Try everything: wood, pencil, ink, oil, acrylic.
Play with form, structure, proportion.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Drawing and Painting
Drawing and painting students learn to refine essential techniques while expanding their conceptual ideas through discussion with faculty and visiting artists.
By studying historical and contemporary drawing and painting, students are able to put their work in context and develop a vocabulary to illuminate their artistic visions.
Drawing and painting is a major offered in the four-year BFA degree program. Our BFA curriculum is rooted by
Core Four—foundation courses that enhance students' professional development.
DRPT 2000 Introduction to Painting 3
In this course, students learn basic oil painting techniques through studio painting sessions rooted in direct observation. Applied color theory, use of critical language, direct painting techniques, and studio safety practices are covered. Studio practice includes the still life and model. Group and individual critiques, lectures, demonstrations, and museum visits round out the class.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1
AH 3660 History of Drawing and Painting 3
In this course, students explore the art of artists who work in the media of drawing and painting. The course may focus on the work of individual artists, on particular movements and styles, or on the history of technical developments and trends in drawing and painting. Contemporary practices may also be addressed. Classes are primarily lecture with some discussion. Students take examinations and complete research assignments.
Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Introduction to Art and Design: History 2 (may be taken concurrently) or instructor permission
FAS 3090 Critical Studies 3
Critical Studies examines the relationship between art, culture, and student work. This examination is related to many forms, including the aesthetic, political, social, and philosophical components that exist within works of art. Students focus on making work in the context of cultural issues. The cross-disciplinary composition of this course increases the depth of discussions and critiques. May be repeated for elective credit with a different instructor.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
FA 4000 Professional Practice 3
This course addresses processes needed to succeed in the contemporary professional art world. Topics include grant writing, approaching galleries and graduate schools, and documenting and marketing work. Guest lecturers and course faculty will cover establishing a studio, copyright issues, tax and legal documents, and general professional business startup and concerns. Visiting artist presentations connect abstract information with real-world experience.
Prerequisites: Junior standing
DRPT 4010 Internship 3
Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience in a particular career area and valuable on-the-job skills. Internships may be arranged by the Director of Career Services or initiated by students. All internships must be preapproved through the Career Services Office. For an internship to be approved, a mentor relationship and learning experience should exist beyond a simple employment opportunity. Three-credit internships require working 120 hours at the internship site and keeping a journal of hours and activities.
Prerequisites: Professional Practice
DRPT 5010 Advanced Drawing/Painting Seminar 3
This course is for the advanced student who is interested in developing a self-motivated, sustained body of work and an understanding of the relationships between the formal, conceptual, and historical aspects of painting and drawing. By examining their own studio practice in relation to current topics in the field, students expand their perspectives while developing singular bodies of work. An additional goal of this course is to develop critical thinking skills through the painting and drawing process. Each student proposes a course of investigation, subject to approval. Studio practice is supported by individual and group critiques, guest critiques, writing exercises, and readings on artists, criticism, and theory.
Prerequisites: Three 3000-level drawing or painting courses, successful Junior Review
DRPT 5100 Senior Project 6
During their senior year, drawing and painting majors are required to develop and complete a substantial body of work in a specific field. This course provides a forum for the critical evaluation of this work and curatorial guidance in preparation for the Commencement Exhibition. Course content includes critical readings, position paper, individual and group discussion, and informational meetings.
Prerequisites: Successful Junior Review, senior standing
Select one of: 3 DRPT 3010 Drawing: Color and Mixed Media 3
Focusing on color as a descriptive and expressive tool, this course covers interaction of color, optical color mixing, and color layering. Expressive and symbolic uses of color, as well as the creation of light, form, and space through color, are covered. Observational drawing skills are further developed, and students are encouraged to take individual approaches to subject matter and imagery. Demonstrations include a wide range of wet and dry color drawing media, collage, and experimentation with a variety of drawing surfaces. Lectures about historical and contemporary artists provide complementary information.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 2 DRPT 3030 Painting: Materials and Techniques 3
This course is designed to expand students’ oil painting skills so that they may better understand the intimate relationship between craft and expression. Topics include experimentation with scale, broadly interpreted observational work, and a personal approach to painting in both form and content. Technical demonstrations cover direct and indirect painting, glazes and scumbling, painting media and varnishes, and a variety of painting supports and techniques. Slide lectures, demonstrations, museum visits, short readings, discussions, and critiques support class material.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting
Select two of: 6 DRPT 3070 Image and Text 3
In this course, students explore the possibility of image and text to interrelate, interpret, discombobulate, and extend each other into new dimensions of meaning and visual impact. Working in drawing and painting, students use image and text to tell stories and poems, to create visual information, and as a visual form of language. Students may work with a variety of surfaces, formats, and series work. Projects include class assignments and student proposals. Visual lectures covering historical and contemporary art, research, responsive writing, and field trips round out the course.
Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Introduction to Painting DRPT 3080 Operative Drawing 3
This course utilizes chance, prompts, conceptual diagramming, collaboration, transcriptions, and other generative processes to develop and question abstract modes of expression. The class translates three-dimensional model-building into drawing and then back again. Projects include site-specific drawing and collaborative design teams for installations. Visual lectures, contemporary readings, discussions, artist films about process, and critiques support class material.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting or Foundation: Drawing 2 (bachelor of science students by permission)
DRPT 3085 Painting as Object 3
In this course, students create paintings that exist both as image and as a deliberately produced 3D object, including low relief and sculptural form. Topics include experimental and mixed-media painting, sculptural and shaped supports, and process and presentation as they relate to content. Materials include stretched canvas; wood constructions; natural, found and commercial objects for assemblage; and handmade and other papers. Drawing, composition, surface, and scale are discussed continuously within the context of the painted object. Projects include class assignments and student-proposed bodies of work. Visual lectures covering historical and contemporary art, research, responsive writing, and field trips round out the course.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting DRPT 3090 Pressed Drawing 3
This course is an exploration of drawing and mark-making through the versatile method of monotype. By directly drawing or painting on a plate that is then printed, students create imagery with a great deal of spontaneity. The course includes direct-trace drawing and additive and subtractive studies as well as chine colle (a process of pasting/collaging other papers into the print). Instruction includes lectures, visual lectures, technical demonstrations, and critiques.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 2 DRPT 3095 Representational Studio 3
This course provides a contemporary context for working in a representational manner, including connections between invented and described space, realism and imagination, and understanding implied narratives and symbolism. Students use photographic and observed source material as well as live models. Projects are both classroom- and proposal-based. Instruction includes visual lectures, museum visits, critiques, and readings.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting
Select two of: 6 DRPT 3020 Drawing: Figure 3
This class combines life drawing with an in-depth study of figurative structure, including skeletal and muscular anatomy. Students develop figure drawing skills and an understanding of the movement of the figure in space. The class also explores drawing from imagination, narrative, and sequencing images. Students draw from nude and clothed models. Slide lectures, technical demonstrations, and anatomical lectures and texts support course material.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 2 DRPT 3040 Issues in Abstraction 3
In this course, students examine the desire for abstraction in Western art and build upon drawing and painting techniques to explore the abstract visual forms. Students work through a wide range of approaches to surface, scale, and shape as well as work in series. Materials include oil and acrylic paint with admixtures, canvas, wood, and drawing directly on the wall. Sources can include observation, research, and creative imagination. Projects are derived from class assignments and student proposals. Visual lectures covering historical and contemporary art, research, responsive writing, and field trips round out the course.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting DRPT 3050 Painting: Water-Based Media 3
In this course, students explore the versatility and compatibility of water-based media in order to extend, shape, and redefine issues of form and content in painting. Students investigate methods inherent in watercolor and acrylic painting media, such as color interaction, transparency/opacity, drawing, painting supports, and materials. Composition, formats, and content are regularly discussed. Regular visual lectures, information on materials, short readings, writing exercises, field trips, and critiques round out course content.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting DRPT 3060 Working from Life 3
This drawing and painting course is an in-depth exploration of specific locations in order to understand and create a sense of place. Students discover the relationship between on-site observational work and studio-based work. There is further development of observational drawing and painting skills through composition, spatial dynamics, and the particularities of a place. Studio projects are based on information gathered while working on location from direct observation. Critiques, discussions, and lectures on historical and contemporary artists support course material.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Painting or Drawing: Color and Mixed Media
Select one of: 3 PPB 3010 Relief Printmaking 3
In this course students explore a variety of textures, mark-making, and image techniques in the direct and versatile mediums of relief printmaking and monotype. Media include linoleum and wood block, collographs, pressure printing and embossing, painting with printmaking ink, stenciling, and trace monotypes. Technical information on cutting techniques, printing by hand and press, reduction, multi-block and combination prints, overprinting, and color layering are all covered. Demonstrations, lectures, and field trips support class material.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: 2D PPB 3015 Screenprinting 3
Screenprinting is a direct printmaking technique that builds images from layers of color. Students in this class explore photographic, computer-generated, hand-drawn, and painted stencil techniques. Through field trips, slide lectures, print samples, and critiques, the class provides an overview of the wide range of historical and contemporary approaches to screenprinting. Students complete a portfolio of editioned and non-editioned prints using nontoxic, water-based inks.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: 2D
PPB 3020 Intaglio 3
Through experimentation with process and practice, including the editioning of copper plates, students use different grounds, aquatints, acids, and dry-point techniques to gain an understanding of the intaglio process. Line and tonal work, transfers, chine colle, viscosity, and color printing are all possibilities. Both historical and contemporary applications are explored.
