Art 134 Fundamentals

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Photos from the last day of class

Here’s an image of the Chuck Close project all put together in the hallway and group pic of the class. Thanks for being a great class!
Chuck Close

Unit 6 — Intro to Colour / Project 6.6 Chuck Close Style Colour Tiles

Discussion topics: colour mixing, colour to value relationship, colour harmonies, optical blending, psychological impact of colour, gestalt

Marking objectives:  success of colour mixing, material handling, accuracy of observation

last class pic

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Final Portfolio Checklist




The critique room will be open for portfolio drop-off between 2-4 pm, the door will be locked at 4:00 pm sharp. Portfolios will be submitted to the designated area assigned in the Hub crit room, you must sign your work in.

  1. All work must be in the proper chronological order with all work facing the same direction, and in a consistent orientation( horizontals/ verticals, each, one way).
  2. All work inside must be labeled with the student’s full name and class and project on the back of each piece.
  3. All work must be presented in a professional manner. Overall sloppiness such as torn corners, extraneous folds, or otherwise unconsidered presentation will affect the grade in the negative.
  4. Work prone to smudging should be sprayed with fixative.
  5. You should include all work including any failed attempts to begin, revisions, and include any extra innovations, or other evidence of self initiative, or research.
  6. All work should be handed in a professional portfolio or well crafted substitute, which is clearly labeled with the student’s name and course number. The label should be sturdy and applied with professional care.
  7. All work must only have been created for this course, and shall not have been handed in for any other course or purpose.
  8. All work will have been created only by the student whose name it bears.
  9. All work should show demonstrated development, initiative, and professionalism of presentation, professional participation, in response to the specific challenges of the individual projects.
  10. All projects should demonstrate maximum quantity of quality work.
  11. Good luck, I look forward to seeing the work.


—2nd half of class—-

This list is for the 2nd half of class, but the entire term of work needs to be in handed in.  Place a single sheet of newsprint between the two halves of the term (mark it 2nd half of class/portfolio).



5.1 Reductive Still Life study (in-class)

5.2 Major Project – Reductive Still Life study (homework)



6.1 Color Wheel

6.2 Quick study of a piece of fruit – local color + black & white only

6.3 Quick study of a piece of fruit – local color + color only (no black or white paint)

6.4 Study of a piece of fruit (homework) – any/all color options

6.5 Painting of folded paper still life

6.6 Major Project — Chuck Close color tiles part 1



7.1 Chuck Close color tiles part 2

7.2 Description of landscape piece in sketchbook using color vocabulary

7.3 Major Project – Landscape painting

7.4 Pixelized landscape color analysis



8.1 Yellow/light and Blue/shadow only quick color value studies (1-2, in class)

8.2 Still life study with either warm or cool light temperature (homework)

8.3 Long brush quick studies (x2, in class)

8.4 Major Project – Extended still life study (in class & hw)


Additional considerations:

-Artist Presentation (4%)

-Professionalism (10% of EVERY PROJECT)

-Sketchbook (this does not get marked independently, but it is a great place to show any additional work, record class notes, research and personal initiative which can positively influence other marks)


Please do not use extra papers, wrapping, clips, etc. in your portfolio. You may use an occasional sheet of newsprint to protect/separate a charcoal drawing, but more than this should not be necessary. Portfolios will be available to pick up on Monday, April 22nd. You must also clean out your locker during this week (remember to claim your Chuck Close piece).



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Mixing Shadows with a Complimentary Color & Warm or Cool Still Life Study

Watch this video for some tips on mixing shadows with a complimentary color.

Your homework project is to paint a simple still life study (approximately 3-5 objects &/or some drapery) using either a warm or cool palette.  I have also created another slide show on ArtStor, “Warm or Cool Light Still Life Paintings” which you may review for inspiration.  The examples in the slideshow are not all quite as clear as the examples below, but they all move towards being either warm or cool overall.

