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Painting Course List

View titles & descriptions for the Painting department's courses.

Click a Course's Title to read its description .

Course # Course Title Credits
PT 200 Painting II 3 credits
Consolidates concepts and methods from FF 150 Painting I and leads students to expanded perceptual awareness. Projects may include still life, landscape, and the figure, as well as abstract and conceptual concerns to enhance each student's formal and personal development. There is ongoing concern with painting materials and techniques. May not be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: FF 150 or FF 175

PT 205 Painting & Drawing: A Dialogue 3 credits
The threshold between drawing and painting is a dynamic and fertile ground for exploration and for discovering new possibilities within the two disciplines. This course aims to encourage that exploration and to facilitate a dialogue between contemporary drawing and painting. Process, figure/ground, line, edge, value, color, and the history of these two related though distinct specialties will be comprehensively investigated in the course and extended by way of in-class and home assignments.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 213 Material as Metaphor 3 credits
The physical and metaphoric dimensions of materials are examined in this class. The process of how artists interact with materials can be parallel to the experience of thinking. This class is for students who are linked to materials and are process-oriented in the way they work. The use of traditional two-dimensional materials, natural materials in their raw and processed states, as well as found and collected materials is explored as students develop independent projects.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 229 Head to Head 3 credits
The class will explore some of the possibilities in painting the portrait. In class we will be working from models each week, building skills that are important to understanding the portrait. Starting with a focus on the head to half portraits, then full portraits and finally portraits in interiors. Slide lectures will be given on painters working with the portrait past and present throughout the semester. The class requires 4 hours of homework each week. Most are due the following week, several are two weeks with a final assignment to be completed over three weeks.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 230 Abstraction/ Mixed Media 3 credits
This course offers an opportunity to pursue individual concerns, to interrelate drawing and painting approaches, to experiment with a wide variety of media. Emphasis is on individual development. Time in class is spent on critiques, sometimes ranging into the philosophical, sometimes becoming technological, in which the class participates in a lively fashion. There is no final authority, and diverse or contradictory opinions are encouraged.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 233 Wrkng From Life Untraditional 3 credits
Working with, but moving beyond traditional practices of "rendering," this course will explore what it means to work from life. "Observation" will be considered a direct experiential practice that taps all the senses. Students will question and challenge their ideas about their artistic practice (materials, physical dimensions and environment) and to actively engage in cooperative dialogues and art production with and alongside their peers. Classes will be conducted in the studio and in the field.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 235 Painting Over the Lines 3 credits
This course provides a venue in which students investigate notions of painting that challenge its boundaries and question its method and materials. Working independently, students are encouraged to develop personal direction and to experiment with novel approaches to problem solving. Scheduled slide talks address such topics as conceptual painting, kinetic painting, sculptural painting, electronic painting, performance painting, process painting, etc. There are regularly scheduled individual and group critiques.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 236 Automatic Triggers 3 credits
This course emphasizes experimentation with automatic processes and responses as stimulus for painting. The intuitive connection to peripheral, marginal and compulsive “triggers” reveals surprising directions for painting and initiates a dialogue surrounding intention, accident, form and content. Personal research and investigation of contemporary/historical contexts lead to an independent series.
PT 239 Deluxe Redux: P & D 3 credits
Painting/decoration, art/design, high/low: This course addresses the relationship between painting and ornamentation. Investigating painting as both an illusionistic window and a manipulated object/surface, students will make works that challenge the binaries of fine art and decoration. Through slides and discussion, we will trace the various threads of an expansive history that includes Lascaux cave painting, Etruscan tomb painting, the Arts and Crafts movement of the 19th century, and the Pattern & Decoration movement in the 20th century. Sourcing from these entangled histories, we will look closely at how contemporary artists are collapsing together historically distinct methods. Individually directed student projects will develop both two-and three-dimensional approaches to building surface and form, including digital methods and the relationship between the hand and the machine, exploring the value and meaning of artistic labor. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to expand the concept of what constitutes a painting through multi-discipline investigation, what alternative surfaces for painting exist and how painting language can be applied to large-scale and installation work.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 248 Figure and Ground 3 credits
A studio class designed for the student with an abiding interest in realism, this course actively uses both the history of painting and the presence of contemporary painting to facilitate an investigation of procedure in narrative figure painting. Specific mechanical procedures are covered through demonstrations and contemporary examples and include surface preparation, glazing, old master procedures, ala prima procedures, observational painting procedures, photo referencing, and many others. Over the course of the semester each student produces two major figurative paintings and five smaller works.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 250 Sophomore Painting 3 credits
Students are encouraged to develop their own representational or abstract painting direction. A significant feature of this class is the opportunity for individual student advisement. Slide presentations and occasional group critiques accompany regularly scheduled individual critiques. This course is not required for painting majors but is strongly recommended.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175; Painting majors only