Prerequisites: Drawing 1, Foundation: 2D
PPB 3025 Lithography 3
The process of lithography allows the artist to draw directly on grained lithographic limestone and aluminum plates to create printable matrices. Students experience both the graphic capacity and painterly possibilities of this medium through a wide range of dry and wet lithographic drawing materials. Students develop a portfolio of print-based work emphasizing personal imagery using plate and stone lithography while incorporating drawing, transfer, and digital processes. Historical and contemporary contexts are explored through lectures and field trips to museums and/or print studios.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1, Foundation: 2D PPB 3030 Photo Processes in Printmaking 3
This course enables students to gain working knowledge of a variety of printmaking techniques that involve photographic and digitally generated images. Students explore photo-plate processes such as Z*Acryl etching, photolithography, and photopolymer gravure plates. Techniques include working with halftones, four-color separation, combining photographic and hand-drawn imagery, and more advanced color printing work for students who have already studied lithography or intaglio. Students are encouraged to experiment within a wide range of possibilities and forms while exploring the conceptual and aesthetic exchange between printmaking and photography.
Prerequisites: All foundation studio requirements PPB 3035 Digital Printmaking 3
This course introduces students to contemporary printmaking trends and concepts in relation to digital technology. Emphasis is placed on experimentation and discovery through various techniques, including exposure to CNC and laser cutter technology for making printable matrices, the inkjet printer as a painting tool, the scanner as a camera, and the production of hybrid prints that combine digital printing, papers, and fabrics with traditional print. Through screenprinting, relief, artists’ books, and digital output, this class considers the shift and overlap of old and new techniques as a vital investigation of contemporary visual culture. Contemporary artists working in digital and print-based media are discussed.
Prerequisites: All foundation studio requirements, one printmaking or book arts course
PPB 3045 Drawing into Print 3
This course introduces a mixed-media approach to printmaking through drawing, collage, and unconventional mark-making. Rubbings, resists, and transfers can be combined with found printed fabric and paper, wood, canvas or other working surfaces. The course investigates printed color and viscosity or built up surfaces achieved in printmaking but defined through a drawing context. Students are encouraged to develop a personal direction through process and play. Demonstrations, field trips, and artists’ talks round out the course.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements PPB 3050 Artists' Books 3
Traditional and sculptural books provide exciting options for artistic expression. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of art in the book form, ranging from one-of-a-kind books to printed multiples and sculptural works. Individual projects focus on the relationship of form and content and employ a wide range of media and materials for text and/or images. Contemporary and historical artists’ books are explored through critique, samples, slide lectures, and field trips.
Prerequisites: All foundation studio requirements PPB 3055 Books: Materials and Techniques 3
In this course, students explore the materials and techniques of book construction through a variety of forms, from simple pamphlets to hardcover multiple-section books. Adhesive and non-adhesive bindings and covers, folded and sewn structures, and Japanese and Western styles are examined. Additional projects include presentation cases, envelopes, and box-making. Integration of contents with outer wrapping is discussed as it relates to self-promotion and to client presentations. Demonstrations, material exploration, and class discussions complement student projects.
Prerequisites: all Foundation studio requirements PPB 3060 Books: Series Sequence Structure 3
This class explores the internal structure and content of the book form. The relationships between image and text and the development of voice, rhythm, and timing are examined as components of narrative structure. Although simple bookbinding is incorporated, the class concentrates on developing subject matter and ways of telling. Assignments include small editions and collaborative and student-proposed projects. Work may be produced using the student’s choice of medium, including photo, illustration, digital, printmaking, and drawing. Lectures, films, and readings complement course material.
Prerequisites: All foundation studio requirements PPB 3065 Books and Broadsides 3
This class examines the traditional forms and contemporary possibilities of the printed book. From one-page poetry and political broadsides to multi-page books, students explore a range of printing and distribution methods. Text and image, page layout, and overall book design are discussed. Print technologies covered include letterpress with handset type and photopolymer plate, relief and collagraph techniques, and the wood-type poster press. Projects may be one-of-a-kind, editioned, or collaborative. Basic bookbinding appropriate to the projects is covered.
