You are here

Painting, Drawing and Mixed Media

Includes Printmaking

Cathy Osman

Amy Beecher

A Plan of Concentration in painting and drawing should be seen first as a broad-based course of study. The course structure emphasizes perceptual and technical skills and directs students toward critical and historical awareness and to the identification of a personal direction in painting and drawing.

The making of art is a process of discovery, informed by craft, intuitive play, rigorous self-examination and an awareness of history. Although we are in a climate of continual change, a climate in which traditional values in art are in constant question, students need to acquire solid skills in perception, close observation and careful analytic thinking.

Areas of Interest for Plan-level Work:

  • Painting, drawing, printmaking and mixed media
  • Issues in contemporary art

Starting Points (Basic and Introductory Courses)

A beginning course designed to develop skills and knowledge in seeing. A variety of tools and materials will be explored while working from the still life, landscape and the figure. Fundamental issues of line, shape, tonal value, composition and design elements will be our basis of investigation. Prerequisite: None Introductory | Credits: 4

This course will explore oil painting through a series of projects based on the model, still life and landscape. The class will begin by working on paper and expanding to include panel and stretched canvas. Emphasis is on close observation as well as individual response. Prerequisite: Drawing I or permission of instructor     Introductory | Credits: 4

Like stretching before the big race, this course is designed to get our creative juices flowing.  Focused on the formal elements of line, texture, shape, space and structure in a variety of materials, students will be asked to delve into developing a personal aesthetic vocabulary.  This is a foundation course for the visual arts designed to provide a base for further work in the visual arts curriculum. Additional Fee: $60 Prerequisite: None     Introductory | Credits: 4

Pursuing Interests (Intermediate and Thematic Courses)


This course will focus on the human figure, beginning with life drawing and moving into oil painting. To picture the body is difficult. This class will work primarily from direct observation of the model, building technical skills and conceptual approaches in figurative painting. Prerequisite: Drawing I or Painting I or permission of instructor     Intermediate | Credits: 4

The book is a grand thing. An object filled with information reflecting varying degrees of research, invention, mystery and certainty. Artist books have many of the same attributes but tend to be one-of-a-kind objects. This class will experiment with traditional and non-traditional book structures and narrative forms while emphasizing painting and drawing.  Prerequisite: Drawing I     Intermediate | Credits: 4

Painting in the last 30 years has seen a struggle for a balance between form and content. Should the way a picture looks rule the artists’ choices or should they be ruled by what the picture signifies? The course asks students to approach this question.  Prerequisite: Painting I     Intermediate | Credits: 4

Two semesters required. Art Seminar Critique is a two-credit course required of juniors and seniors on Plan in the visual arts. It meets weekly and provides an opportunity for students to share the work they are doing on Plan and a forum for discussion of pertinent issues.     Advanced | Credits: 2

This course is designed to build on basic drawing skills by implementing a variety of tools and materials. Fundamental issues of line, shape, tonal value, composition, color and design elements will be our first basis of investigation coupled with identification of personal directions in drawing, including working with figure, narrative and conceptual strategies.     Multi-Level | Credits: 4

This course will guide the creation of interpretative and expressive artwork in printmaking and will assist students in the discovery and exploration of themes and images of personal significance. The semester is shaped around four main techniques of intaglio printmaking, and culminates in an ambitious independent undertaking in etching. For each section of the class students will complete an edition of prints. Throughout the semester, the instructor will offer examples, presentations and demonstrations of prints and approaches, and the group will discuss each other’s work with an aim to share experiences, define successful elements of a print, review technical approaches and encourage individual efforts. In addition to an in-depth exploration of intaglio processes in metal, we will emphasize the development into print form of imagery and ideas through frequent drawing. Prerequisite: None     Introductory | Credits: 4

This course will look at color through various lenses, historical, cultural and symbolic. We will “see” color as not only attached to objects, space and light but also as decoration and metaphor. We will consider color as inspiration for poets, philosophers, musicians and painters. Primarily we will paint but there will be work with paper, found materials or non-Western approaches to presentation. Materials fee: TBA. Prerequisite: None     Introductory | Credits: 4

This course will focus on drawing the figure. In-class work will concentrate on direct observational drawing, examining line, value, proportion, mass, anatomy as they relate to the human form. Extensive outside of class drawing will encourage abstraction, thematic development and a personal drawing language. Prerequisite: Drawing I     Intermediate | Credits: 4

The core of this course will be working outside directly from observation, investigating our perception of the landscape through experimentation with various approaches and materials. Initially we will focus on drawing, moving into water-based materials and color. Emphasis will be placed on individual response supported by directed assignments. Prerequisite: Drawing I     Intermediate | Credits: 4

Studio class in advanced painting. Understanding contemporary painting, its processes and philosophy. Four paintings will be undertaken to investigate certain possibilities of painting. One painting will involve working from a cell phone photo image, the second painting will be painting as an accumulation of layers, the third painting will be a series of three paintings developed through a similar method and the fourth painting will follow a specific conceptual plan. Class time will be painting, critique and discussion of artists and ideas. Materials fee required. Prerequisite: Drawing I, Painting I or permission of the instructor     Intermediate | Credits: 4

Sample Tutorial Topics

  • Identity and the Portrait
  • Advanced Painting: Language of Objects within the Still Life
  • Painting & Monotype
  • Abstraction and Context