This example uses a distinctly cool temperature of light, creating a bluish cast across the entire painting (even the yellow lemons have a lot of blue in them):

van Gogh, Still Life with Carafe and Lemons

van Gogh, Still Life with Carafe and Lemons

And an example with a distinctly warm palette:

Luis Meléndez, Still Life with Salmon, a Lemon and Three Vessels

Luis Meléndez, Still Life with Salmon, a Lemon and Three Vessels

As you work on your painting it will be helpful to think about the warm glow of the sun in the late afternoon, or alternately, the cooler light of dusk or the early morning.  You may also want to do a composition similar (or even the same) to the still life that you set up for your reductive value study homework back in project 4.  Make sure you don’t overly complicate your composition–the examples above only have a few objects and they are highly successful partially because of the simplicity of the arrangements.  This project is a single-weight mark, approximately 3 hours (minimum).  Always remember to work from general to specific, quickly establishing large areas of value/color before developing any details.

[materials: half sheet of double-weight vellum or similar, paints, brushes, view finder, measuring sticks and still life objects]

Objectives: achieve consistent light temperature across composition, choice of composition, accuracy of proportions/perspective

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More details on the Landscape Project

I would like you to choose a painting from the slide-show on ARTstor and emulate it, although it does not have to be a perfect copy (however, it can be a direct copy if that is what you prefer). You may crop or alter the original piece to a degree, but you must maintain the overall idea and feel of the original, i.e. the color palette and proportions of the color relationships must be kept true to the original. Also, I am especially interested how the paint is built up and applied, so be sure to zoom in to your image and study the brush strokes and the thickness of the paint in the original. I want you to try to copy the energy and gestures with which the paint was applied. Once you have selected your image and prepared your painting surface follow the steps outlined below:

-do three quick composition sketches (approx. full page in sketchbook each) of your selected painting, with somewhat varied compositions (try one full, and two cropped versions)

-select your favorite composition (remember that cropping a complex composition may make the project more manageable)

-begin your preliminary sketch with thinned paint (traditionally often an umber or yellow ochre) and/or a bit of light pencil if appropriate

-after establishing your painted “sketch” remember to step back and review proportions, watch for continuity (i.e. don’t bend the horizon line), and check that the overall composition is working

-find and mix the main areas of color and start blocking in these large areas of color in the first pass (use your largest brush)

-cover the white of the canvas in the first pass

-in the second pass work on building more detailed color relationships, use thicker paint

-in the third pass you will continue to refine your composition, build up the thickness of the paint and add details (we will work on the third pass during Tuesday’s class)


For most of this project I highly recommend standing to paint. Use an easel, tilted drafting table, or a wall to rest your painting on, rather than a flat table. As you start the painting you should be using a large brush and holding it towards the end of the handle (not near the bristles or metal ferrule–paint with your arm, not with your wrist–you are painting, not writing a letter).

-always work from general to specific

-step back from your work periodically

-squint at your piece to help see the value relationships between the colors

-paint from thin to thick

[Materials: reference image, surface to paint on (your choice, double-weight vellum, mat board, canvas, or mdf/board–primed with 1-2 coats of gesso or white paint), view finder, color wheel, measuring sticks, all of your paints and brushes, paper towels, etc.]

Objectives: material handling, demonstrate understanding of color, overall success of painting

Additional resources:Painting Techniques pdf see pages 2, 4-6 and 13 for especially relevant information.  Or revisit pages 127-131 in the Betty Edward’s Color pdf (describing the Passes One through Three of the paper still life project).

Windy Day, Auxerre, by Chaim Soutine

Windy Day, Auxerre, by Chaim Soutine

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Landscape Painting Project

For this project I would like you to review some examples of expressive landscapes from the slideshow I have posted on ARTstor. The slideshow has a wide variety of landscape paintings to help give you inspiration for your own version. Select a painting from this group of images to work from, or you may use a similar work with my approval.

Duchamp landscape

Landscape, by Marcel Duchamp 1911, oil on canvas

I want you to consider the cumulative visual knowledge that we have been building this term, from composition, mark-making, positive and negative spaces, foreground/middle-ground/background etc., all the way up to the newest ideas introduced with color theory, including: light temperature, vibrancy, value to color relationship, color harmony, complementary and analogous colors, texture and application of paint, optical mixing, and mood or emotion elicited by viewing the piece. You will need to be able to describe your painting, and what attracted you to the piece, in these terms. Many of these painting examples are highly emotive and some display thick, expressive paint (impasto) marks made through specific brushwork.

Once you have selected your painting you should print out a color copy for reference and do a short write-up in your sketchbook about why you chose this piece (using terminology above). Bring in your image and all of your painting materials to class on Thursday.


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