Watercolor painting: Syllabus
Delaware County Community CollegeDCCC
ART 145 - Watercolor Painting
Three Credit course
Mr. Jaime Treadwell Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.jaimetreadwell.com - use as a reference to veiw projects and student work.
Office hours: To be announced
Course description: This
course is an introduction to the basic tools and techniques of the watercolor
painter. Emphasis is placed upon transparent watercolor within the Western tradition
in still life landscape, figure and non-objective subject matter. Upon successful
completion of this course, students should be able to:
• Prepare the materials for the process of painting.
• Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of the 12-hue color wheel.
• Demonstrate the ability to activate the concept of the picture plane.
• Produce cohesive composition.
• Apply the wash, glazing, graduated wash, wet into wet, lifting, scraping, resist, drops and splatter, and dry brush techniques within a watercolor painting.
Attendance and Lateness Policy: Attendance is Mandatory. Classes involve working time and discussions that cannot be duplicated. Students are responsible for missed assignments and should make arrangements to contact the instructor or a fellow student to obtain this information before returning to class.
-Please refer to college handbook
-Two absences equal the failure of the entire course (four absences for T and R classes)
-Two late arrivals or leaving early lowers the base grade one level.
Homework: Homework will be assigned every class. It is your obligation to obtain missed information. We will have group discussions / critiques on your homework, so it is imperative your home assignments are complete on the due date. A watercolor sketch book should be purchased after the first class. In this sketch book students will be expected to make 3 or more 20 minute paintings a week relevant to current class assignments. Students should have sketchbooks at all times, and I will randomly review them.
Grading: I take into account the student’s growth, work ethic, attendance, and the ability to receive and use criticism. Assignments are very particular and the grade reflects your ability to meet the specifics of the assignment. I measure the student’s class work, homework, and sketchbook as evidence of development. The assignments will be collected on the due date and at the end of the semester in a portfolio. The final grade will be lowered one full letter grade each class day the assignment is late. When the assignments are returned, each student will receive a “grading sheet” explaining the grade. We will have student / teacher meetings throughout the semester so students understand their current progress.
B…80-89 Homework / sketchbooks…30%
C…70-79 Attendance, class participation….15%
D…60-69 Final assignment…..15%
Presentation: Presentation is critical; Treat your work like a newborn baby!
I well not except folded, stained (unless intentional), or discarded work. Craftsmanship is the foundation of an artistic career. Keep your work protected in a portfolio at all times.
Student Artwork: Please note that all student artwork submitted for inclusion on the Annual Art Exhibition will be held for exactly one year after the opening date of the exhibit. After this time any work not picked up by the student will become property of DCCC. Students enrolled in this course are required to allow faculty the option to hold onto their artwork until the next Annual Student Art Exhibit. Since the artwork is being created under the tutelage of DCCC faculty the legal right to exhibit work remains to be up the discretion of the college.
Remember to put your name on everything you purchase!!!
Water Color Paint- Tubes-8 ml.
-Cadmium Yellow Pale
-Cadmium Red Light
#12 Sable Round watercolor Brush
#10 Sable Round Watercolor Brush
#8 Sable Round Watercolor Brush
#4 Sable Round Watercolor Brush
3/4” Flat water color brush
1 Strathmore Watercolor blocks- cold press, 12 x 16 inches (do not skimp on lower grade paper, this will haunt you later)
1 Arches Watercolor Travel Pad, 6 x 10 inches
Butcher’s palette, (a flat mixing area, no indentations)
Silk Sea Sponge (any round organic-like sponge)
Plastic Container for Water
Paper towels or old rags
Supply Box, fish tackle box will do.
Portfolio, two pieces of cardboard duct taped is acceptable
Required Text—Water Color by Michael Clarke. DCCC Bookstore
• I have arranged for Pre-packs to be ready for purchase at Utrecht Art Supplies for your convenience. You may purchase these items where you please.
