The University of the arts

Painting from Observation
The University of the Arts

CE 6161N 01 Painting from Observation

CE 6161N 01

    • CE Classes banner


Michelle Oosterbaan



Fall 2018

  • (Sep. 25 to Nov. 27)
  • Tue 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • 0.00 Credits
  • 0.00 Credits
  • Tuition: $295 / Fees: $20
This course explores painting materials, technique and concepts with a focus on capturing realistic works from direct observation. Learn the basics of color mixing, application techniques and composition. You may choose to work in acrylic or oil as you paint still life set ups and live models.

Course Overview

Each class will be divided between a lectures/design objectives and in-class work. Some weeks will require students to complete out of classroom assignments. This course will integrate color theory and design concepts within each project by way of examples and readings. Students will be responsible for getting work printed for assignments. Readings,  Design Projects, Design Objectives (Lectures), Presentations and Critiques, will all be part of the curriculum.

Painting from Observation explores painting as a medium for self-expression based on perceptual space and the visual expression of ideas. We will study basic techniques, materials and terminology through a series of chronological painting assignments from still life and life models.  Emphasis is placed on the application of color to articulate space, engaging with and practicing perceptual techniques and the development of individual expression.


What will you learn in this course?

Learn to paint realistically utilizing a range of mark making and distinctive palettes, specific to the subject at hand. Students will learn a range of paint application methods as well as important historical figures and traditional art history artworks along with contemporary artists experimenting with a diverse range of materials and subjects. As the course progresses students will have the opportunity to explore the use of different painting mediums and techniques.


What will you do in class?

The bulk of class time will be dedicated to working from observation, demonstrations will be given.

Individual as well as group critiques will occur every class

A still life setup will be present during all class sessions

You will complete assignments at home.


Surfaces to paint on: 9x12 inches bristol board and Fredrix canvas paper pad 10 sheets 12” x 16”

● Set of brushes (sizes and shapes up to the student)

● Palette/ disposable palette/ roll of wax paper

● Palette knife

● Jars/containers for mediums and solvents

● Acrylic or oil paints of the following colors: Titanium White, Black (any type), Cadmium Red, Cadmium

Yellow, Ultramarine Blue (Hues, which are cheaper substitutes are acceptable)

● Optional colors: Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue, Chromium of Oxide, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow

Ocher, Viridian, Phthalo Blue, Dioxazine purple