The University of the arts

Painting in the Abstract
The University of the Arts

CE 1600N 01 Painting in the Abstract

CE 1600N 01

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Michelle Oosterbaan



Summer 2018

  • (Jul. 10 to Aug. 7)
  • Tue 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • 0.00 Credits
  • 0.00 Credits
  • Tuition: $275 / Fees: $20
Add sophistication to your abstract work in this applied and analytical course, structured to let you work at your own pace in a supportive environment. Honing in exclusively on invented forms, this course focuses on painting materials, techniques and concepts that help students improve their abstract painting style - and their results. Learn the basics of color mixing, color theory, techniques and pictorial composition, with an emphasis on perceptual painting.

Course Overview

Do you desire a sophisticated understanding of working in the abstract as well as color theory? In this class you will analyze works of historical and contemporary abstract paintings in collaboration with in class worktime. Using acrylic or oil painting media, you will explore the elements of a successful work at your own pace in a supportive atmosphere. Suitable for individuals of all levels of experience.

What will you learn in this course?

  • Color Theory Essentials
  • Materiality of Paint
  • Introduction to Tools
  • Power of Observation
  • Learn techniques to hone invention and imagination to express personality

Learn the basics of color mixing, mark-making techniques and developing eye-compelling abstraction, designs, and composition. 

Students will learn a range of paint application methods as well as important 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 topics will be covered?

  • Study life forms’ essential structure.
  • Analyze the relativity of value, space, and light.
  • Engage with diverse methods to organize visual information in cohesive arrangements to communicate form and content.
  • Training the eye and hand to work together.
  • Learn vocabulary beyond “art Speak”to constructily art work.
  • Experience highs and lows of the art-making process, the good, the bad, and the ugly…to the beautiful!!.....which means…to brainstorm, to sketch, to reflect, to revise, to fail, to succeed, to fail, to be sensitive, to be bold, to take risks in developing ones ideas.

Other topics include:

Color Mixing Proportions of Hue and Saturation, Distinctive Palette Choices, Value, Tone,  Analogous Color, Complementary Color, Reflection and Transparency, Broken Color, Light and Space, Line, Shape, Value, Transparency, Field, Pattern, Texture, Trash to Treasure, Pop Art, Light Walk, Sense of Place.

What will you do in class?

  • Presentations and class demonstrations
  • The bulk of class time will be dedicated to working in the studio
  • Individual as well as group critiques will occur every class

Essential Supplies/Materials

  • Surfaces to paint on: 9 x12 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 
  • Wood or Plastic Palette knife 2
  • 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 Siena, Raw Umber, Cerulean Blue, Chromium of Oxide, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ocher, Viridian, Pthalo Blue, Dioxazine purple 

Textbooks: No required text, please use this for reference.

Color a Workshop Approach by David Hornung

Visual Forces by Benjamin Martinez and Jacqueline Block 

Visual Awareness and Design by Philip Thiel

Form, Space, and Vision by Graham Collier

Principles of Two-Dimensional Design by Wucius Wong 

Paul Rand: A Designer’s Art by Paul Rand 

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler