Course Descriptions

Painting (Undergraduate)

PT 201 Introduction to Painting

This course introduces students to the basic principles and techniques of painting. Through a wide range of experiences, students will learn about painting tools, basic color-mixing, composition, form, and spatial relationships. Students will engage with a variety of subjects ranging from still-life, interiors, abstraction, self portraits and the figure.

PT 202 Color, Pigment, Surface

This course delves deeper into the fundamentals of painting in a more nuanced and particular manner. With a continued emphasis on process, students will explore a range of materials and techniques, gaining a deeper understanding of the tools of painting, color mixing, pigments, varied surfaces, supports and substrates, and the technical challenges of painting in oil or acrylic. Through projects such as still life, landscape, the figure, abstraction and conceptual concerns, students will develop personal approaches that enhance their formal and individual growth as artists.

PT 205 Painting & Drawing: A Dialogue

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

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

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

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

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

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 246 Keystroke/Brushstroke

Digital technologies offer new techniques and specialized concepts for today’s painters. This course focuses on developing practical technical skills in multiple computer software programs (Photoshop, Illustrator) and hardware (tablets) to enhance and evolve 2D and 3D solutions to traditional painting concerns, as well as for professional development. Assignments emphasize skills such as visual problem-solving, sketching/rendering and color while exploring the digital possibilities to execute the artwork, along with discussion about the conceptual frameworks of digital media and painting. Crossing software and mixing media are encouraged.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

PT 248 Figure and Ground

This studio class is designed for the student with an abiding interest in representational drawing and painting. Within a wide range of possibilities, the course addresses both historical and contemporary approaches to narrative figure painting. Specific approaches include old master, ala prima, direct observation, pure invention, issues of color and pattern, photo referencing, mixed media, digital imagery, and many others. Over the course of the semester, each student produces two major figurative paintings and at least five smaller works.

Prerequisite: PT 200 or FF 175

PT 250 Personal Directions

This course is a studio class geared to students who have a sense of commitment to painting. It provides a communal studio experience, providing a supportive and critical environment where students can develop their own voice and direction. This course embraces varied mediums and broad approaches to painting. Students’ ideas and work will grow through their own personal experience, as well as, the shared challenges and experiences of their classmates. This course includes individual and group critiques, and slide presentations.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

PT 252 Around Flat: 2D & 3D Painting

Reflects the protean nature of painting today. No longer essentially 2-dimensional (if it ever was), painting takes on different forms and mergers with various media and disciplines. In particular, explore the ways in which painting and sculpture can coalesce, integrating installation strategies and conceptualist practices along the way. a cross-disciplinary dialogue with performance, dance, photography, and other media, are explored as well. Students can expect to work in hybrid practices that may not involve paint but exhibit an interest in material, surface and process. The course is open from any major and working in any discipline.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

PT 253 The Figure

This studio course deals with the nude; students paint directly from like each week. Paintings range from one to three days in length, and a minimum of 4 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: PT 202, and DR 252

PT 256 Landscape & Interior

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 201 or 202

PT 265 Painting on the Brink

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 201 or 202

PT 270 Personal Interiors

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

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: PT 201 and PT 202, or permission of instructor

PT 280 Color Abstraction

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: PT 202

PT 295 Mastering Painting

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 techniques in an effort to deepen our understanding of the qualities of painting at its highest level.

Prerequisite: PT 202

PT 300PS Paris College of Art: Painting

PT 311 Pushing Color

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: PT 202

PT 320 Studio Mixx

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: PT 201 or 202

PT 340 Painters Painting Today

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 341 Research Methods for Painters

This course is designed to introduce research as a form of artistic meaning-making, and equip students to develop ongoing research for long-term future investigation. Students will synthesize questions prompted by their research into inventive and expansive investigations in painting and mixed media, developing a portfolio of works informed by a specific body of research. Guided exercises and self-directed processes will constitute student exploration of their chosen subject matter (students do not need to have a research topic identified before the course begins). The sources for student research projects may include historical archives, special collections, oral interviews, or self-assembled collections. Students will exercise technical, conceptual, and professional skills with sensitivity and respect through exposure to a variety of discipline-specific research methodologies. Students will in site tours of libraries, archives and special collections, and increase their familiarity with the historical context for the artist as researcher.

Prerequisite: PT 202

PT 343 Material, Technique &Conservat

This course 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 methods to create original compositions. Individual projects may include encaustic or fresco. Studio safety and proper handling of materials is discussed, as well as documentation, matting, and framing of artwork. Many topics covered are applicable to disciplines other than painting.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

PT 345 Alchemy of Image-Making

"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

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 202, or Painting major

PT 350PS Paris College of Art: Painting

PT 370 Portrait Painting

This class will focus on the portrait. The approach is observational. The center of the course is an ability to represent the portrait as it appears without interpretation or distortion. The importance of drawing as it relates to this type of painting is central. Understanding proportions and angles as it relates to this approach. Students are taught about tonal relationships through limited palette paintings, which lead to the introduction of color. Technical issues concerning paints, types of painting surfaces are demonstrated. There will be models every week. During the semester lectures are given on painters who have worked and are now working with the portrait.

Prerequisite: PT 202 or PT 200, and DR 252

PT 371 Narrative Painting

This course is an introduction to the language and tradition of narrative figurative painting. Students will explore historic and contemporary narrative devices ranging from early painting to modern cinema. Using models, props and lighting, students will be encouraged to develop their own narrative themes.

Prerequisite: PT 202, and DR 252

PT 372 Personal Narrative

This course is an introduction to the language and tradition of narrative figurative painting. Students will explore historic and contemporary narrative devices ranging from early painting to modern cinema. Using models, props and lighting, students will be encouraged to develop their own narrative themes.

Prerequisite: DR 252

PT 375 Figure & Contemporary Painting

This course is designed to engage students who incorporate the figure into their work. Through using the figure as subject and narrative device, students will gain a strong understanding of formal issues and conceptual strategies related to painting the figure. Students will have the option to paint from the model, references, and imaginations. Students will become familiar with a broad selection of contemporary painters and their varied approaches to painting the figure. Students will create a series of paintings in which the figure plays a significant role. There will be slide lectures, demonstrations and individual critiques throughout the semester.

Prerequisite: PT 202, and DR 252

PT 408 Contemporary Concepts Painting

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 202 or PT 200, and DR 252