Course Lists

Painting Course List

PT 201 Introduction to Painting

This course introduces students to the basic principles and techniques of painting. Through a wide range of experiences, students learn about painting tools, basic color-mixing, composition, form, and spatial relationships. Students also 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 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 develop personal approaches that enhance their formal and individual growth as artists.

PT 201 or permission of instructor

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 two-dimensional and three-dimensional 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 250 Personal Directions

This course is geared towards 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 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.

Open to Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors and Graduate students

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 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 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 portion of the course 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.

Prerequisite: PT 202 and DR 252

PT 256 Landscape Painting

This course engages landscape as subject matter, incorporating drawing and painting media throughout the semester. Most of the observational landscape work is made on location at sites near campus or on field trips accessible via public transportation or MICA shuttle. Discussion topics focus on analyzing the work of particular painters and issues central to historical and contemporary production and depiction of landscapes. Technical instruction examines atmospheric perspective, composition, and light effects unique to creating illusory space. Part of class time is also devoted to critiques and discussions of student work.

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. Students 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.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

PT 271 Experimental Painting

“It’s a good time for painting when it is under stress, when it is questioned and doubted…That is when painting has to prove itself, when you get the best work,” wrote David Reed Painting has been practiced, multiculturally, for at least 400 centuries. Its history is one of dynamic and constant change of techniques, content, concept, tools, even of the material that constitute the medium, And though it has frequently been declared dead by cynics, it persists today as a potent means of making vital, vigorous, expressive, and challenging images and metaphors. One reason painting has survived (physically, politically, socially) is because of its ability to respond to the cultural moment around it, its capacity to reinvent itself. This course provides an open-ended opportunity for students to explore other possible structures, other ideas of what painting is and can be in this era of rapid technological change, by combining their own painting practice with other media and other modes of making.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

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. 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, the nature of abstraction and its relation to color theory is investigated. Students are encouraged-through structured and free problems, readings, slide presentations, and museum/gallery visits-to develop their own personal approach to abstract painting; form issues are emphasized, including alternative painting methods, surface qualities, and effective composition.

Prerequisite: PT 202

PT 295 Mastering Painting

Focuses on the study of Old Master techniques. This course defines and puts to use the concepts of glazing, scumbling, imprimatura, grisaille, the Rule of “Fat Over Lean.” Students work primarily from the still-life and figure, and may produce a copy in a local museum; 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 201 or 202

PT 300CH SAIC: Studio

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 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 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 exercise technical, conceptual, and professional skills with sensitivity and respect through exposure to a variety of discipline-specific research methodologies; site tours of libraries, archives and special collections, and increase their familiarity with the historical context for the artist as researcher.

Prerequisite: PT 201 or 202

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 370 Portrait Painting

This course focuses 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. During the semester lectures are given on painters who have worked and are now working with the portrait.

Prerequisite: PT 202 and DR 252

PT 371 Narrative Painting

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

Prerequisite: PT 202 and 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 gain a strong understanding of formal issues and conceptual strategies related to painting the figure. Students have the option to paint from the model, references, and imaginations; become familiar with a broad selection of contemporary painters and their varied approaches to painting the figure. A series of paintings in which the figure plays a significant role are created by students. There are slide lectures, demonstrations and individual critiques throughout the semester.

Prerequisite: PT 202 and DR 252