies, Still Life: Imprimatura & Grisaille technique, Large Scale Group Mystery Tile painting, Paint in Impressionism or Post Impressionism style (outdoors weather permitting), Abstract from nature, music or inspired.

COURSE GOALS: Upon successful completion of ART-344 Painting I, the student will be able to: Demonstrate familiarity with basic design and painting terminology, tools, media and techniques through application, assessment and oral criticism. Each student will be required to lead a formal critique. Implement the painting creative process from thumbnail sketches, canvas preparation, painting from photographs (student’s own), still lifes, and painting on location. Develop specific skills in expression of ideas in painting using a variety of subjects and approaches. Know and apply of terms: Elements & Demonstrate a working knowledge Principles as it pertains to painting, Abstraction and Representation and Naturalism , Painting methods: Grisaille, Alla Prima, Imprimatura, Scubbling, Glaze, Impasto, Fresco, Ground, Direct and indirect painting, Open and Closed Construction, Color theory: primary, secondary, saturation, hue, temperature, analogous, complimentary, scheme, additive, subtractive, tone, tint, shade, Various media and historical context: Oil, Acrylic, Tempera, Watercolor, Guache, Encaustic, Invented, Philosophical Modes of painting: Ancient, Medieval, Classical, Modern and Postmodern

ASSIGNMENTS: Painting projects will be introduced, demonstrated, and assigned during class in tandem with other ongoing projects and research. Class studio time will be used for lecture, one-on-one instruction and development of the work. Additional work will be required outside of class to develop ideas, research reference materials, practice painting techniques, and completion of projects. During the first three weeks of class students will be working on developing necessary foundational skills and knowledge of materials, with a primary focus on color mixing, and painted techniques rather than producing finished painting. Class work (CW) exercises and Homework (HW) assignments may include one or more of the following:

ExercisesColor Mixing and Tools and techniques development
Brush holding techniques, Value stick, Color wheel, and color palettes, Various mark-making, Grisaille, Alla Prima, Impasto, Direct and Indirect painting, Glaze, Scumbling, Imprimatura, Chiaroscuro Caravaggio, Gradation, Optical and Pigment color mixing, an abstract and representational Compose images from basic shapes: and abstract composition, thumbnails

Homework: Students will have various take home projects and be required to keep a weekly sketchbook/journal. This functions for observation study, self-discovery and skill development and to record thoughts, observations, questions, etc. Homework Assignments may include but not limited to:

  • Application and experimentation of design principles & elements. 
  • 2-4 weekly observational drawings or painting sketches
  • Search for new creative methods as you complete activities.

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