PT 256 Landscape & Interior 3 credits
This combination studio/lecture course takes a naturalistic approach to the landscape and interior. The course moves between issues of drawing and painting throughout the semester. The first ten weeks focus on landscape, the last four weeks on interior. Most of the landscape work is done at two beautiful properties fifteen minutes north of the city, as well as other sites. The interiors, at various sites around the city. Slide lectures focus on particular painters and issues involved with the landscape and interior, including painters and schools ranging from the 16th century to the present. Part of class time is also devoted to critiques of student work. Attendance to all classes is mandatory, and 6 to 8 hours of outside work are required each week. Transportation to and from sites is provided in school vans.

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252

PT 265 Painting on the Brink 3 credits
Creating on the brink of one’s expression yields complex possibilities that reveal deep connections of content and medium often through accidents or failures. An artist's voice can be tied deeply to refined skill, historically embedded processes, or experimental ‘avant-garde’ approaches. Painting is a vital act with specific unrelenting qualities that can be acknowledged through pushing thresholds and ideas about value. We will investigate the role of the artist and examine stylistic developments throughout the history of art and human existence, often tying catastrophe to invention. If painting is on the brink of extinction, the artist’s role is to express on the brink of our knowledge, re-actualizing our oldest form of communication. This course will develop a professional studio rigor, and surface an artistic voice.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 270 Personal Interiors 3 credits
This course is about painting (from) one's inner world, painting what attracts us as individuals and holds our interest. In our collected objects and in the postcards and reproductions with which we surround ourselves, we see certain threads of meaning. We see this in the books we read, the music we listen to, the films we watch, those things that we continually look at in paintings when we go to museums. We choose the items that we have in our studios and, in turn, they define us as artists. They play a key role in our painting. We will work on finding this direction, this interest, this passion that for each one of us is different. We will paint in class, and we will discuss these ideas within individual and group critiques.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 274 Community Based Murals 3 credits
Students actively participate in a variety of community-based mural projects that involve close collaboration with community residents and organizations, public schools, and/or senior citizen centers. During the semester, students design and execute—upon approval by the community host—interior murals for a community program site. Additionally, students submit proposals for a site-specific, large-scale outdoor mural for a community in Baltimore (to be executed during the May minimester Murals class). The range of topics discussed include the history of murals and the genesis and development of the community mural movement, technical aspects of mural making, and strategies for working with diverse communities. Mural materials are provided.

Prerequisite: FF 150 or FF 175

PT 275 Site Painting II 3 credits
In this three-week course sponsored by Community Arts Partnerships (CAP) and the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art and Culture (MACAC), students train in the technique of mural painting while assisting in the execution of a permanent, site-specific outdoor mural. The mural, to be designed by a MICA student (as part of the sited painting course offered in the spring catalog), is to be located in the Druid Hill corridor. In addition to gaining experience and technical information, mural assistants doing exterior painting are eligible for a stipend from MACAC for community service. The intent of this program is to bond artists and community through collaboration on a project. Transportation and mural materials will be supplied.

Prerequisite: FF 199 and FF 150

PT 277 Collective Explorations in 2D 3 credits
A series of Three or Four 2D explorations in which Artist-in-Residence, Mequitta Ahuja works collaboratively with students in a series of projects. We will develop our ideas in a range of formats, experimenting and collaborating, as well as working alone. Projects will likely include: A printmaking project in which both Ahuja and students produce posters for a fictional event, or to commemorate a moment now passed; A bookmaking project in which we use the format of an artist's book or folio to each create a visual sequence, and a painting project in which we collectively build surfaces and then individually develop them into finished paintings.