Prerequisites: All foundation studio requirements, one Print Paper Book course PPB 3070 Papermaking 3
In this course students learn how to make artwork with handmade paper from recycled materials, botanical fibers, and imported fiber. The class covers sheet formation for drawing, painting, and printmaking purposes, as well as three-dimensional applications in sculpture or lighting projects. Work in related areas such as bookbinding, surface applications, and paper uses in other disciplines is encouraged. Students are expected to experiment with the technical information presented and develop new work.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 2D PPB 3075 Dimensional Paper 2
In this course students are introduced to Western and Eastern fiber techniques of making three-dimensional paper works. Students are encouraged to investigate experimental methods of production in order to develop their own working methods and projects. Students experiment with scale and materials to produce works ranging from the sculptural form to textured drawings and collage.
Prerequisites: Foundation: 3D
First-Year Studio Foundation 15 FDN 1111 Foundation: 2D 3
Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
FDN 1112 Foundation: 3D 3
This course is an introduction to understanding of visual creation for the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, information, lectures, and discussions appropriate to promote the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
FDN 1211 Foundation: Drawing 1 3
Foundation: Drawing 1 is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the college. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior space, and landscape.
FDN 1311 Foundation: Media 1 3
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web development tools.
Prerequisites: None FDN 1212 Foundation: Drawing 2 3
Foundation: Drawing 2 is an observationally based drawing course designed to reinforce and develop the basic drawing skills established in Foundation: Drawing 1. Students work with a variety of subjects, including a substantial amount of drawing from the figure. In addition to working from direct observation, students explore drawing as a tool for invention, conceptualization, and idea development. The course also affords students an opportunity to investigate drawing materials in more breadth and depth than in Foundation: Drawing 1.
Prerequisites: Foundation: Drawing 1
First-Year Liberal Arts Foundation 12 AH 1701 Introduction to Art and Design History 1 3
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the major stylistic, thematic, cultural, and historical transformations in Western and non-Western art history from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century. This course helps students develop critical tools for the interpretation and understanding of the meaning and function of art objects, architecture, and design artifacts within their original historical contexts. Class sessions consist primarily of lecture with some discussion. Students take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
AH 1702 Introduction to Art and Design History 2 3
This course introduces students to issues in modern art, popular culture, and contemporary art and design. Topics might include the expanding audience for art, the transformation of the art market, the impact of new technologies, the changing status of the artist, and the role of art in society. This course is taught as a seminar with some lecture. Students take in-class examinations and complete short essay assignments.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Art and Design: History 1
EN 1100 Reading and Writing 1 3
Effective writing requires innovative thinking and creative engagement. Students in this course focus on building a writing portfolio by developing college-level writing skills and using these skills to produce a variety of assignments. Regular writing workshops allow students to concentrate on experiential and practical approaches to writing. Students explore a variety of texts and objects through class assignments. By the end of the course students have the foundational skills to be reflective and eloquent writers. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, group work, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, directed group work and research assignments, and a portfolio of seven essays.
EN 1200 Reading and Writing 2 3
Key to the creative and critical nature of college-level writing is the idea that students explore a topic by developing a thesis that changes as they ask questions, explore ideas, and conduct research. To that end, this course extends and concentrates the thinking and communication skills introduced in Reading and Writing I. The foci of this course are developing a thesis; engaging in critical and sustained research; and drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading a finished research project. As a result, students become increasingly adept at utilizing a wide variety of research tools, from published books to online search engines. The final project is a completed research paper and a visual presentation using programs such as PowerPoint. Class sessions are composed of seminar discussions, research exercises, presentations and debates, and writing workshops. Course requirements include participation, presentations, a research journal, a major research paper, and a final research presentation.
Prerequisites: Reading and Writing 1
Second-Year Studio Foundation 4 FDN 1411 Ideation and Process 3
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as an artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing FDN 1412 Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice 1
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. Contemporary Practice introduces students to the foundations, variety, and tools of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create professional presentations of their work. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
varying Studio Electives 23
Drawing / Painting majors take 23 elective studio credits in any media they choose.
Liberal Arts Electives
varying Liberal Arts Electives 24
Drawing / Painting majors take liberal arts electives in the following distribution:
Art History (6 credits)
Scientific Perspectives (3 credits)
Economic and Mathematical Systems (3 credits)
Global Perspectives (3 credits)
Political Thought and Ethics (3 credits)
Creative and Professional Writing (3 credits)
Liberal Arts Capstone Course (3 credits)