Welcome to Introduction to Painting


Painting I

Introduces students to the fundamentals of colour theory, colour mixing and colour relationships. Students progress through a series of projects that build skill acquisition along with an exposure to a diversity of contemporary painting practices. Working from observation, students will investigate materiality, colour, design, historical context and concept. Course activities carry across the Fall and Winter semesters and students must register in both Painting I and Painting II during the same academic year. Students with credit in FOUN-1B04,FOUN-1B24,GART-1004,GART-1B04,GDES-1014, GDES-1022,GDES-1031,GDES-1B16,GDES-1B24,GDES-1C02 may not take this course for credit. Note: It is recommended students register in the same SECTION for both DRPT 1003 and DRPT 1004 to allow for continuity.

Painting II, Building on the skills acquired in Painting I, students explore varied approaches to painting and shape their observational and creative skills through figuration, abstraction and digital processes. Along with improving their painterly skills, students consider cultural meanings and conventions of painting.


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Achieve a fundamental understanding of the basics of painting by:
  • exploring observational and non-observational strategies and a range of content;
  • exploring a variety of conventional and non-conventional media, tools and techniques, including digital media;
  • manipulating the formal elements, composition and the principles of visual perception in paintings;
  • Learning and implementing safe, healthy and sustainable studio practices.
  1. Acquire a fundamental understanding of the basics of colour theory by:
  • completing assigned paint mixing and digital colour manipulation exercises;
  • predicting colour outcomes from mixing in additive and subtractive systems to testing aspects of colour theory;
  • identifying the formal, visual elements of colour and their function;
  1. Gain from an introduction to conceptualization strategies by:
  • Using life experience and social/cultural knowledge as a basis for exploring ideas.
  • choosing appropriate processes for problem solving in response to assignments;
  • formulating strategic questions in order to research ideas, materials, techniques and theory;
  • creating a plan of action for the purposes of time management;
  • maintaining documentation of ideas and research;
  1. Position their work critically, and develop sensitivity to cross-cultural perspectives within art, in relation to historical and contemporary visual theory and practice by:
  • writing short critical statements as required;
  • contextualizing and articulating a rationale for their work based on their own experience and research;
  • observing and analyzing the work of their peers through engaging in studio discussion and critiques;
  • Researching a breadth of art practices in a range of cultures by both historical and contemporary artists.

Key Vocabulary

Additional vocabulary may be introduced.

Colour: achromatic, monochromatic, polychromatic (primary, secondary, intermediary,  tertiary, analogous, 7 major contrasts (hue, value, temperature, area, complementary, simultaneous/successive/mixed contrast, saturation), Chroma, proportion, additive, subtractive, partitive or optical colour mixing, psychological colour, colour systems,

Composition: plane, volume, shape, form, contour, structure, grids, symmetry, balance, repetition, rhythm, focal point, abstract, geometric, representational, non-objective, contrast, pictorial space, picture plane, critical analysis elements, principles, spatial indicators (size, overlap, transparency, shadow, orientation, elevation, aerial perspective, diagonal, colour perspective)

Visual Perception: physiology of the eye, visual pathway, cones and rods, vision, induction/after images, Gestalt theory (figure & grouping laws – proximity, similarity, continuation, closure), semiotics, monocular, binocular, convergence, dynamics of picture plane (horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, diagonal), figure/ground relationships, visual illusions, light

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