Prerequisite: FF 150 or FF 175

PT 280 Color Abstraction 3 credits
Various approaches to the phenomenon of color have played an important role in the development of abstract painting in this century. From the earliest experiments in abstraction to the most recent developments, painters have freed color and form from the object and the figure in order to explore openly potential meanings inherent in pure color expression. In this course, we investigate the nature of abstraction and its relation to color theory. Students are encouraged-through structured and free problems, readings, slide presentations, and museum/gallery visits-to develop their own personal approach to abstract painting. There is discussion of color theories of Kandinsky, Itten, Hoffman, and Albers. Form issues are emphasized, including alternative painting methods, surface qualities, and effective composition.

Prerequisite: PT200 or FF175 or Post-Baccalaureate student standing

PT 282 Theme and Variation:The Figure 3 credits
Throughout time, artists have explored themes in their work through various personal filters. The deeply human context behind such imagery makes these images universal and timeless. It is also incredibly educational to see how artists have developed their personal visions over a range of themes and processes. Students in this course will use personal history and art history as catalysts for imagery in their work. A “stream of consciousness” attitude will be used to gear the development of the imagery to see how a theme can develop in predictable as well as unexpected ways when one or multiple aspects of the visual equation is altered. The idea of working in a “series” alongside individual works will also be encouraged. Slide talks and discussions will supplement course content. In addition, contemporary film, literature, and other media will be discussed.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 289 Coloration of Asian Painting 3 credits
Introduces the traditions and techniques of the Northern School of Asian Painting, which is characterized by rich colorization effects achieved through the application of many thin layers of natural materials. Students experience and understand how to apply the principles of brushwork, ink, and coloration to painting on rice paper and silk-and make pigments from natural materials, such as animal skin glue, egg, natural mineral powder, and pigment. By adding glue, egg, natural powder, and pigment in sequences or regularly to a painting, the pigment becomes multi-layered with the superimposition of the colors. Although the colors infiltrate deeply into the paper or silk surface, the surface remains clear and translucent. This method allows the artists to apply and achieve interesting coloring to include all sorts of colors with rich colorization effects. May repeat up to 6 credits.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 290 D-Painting 3 credits
Explores the possibilities of creating original images through a combination of imaging programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, with painting. The course is both highly creative and technical, and will encourage innovation in work employing vocabulary of both the manual and digital artist. Students modify work their handmade work (including photographs) by scanning, adjusting, and preparing for printouts on canvas, paper, or other supports. The resulting digital prints are then painted by hand until the desired effects are achieved. Using their own unique markmaking in conjunction with sophisticated digital technique, students build a bridge between traditional and contemporary media. This course is designed for students with a background in fine art and a basic knowledge of imaging software. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 295 Mastering Painting 3 credits
This class will focus on the study of Old Master techniques. We will define and put to use the concepts of Glazing, Scumbling, Imprimatura, Grisaille, the Rule of “Fat Over Lean.” We will work primarily from the still life and figure, and may produce a copy in a local museum. We will explore 3 styles of traditional painting techniqu3s in an effort to deepen our understanding of the qualities of painting at its highest level.

Prerequisite: PT200 or FF175 or Post-Baccalaureate student standing

PT 300 Painting:Personal Directions 3 credits
This course is geared to intermediate/advanced-level students who have a sense of commitment to painting and seek a personal direction that fulfills their identity as painters. Focusing on developing each student's artistic identity, this course has no in-class studio experiences; rather, it focuses on group and individual critiques. Work is done outside of class. There are no restrictions on medium, form or subject (abstract or representational). Class size is limited.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 307 Call & Response 3 credits
The term Call and Response corresponds to a pattern in human communication or a type of musical phrasing or structure. In this manner, information is imparted via some medium, from sender to receiver. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. All forms of communication require a sender, a message, and a receiver. Using this structure, the class will explore painting as a language, a form of communication with which to engage in a larger worldly dialogue.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 310 Storytelling and Mythmaking 3 credits
Storytelling is a human instinct as old as language itself and one could say the same of painting. This course takes a contemporary approach to "the painter as storyteller" or painting as evidence of story. Addresses the idea of visual narratives with and without character-subjects, and the idea of the abstract narrative. Explores the notions of invented personal mythology, existing archetypal mythology and the role of ritual. Students primarily paint independently while group and individual critiques are held during class. Class time is also devoted to looking at the work of contemporary and historical narrative painters; investigating the relationship between painting and writing, spoken word and performance; and discussing folklore (the old and the need for new), the movement of lore through cultures, and the role of theatrics in painting. May be repeated for up to 6 credits.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 311 Pushing Color 3 credits
Through discussions and slide lectures, this course explores how artists use color in contemporary figurative and abstract painting across a wide spectrum of styles and methods. In studio work made for this class, students discover how color - the most challenging of the visual elements - can be an exhilarating, sensuous, creative, and expressive force in painting.

Prerequisite: PT200 or FF175 or Post-Baccalaureate student standing

PT 320 Studio Mixx 3 credits
This multi-discipline studio is specifically designed for students interested in working, energetically, with a wide range of ideas, materials, approaches, and content. The sharing and fusing of global cultural experiences will inform the course and set the tone for what we learn. This course will encourage developing work across all media and methodologies, including installation, performance, collaboration, and bricolage, and making work outside the institution's environs, with an emphasis on the role of the audience, will be addressed and supported. Along with scheduled presentations of their own work and research, students will have an opportunity to take the lead role in sharing their interests with the class as a whole. All documentation of ideas, research, and works of art developed in the class by both individual and the collective will represent a resource that will be made available to succeeding StudioMixx classes.

Prerequisite: FF 150 or FF 175

PT 325 Obsessions 3 credits
Is art-making a socially condoned obsession? Laced throughout the art world, obsession parades: Morandi's vessels, Agnes Martin’s grids, Paul Noble’s invented other-worlds, Vija Celmins' waves and webs, Henry Darger's 15,145-page illustrated manuscript or James Hampton's Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millenium General Assembly—artists and projects conceived with no "off" button. And aren’t we grateful, as we are the beneficiaries? This course will address the artist’s incessant pursuit of an idea, subject, motif, or material. Class time will be devoted to painting together, and both group and individual discussions and critiques. Home assignments will lead to students' individually proposed series.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 340 Painters Painting Today 3 credits
Why continue to make paintings? In this course - part seminar, part studio - we will consider why paintings continue to matter many years after critics have advised artists to "pull the plug" on the medium. By regarding the works, and pondering the words, of many contemporary painters, we hope to arrive at a better philosophical understanding of why the enterprise of painting continues to play a significant role in artmaking in the 21st Century - a time when more creative choices exist for the painter than at any other era in history. The work students make for the course will underscore how painting is still a vital medium for artistic exploration and human expression.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 343 Material, Technique &Conservat 3 credits
This six-credit multidisciplinary course (listed jointly with Art History) fuses technical art history and studio painting. Students explore materials and techniques used in painting from the 13th century to the present, including egg tempera with gilding, specific applications of oil, and various synthetic media. Students prepare surfaces and make paint and mediums using historic materials and sources in the reconstruction of masterworks, and in the application of historic methods to original compositions. Individual projects may include encaustic or fresco. The basic principles of art conservation are introduced, and trips include a visit to the National Gallery conservation studio. Many topics covered are applicable to disciplines other than painting.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 345 Alchemy of Image-Making 3 credits
"Painting is alchemy. Its materials are worked without knowledge of their properties, by blind experiment, by the feel of the paint . . . and by the look of colored slurries on the palette." - James Elkins, What Painting Is. What happens when a painting is made from observation, reproduced digitally, altered in Photoshop, printed, then used as a source image for a three-dimensional painting? In this course students will explore an alchemical approach to painting by actively integrating traditional techniques with alternative means of creating images (photography, digital imaging, three-dimensional construction, etc.) in an attempt to invigorate their individual working methods. Through a combination of controlled "blind" experiments and intensive critical analysis, students will decipher how perceptions of images can be altered through material manipulation.

Prerequisite: PT200 or FF175 or Post-Baccalaureate student standing

PT 350 Junior Independent Painting 3-6 credits
Helps the student gain insight into his/her personal process and direction as an artist. Students work independently, receiving scheduled critiques from the coordinator and invited faculty. Faculty and fellow students conduct mid-term reviews. At the end of the term a jury made up of elected faculty, a visiting artist, and the coordinator will hear the individual student's presentation on his/her term's work and provide an in-depth response and interaction.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175; Painting majors only

PT 360 Abstract Painting & Elements 3 credits
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Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 365 Hanguk 3 credits
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage—to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness." Alex Haley All things Korean, past and present, will be explored as an inspirational source for making art. Korea's history, traditional arts and craft, as well as contemporary Korean artists, music, films and popular culture will be introduced. The Korean Diaspora, the conflict between South and North Korea and the North Korean human rights crisis will be discussed. By finding the link to your Korean heritage, questions of cultural identity, new interpretations of traditional forms and contemporary Korea, in view of a global context will be discussed. Students will first start with research, then will work out ideas in drawing and painting. As projects develop, students will be encouraged to find the medium that best conveys their ideas. Final project will be open to all genres of art.

Prerequisite: FF 150 or FF 175

PT 372 Personal Narrative 3 credits
This course is a continuation of the themes and projects begun in PT 272 Personal Narrative. This course asks students to explore their personal history as the subject for multi-media works. It requires a high level of ability to work independently and to generate concepts. There are frequent critiques.

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252

PT 408 Contemporary Concepts Painting 3 credits
This class is made up a two-hour seminar and a three-hour critique session. Various texts addressing historical and contemporary issues in art and culture will be studied and discussed in class. Lectures, films, and presentations will also serve as points of departure for discussion and debate. In addition to readings and critiques, the course concerns itself will formal and conceptual issues and skills and empathizes written and verbal competencies.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175, and Junior level or higher.

PT/DR 253 The Figure 6 credits
The first part of this studio and lecture course deals with the nude, and the second part deals with the portrait. Students paint directly from life each week. Paintings range from one to three days in length, and a minimum of 8 hours outside work is required each week. The lecture part of the class involves both critiques of work done in and out of class. Lectures are designed to put the work into an historical and contemporary perspective. The slide talks include particular painters and issues concerning the figure. The class may view films on Frank Auerbach, Antonio Lopez Garcia, and Lucien Freud. Prerequisite: DR 252 (Life Drawing) and PT 200 (Painting II)

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252

PT/DR 258 Height x Width 6 credits
Can you imagine The Arnolfini Wedding and Las Meninas switching sizes? How about a scene from the Brancacci chapel and a Persian Miniature? In this course, we will learn how the physical size and relative proportion of parts in a painted whole are as crucial as the painted surface. The work done in class will involve a renegotiation of painted space, which will be continuously challenged by moving from "body size" and larger works to hand held sizes and ideas of "miniature". The studio work will constitute half the day, while the second half will be used for critiques and slides. At least two trips to museums in New York and Philadelphia will also be part of the course. A love for the complexity of seeing, and an openness to exploration are the primary requirements of this course.

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252

PT/DR 370 Painting/Drawing: The Portrait 6 credits
This course will explore some of the creative options available to the artist interested in painting and drawing the portrait. In this class we will be working from models each week to build the skills that are important to realizing the portrait. In this six-credit class, half the time will be spent drawing, and half painting, the portrait. Focusing on the head, we will start with half-portraits, then graduate to full-portraits, and finally move on to portraits in interiors. Slide lectures will be presented throughout the semester on painters who have dealt with the portrait, past and present. The class requires eight hours of homework each week. Most assignments are due in one week, several will last two weeks, with a final sustained assignment to be completed over three weeks time.

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252

PT/DR 372 Narrative 3 credits
This course is an introduction to the language and tradition of narrative figurative composition. Students work from drawings of the figure that they then translate into compositions that manipulate space using foreshortening, perspective, and combinations of indoor and outdoor space. Students are introduced to historic narrative tradition of Piero della Francesca through Tintoretto to Thomas Hart Benton. Students are encouraged to create their own narrative themes.

Prerequisite: PT 200/FF 175 and DR 252, or Post Bac student