• Utrecht Art Supplies
2020 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
ART STORE LIST: Local stores:
Merion Art & Repro Center Pearl
17 West Lancaster 417 South Street
Avenue. Ardmore, PA 9003 Philadelphia, PA 19147
61 0-896-61 61 215 238-1900
Rubinstein's Utrecht Art Supply
250 East Market Street 301 South Broad Street
West Chester, PA 9380 Philadelphia, PA 19107
6 10 696- 1150 215 546-5600
Village Art Shop Utrecht Art Supply
23 E. State Street 2020 Chestnut Street
Media, PA 9063 Philadelphia, PA 19103
6 10 566-6242 215 563 5600
Local craft stores:
AC Moore Michaels
Broomall Plaza 601 West Baltimore Pike
2940 Springfield Rd Springfield, PA 19064DCCC
Broomall, PA 9008 610 690-1633
6 10 353- 1117
Watercolor Supply Information
-Watercolor comes in tubes or pans.
Tubes are cleaner to use.
-Watercolor paint is composed of finely ground pigments in a binding material composed of gum Arabic.
-Three kinds: Mops, Rounds, Flats
-The smaller the number, the smaller the brush.
-Red sable is popular but expensive. Kolinsky Red Sable is the best quality.
-Camel and squirrel are less expensive, have less spring, can be used for larger brushes.
-Sabeline is a fine grade of ox hair dyed to resemble red sable and is less expensive.
-Ox hair has strong body with good flexibility.
-Clean with soap and shake out or mold with hand.
-Don’t let brushes stand on hairs.
-Three types: Cold-pressed which
has a slight texture that holds paint well but won’t interfere with detail
(most common), hot pressed which has a fairly smooth surface and is suitable
for line and wash. Rough which has a distinctive texture and can create a speckled
-The lower the weight the thinner the paper.
-Paper heavier than 200 doesn’t have to be stretched.
140lb. is a typical weight for pads which is borderline for stretching.
-The lighter the paper the more it buckles since lighter paper is more absorbent.
-The finest paper is made by hand from pure linen rag. Handmade paper has a right side (with the water mark-name of the paper) but there is little difference between sides.
-sizes of handmade paper: Imperial – 22 x 30 “, Royal – 19” x 24”, Antiquarian – 21 “x 53”. Double Elephant – 27” x 40”. Machine made paper has more of a range of sizes.
-Sponges are for wetting and removing
tape, lightening color, removing color and applying pigment.
-Rags and paper towels are for cleaning brushes and picking up paint from paper.
-Hairdryers are for speed drying your painted paper.
-Palettes: Butcher pan. Palette with sections, color cups.
-Bucket or cups for water can have compartments and brush holders.
-Erasing knife for scraping off paint.
Fall or Spring 15 Week Schedule, subject to change
Introduction: discuss syllabus; material
list; significance between drawing and painting. Begin 2 hour drawing marathon.
-Reduce and simplify objects into form, shape, and space.
-Measuring, sighting, and perspective (MSP).
-Sight for relative proportions; sight for angles in relation to verticals and horizontals; sight for plumb lines and/or angles between landmarks.
-Significance for establishing a point of reference or unit of measure.
-Demonstrate how planes and geometry construct an object.
-Study the still life for areas that interest you, and make several thumbnails
Sketches in your sketchbook.
-Homework: Purchase Materials, Make viewfinders (opening, 3 x 4, 2.25 x 3 in.)
-Draw 10 rectangles in 2 point perspective on a watercolor sheet (details in class)
Demonstration how to hold a brush
and mix paint; how to set a painting station. Review basic drawing fundamentals
-Demonstration, paint application; value scale.
-Introduction and use of a viewfinder.
-Discuss basic composition
-Sketch and layout where objects are located within your painting format
-Begin painting from still life; work from general to specific.
- Homework: Flat wash and glazing (geometric forms). Begin Chuck Close Grid (self portrait based on a photograph (no smiling)!
Week 3, 4:
Begin value/chiaroscuro painting.
Students must have instructors consent based on composition choice.
-Review Composition fundamentals; reduce objects to form, shape, and space.
-Discuss relationships of value placement, horizontals, verticals, and diagonals to support compositional intentions.
-Discuss Renaissance geometric composition relationship to non-objective Russian Constructivists.
Homework: Warm and cool color graduated wash.
Week 5, 6
Begin Warm/Cool painting
Begin non-objective painting (layering, glazing, transparency, opacity, balance, rhythm, form, and shape). Discuss formalism and modernist art.
