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ART 2PG3 Contemp Appr To Painting

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Judy Major-Girardin


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27287


Office Hours: By appointment

Course Objectives:

In this course, students will advance pictorial thought processes through the vocabulary of painting. Balanced emphasis will be placed on expanding conceptual and practical knowledge utilizing a variety of pigments, mediums, supports and tools promoting proficiency in traditional and alternative painting approaches.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

A Studio Fee of $75 per student will enable cost effective purchasing of many materials for the course and will ensure that they are readily accessible for course projects. Materials provided include, canvas, paper, gesso, wood for one painting support, paint  and mediums for one-hour painting exercises.

Students will independently purchase personal paints, brushes, palette and a rigid support for one assignment.

Tuition covers course instruction, technical and administrative support, equipment, tools, facilities, utilities, models, visiting artists and campus resources such as the McMaster Museum of Art, Library and Anatomy Lab.

Method of Assessment:

Project breakdown with percentage weight and due dates:

Project #1 – One hour (in class) painting of paper bag using gouache under-painting and alkyd gels with oil over-painting (5%). Submitted February 9th during class hours.

Project #2 – One hour (in class) observed self-portrait on paper (5%). Submitted February 9th during class hours.

Project #3 – One hour (in class) painting of snow on a coloured ground (5%). Submitted February 9th during class hours.

Project #4 – One hour (in class) painting of anatomy parts (5%). Submitted February 9th during class hours.

Project #5 –Small encaustic painting (5%). Submitted March 22nd during class hours.

Project #6 – One hour painting of transparent object (5%). Submitted March 22nd during class hours.

Project #7 - Self-Portrait on stretched canvas with cross-bar (20%). Due February 23rd during class critique.

Project # 8 – Panel painting exploration of surface and process (20%). Due March 29th during class critique.

Project #9 – Self-directed homework painting with materials and concept of choice (20%). Due March 15th in class critique.

Participation (10%) for class engagement, attendance at demos and contributions to critique. Assessed at the end of the course.

It is expected that students will arrive on time and prepared to work for each class period. Class demos will provide opportunities for demonstrating exploration in a variety of processes. 

Midterm: One hour paintings # 1-#4 (20%) + Self-portrait canvas (20%) = 40% provided by March 1st.

Final: 40% midterm grade + one hour paintings # 5 & #6 (10%) + Panel Painting Project #8 (20%) + Self-Directed Painting Project #9 (20%) + Participation (10%) = 100%

A+  = 90-100; A = 85-89; A- = 80-84; B+ = 77-79; B = 73-76; B- = 70-72; C+ = 67-69; C = 63-66; C- = 60-62; D+ = 57-59; D = 53-56; D- = 50-52; F = 0-49

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

All work is due during class time when critiques are scheduled. Failure to present during class will result in a late penalty. Late work will automatically drop a letter grade (A becomes B). Work submitted late will not receive written or oral feedback and no work will be accepted beyond one week from the deadline.



The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants. Learning is accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve, and challenges and successes can be shared. Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time. You must receive this information to work independently in the studio, and you may not operate any equipment or use any process that you have not received safety training for.


Class discussions and critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practice and learn from each other. It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to all points of view.


The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and come to class prepared, on time and ready to contribute to the activities of the day.

 Support Services

The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and


Office Hours


Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance and you are welcome to visit often to discuss course projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing. It is always better to deal with an issue while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions. Office hours are not a replacement class for those opting to miss class time without valid excuse. Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you miss a critique deadline. It is important that you learn to manage your time. Of course, extenuating circumstances can sometimes occur and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p



Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Other Course Information:


January          5          Course outline /materials review 

                                   Oil painting without solvents demo

                                   Paper bag one hour painting #1 with gouache set


Homework                 Purchase supplies and begin sketching/brainstorming for ptg.


                        12       Group A - woodshop demo for support building with lap joints (3 ½' x 4' canvas/cross bar)                       

                                   Group B - observed self portrait on paper using mirror tiles #2

Homework                 Compositional sketches/photos for self-portrait painting


                        19       Group B - woodshop demo for support building with lab joint (3 ½' x 4' canvas/cross bar)

                                   Group A - observed self-portrait on paper using mirrors #2

Homework                 Compositional sketches with grid and sizing to match canvas


                        26       Adding quarter round, stretching and priming canvas

                                   McMaster Museum of Art portrait research

Homework                 Gouache under drawing/painting of compositional elements


February        2          Self-portrait (figure/objects in observed environment)             

                                   One-hour painting #3 snow (coloured ground)

Homework                 Work on self-portrait or independent painting assignment


                        9          film TBA                             

                                    Anatomy parts one hour painting #4

                                    Review of self-directed painting

                                    Submit 4 one-hour paintings for grading


Homework                   Complete self-portrait

                                    Purchase 24 x 30 masonite for panel @ $6.00 + 2 pieces 1” x 2” pine/frame @$4.00

                                    or 18” x 24” wood panel painting support $15.00 (Currys)

                                    Bring in a found support for one hour encaustic painting # 5


                        16       Winter recess


                        23       Critique of self-portrait

                                   Guidelines for panel painting discussed

                                   Encaustic discussion with Leanne Grossi

Homework                  Have panel purchased or materials to make one ready for next class


March             1          Simple panel painting construction & adhesive demo

                                   Midterm grade on Self-Portrait and 4 one-hour paintings

                                   One hour encaustic painting on found support #5

Homework                  Work on independent painting


                        8          Panel painting work period

                                    Bring in independent painting for preliminary discussion

                                    One hour painting # 6 transparent object

Homework                  Complete independent painting


                        15       Critique independent painting

Homework                  Work on panel painting


                        22       Panel painting work period

                                   One hour painting #6 fruit

Homework                  Complete panel painting


                        29       Critique of panel painting


April                5          Exhibition in President’s Corridor