Homework: Research and Copy a painting from a selection of formalist artists. Begin to make work using similar vocabulary of that artist.
Speed drills: 30-second paintings
up to 30-minute paintings (organic forms). Read and react with instinct and
speed. Artist presentation: 5-10 minute presentation to the class of a painter
Introduction to color theory: Mix opposite colors to achieve a perfect gray. Discuss Munsell Chart. Find an image in a magazine. Re-create that image from smaller magazine cut-outs. Paint what you see. (Details in class)
Week 9, 10:
Continue to work full palette paintings.
-Introduction of wet into wet techniques (homework).
-Homework: full palette, still life painting.
Week 10, 11:
View Richard Diebenkorn. Anything can work for a painting. Find and arrange your own subject matter
-Reduce palette to earth tones (dead palette)
Final: to be announced
Summer Session Six Week Schedule,
subject to change
Week 1: Introduction:
discuss syllabus; material list; significance between drawing and painting.
Demonstration how to hold a brush and mix paint; how to set a painting station.
Overview of Basic Drawing (MSP). Flat wash and glazing homework.
• Demonstration and lecture relevant to paint application; value scale.
• Introduction and use of a viewfinder. Study the still life for areas that interest you, and make several thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook.
• Sketch and layout where objects are located within your painting surface
• Begin painting from arranged still life; work from general to specific.
• Reduce and simplify objects into form, shape, and space.
• Measuring, sighting, and perspective (MSP).
• Sighting for relative proportions, sighting for angles in relation to verticals and horizontals, sighting for plumb lines or alignments between landmarks.
• Significance for establishing a point of reference or unit of measure.
• Introduction of terms such as volume, edges, mass, and how planes and geometry construct an object.
Week 2 Composition
and its relevance form, shape, and space. Warm and cool color graduated wash
- Lecture: Renaissance geometric composition relationship to non-objective Russian Constructivists.
- Discuss relationships of value placement, horizontals, verticals, and diagonals to support compositional intentions.
- Introduce Chiaroscuro: Italian word meaning light too dark; using high contrast to model a form.
- Speed drills: 30-second paintings up to 30-minute paintings. Read and react with instinct and speed. Artist presentation: 5-10 minute presentation to the class of a painter (your choice).
- Introduction to warm and cool colors.
Week 3: Work on
warm and cool color paintings.
- Introduction to color theory: Mix opposite colors to achieve a perfect gray. Munsell Chart. Full palette, complementary color homework.
- Pointillism paintings: How colors react to each other. Slide show: George Seurat, Van Gogh, etc. Impressionism
Week 4: Continue
to work paintings.
- Introduction of wet into wet techniques (homework).
- Work on large surface, full palette, still life painting.
Week 5: Slide lecture
of historical, modern, and contemporary painters relevant to watercolor.
- Reduce palette to earth tones
- Landscape Painting
Week 6: Slide lecture of historical, modern, and contemporary painters’ relevant to the final project to be announced.
Contour Line: A
line that represents the shared edges of a form, a group of forms, or forms
Line weight: Varying line thickness achieved from applied pressure to the drawing tool.
Linear perspective: A Mathematical system for creating the illusion of space and distance on a flat surface
One point perspective: Uses one perspective point; all parallel lines converge to one point. That point is called the vanishing point.
Two point perspective: Uses two perspective points or vanishing points. In two point perspective the sides of the object vanish to one of the two vanishing points on the horizon line. Vertical lines in the object have no perspective applied to them.
Three point perspective: All lines go to a vanishing point. Two vanishing points on the horizon line; one above or below.
Atmospheric perspective: Using value to create the illusion of depth and space. As objects recede into space their value becomes lighter.
Vanishing Point: Is where all parallel lines (convergence lines) that run towards the horizon line appear to come together like train tracks in the distance.
Eye level: In perspective drawing, a horizontal line on which lines above and below it in the horizontal plane appear to converge.
Horizon line: Runs across the canvas at the eye level of the viewer. The horizon line is where the sky appears to meet the ground.
Convergence lines: “Visual rays” helping the viewer’s eye to connect points around the edges of the canvas to the vanishing point (also known as orthogonal lines).
Value: In art, the darkness or lightness of tones or colors. White is the lightest, or highest, value; black is the darkest, or lowest, value.
Composition: An ordered relationship among parts or elements of a work of art. The arrangement of forms and spaces: (the design of the page).
Medium: Material used by the artist. e.g. Charcoal, graphite, conte crayon, oil paint, welded metal, terra cotta, etc. These are all different mediums.
Gesture drawing / painting: A quick simple translation of an organic shape; usually associated with the human figure.
Texture: The visual or tactile surface characteristics and appearance of something.
Mass: Refers to the effect and degree of bulk, density, and weight of….
Volume: Space within a space.
Negative space: Empty space.
Positive space: Opposite of negative space; filled with something. Both spaces have equal importance.
Figure / ground relationship: The depth ambiguity between the positive and negative shapes / space.
Shape: An enclosed
space defined and determined by other information. e.g. A donut has two shapes.
Edge: The place where two things meet (e.g. where the sky meets the ground); the line of separation between two shapes or a space and a shape.
Picture Plane: An Imaginary construct of a transparent plane, like a framed window, which always remains parallel to the vertical plane of the artist’s face. The artist draws on paper what he or she sees beyond the plane as though the view were flattened on the plane.
Crosshatching: A series of intersecting sets of parallel lines used to indicate value change or volume in a drawing.
Symmetry: Equal balance on both sides. The parts of an image or object organized so that one side duplicates, or mirrors, the other.
Asymmetry: Opposite of Symmetry. Both sides do not mirror each other.
Balance: Equal distribution of elements on both sides of a drawing.
Rendering: To represent in a drawing or painting, especially in perspective. Also, to create an interpretation of another artist’s work.
Sighting: Also known as “Rule of thumb”, Measuring relative sizes by means of a constant measure ( the pencil held at arm’s length is the most usual measuring device); determining relative points in a drawing—the location of one part relative to some other part. Also, determining angles relative to the constant’s vertical and horizontal.
Foreshortening: A way to portray forms on a two-dimensional surface so that they appear to project from or recede behind a flat surface; a means of creating the illusion of spatial depth in figures or forms.
Chiaroscuro: Italian (light and shade or dark) High contrast; the use of light and dark to achieve a heightened illusion of depth. Can be used to heighten drama or feeling as used in the theater.
Figurative: Describes artwork representing the form of a human, an animal, or a thing;
Abstraction: Imagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees; to exaggerate or simplify surrounding forms. Picasso / Braque
Grading Definitions A- Superior, B- Above Average, C- Average, D- Below Average, F-Failure
A. Superior work
of the highest quality. The "A" level student goes beyond what is
expected or required. The work demonstrates consistent creative and original
solutions with the highest technical ability showing mastery of the tools
and techniques. The work demonstrates a sense of confidence. The "A" level
student understands artistic/historical strategies and concepts and can articulate those ideas in their work and class discussion. The work of the "A" level student shows obvious evidence of thinking;
it conveys a sense that it is about something and involves risk-taking and informed decision making.
B. Confident, above-average
work. The "B" student demonstrates professionalism in
both attitude and approach to assignments with a sound level of technical ability
that demonstrates evidence of critical-thinking skills. The "B" student contributes to class discussion and understands artistic strategies associated drawing. Assignments are completed on time. Scores on written and practical examinations are consistent with the grade of B. Inconsistencies in concept, composition, and technique cannot warrant a higher grade.
C. Average effort
and quality. The "C" student demonstrates a basic understanding
of technical control and artistic ability with a sense of real effort, but problems are not successfully resolved. Erratic technical skills with little or no sense of challenge becomes obvious. Contributes to class discussions and understands concepts used within the arts. Assignments are usually completed on time. Scores on written and practical examinations are consistent with the grade of C.
D. Below Average.
The "D" student meets the minimum course requirements.
Concepts are weak, lacking critical-thinking skills and technical skills are poor
requiring remedial work. Assignments are below average and/or not completed
in a timely manner. Contributions to class discussions are minimal. Scores on written and practical examinations are consistent with the grade of D. D is a passing grade, not a failure.
F. The "F"
level student either does not meet all course requirements, or performs
inadequately, or both. F is a failing grade.