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ART 2PG3 Contemp Appr To Painting

Academic Year: Winter 2018

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:

Course Description


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.


Course Objectives


By the end of the course the student is expected to:

  • Be familiar with a range of supports, media and applications related to painting
  • Develop paintings from research stages through execution to final presentation
  • Receive and contribute constructive feedback during critique sessions
  • Be familiar with the language of painting and its potential to connect with other art disciplines, studies in other subjects and contemporary issues.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Materials and Fees


A Studio Fee of $85 per student will enable cost effective purchasing of many materials for the course and will ensure that they are readily accessible for course projects.
Your studio fee will provide the following:

Gouache (yellow, vermillion, ultramarine, titanium, jet black) 6.75 + 1.01 tax = $7.76 x 5 = $38.80

3 pieces select pine 1 x 3 x 8 from Lowes $7.00 + 1.05 tax = 8.05 x 3 = $24.15

1x2x8 pine $1.66 + .25 tax = $1.91

2x2 masonite $3.00

Canvas for Print-based and Independent Painting = $50 value

Hardware/ glue/ staples $5.00

Gesso (white) $5.00

Liquitex Matte medium - $10.00

Recycled paper for paintings on paper

Expendables $2.00 per student (newsprint, misc)

Total Value: $139.86 (savings of $54.86 per student plus convenience)


Tuition covers instruction, technical and administrative support, equipment, tools, facilities/utility costs, models, visiting artists, and resources such as McMaster Museum, Library, and Anatomy Lab.

Method of Assessment:



Project #1 Print-based Painting (20%)

Students will use a relief printed image on canvas (produced in ART 2PM3) to stretch onto a self-made support and develop into a painting. The canvas will be primed with a 50/50 solution of matte medium and water to seal the print before painting.

Support, canvas and primer provided by studio fees. Students are responsible for paint and brushes.


Project #2 Mixed-media Panel 20%

Using a rigid support, students will develop a mixed media painting with materials and concepts of their choice. This work may be developed with paint only or relief surfaces, collage and/or found materials may be applied.

Support provided by student fees. Students are responsible for all other materials


Project #3 Figure-based Works on Paper 20%

In class life model sessions and a field trip to the Health Science Anatomy Lab will provide the subject matter for a series of paintings on paper addressing figuration.

Gouache paint will be provided. Students should purchase 4 sheets of 22 x 30 inch paper and bring their own brushes. Somerset, Arches, BFK are suitable examples of paper.


Project # 4 Independent Painting 20%

Students will research, plan and develop an independent painting responding to their individual strengths and interests. Media, size and concept are self-directed.

Canvas is available for this project through your student fees. All other materials are the responsibility of the student.


Project #5 One-hour paintings on paper 20% (class engagement)

Small scale, limited time paintings will provide regular practice during class time. These opportunities invite risk taking and exploration into new approaches and media that can inform longer-term projects. Primed paper, gouache paint and still life materials will be provided. Students need to provide their own brushes and paint palette.

These timed works may not be created outside of class hours.



Midterm Assessment: 20% Project 1 (Print-based Painting) + 20% Project 3 (Figurative Series on Paper) due February 27th at 1:30 pm = 40%. A midterm grade will be returned to students by Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

Second Assessment: 20% Project 2 (Mixed-media on Panel) + 20% Project 4 (Independent Painting) + 20% Project 5 (One-hour Paintings on Paper) = 60%

Final Grade: Midterm 40% + Second Assessment (60%) = 100%

Support Services

Centre for Student Development: Students who are experiencing (or anticipate) personal or academic difficulties (e.g., time management problems, language and / or writing challenges, undue personal stress, critical family issues, etc.) during the course of the semester are urged to consult with a disability coordinator at Student Accessibility Services (SAS) located in the McMaster University Student Centre, room B107. For further information on the SAS and its services please call (905) 525-9140 [ext. 28652], email or go to:

The following scale of percent equivalences is used for calculating final grades:

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

Achievement Levels


OUTSTANDING (A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84)

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:

Conceptual rigour

Deep critical engagement

Complex, ambitious, and prolific production

Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation

Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking

Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests, and artistic vision

Independent and self-directed approaches

Highly professional presentations

Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)


GOOD (B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72)

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:

Good grasp of concepts

Evidence of developing critical skills

Meets deadlines

Technically sound demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas

Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests

Some independence, self-motivation, and risk-taking evident

Satisfactory presentation

Engaged with most aspects of the course


ADEQUATE (C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60–62)

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:

Inconsistent grasp of concepts

Little evidence of critical skills

Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state

Struggling with technical skills, and conservative approach to exploration and risk

Requires regular assistance to understand assignments

Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)

Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)


MARGINAL (D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52)

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:

Significant struggle with concepts and objectives

No evidence of critical skills

Missed deadlines

Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials

Arbitrary or no research evidence

Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)

Unsatisfactory engagement with course



Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Studio Art is a hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing grade due to the impact of this percentage on their ability to demonstrate abilities during in-class activities.





Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


Late Assignments, Extensions, and Accommodations

Scheduled critiques for the presentation of your work are the equivalent of exams. Projects that are not presented by the student during their scheduled critique or on the deadline day will result in an automatic 0. In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be graded but not discussed at an alternative critique session. No assignment will be accepted beyond one week past the deadline without communication from the Dean of Humanities’ office.

  1. or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor(s) and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation. Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office. In all cases, it is your responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are no automatic extensions or accommodations.


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.

Topics and Readings:

ART 2PG3 Calendar



Jan 9 Introductory Powerpoint

One-hour anatomy parts painting

HW Prime paper provided to you for one-hour paintings


Jan 16 Visit to Health Science Anatomy Lab

Painting on paper

HW Research for independent painting (sketches, artists, source material)


Jan 23 3 one-hour figure-based paintings on primed paper from life model

Discussion of plans for independent painting project

HW Begin painting independent project


Jan 30 Support construction 30” x 40”

Stretch support with printed canvas from ART 2PM3 as a painting base

HW Complete support construction and stretch print-based canvas primed with transparent gesso


Feb 6 Work period for print-based painting

One hour painting (glass/marbles)

HW One hour painting (paper bag)


Feb 13 Work period for print-based painting

HW Complete print-based painting


Feb 20 Break


Feb 27 Critique of print-based painting 20%

Hand in portfolio of figurative work 20%(anatomy lab painting, 3 model paintings, rubber anatomy painting)


Mar 6 One hour painting (fruit)

Preparation of rigid panel 2’x2’

HW Complete building of rigid panel including priming


Mar 13 Midterm grades

Work period for mixed media panel painting

One hour painting (greenhouse or DeGroote atrium)

HW Complete independent painting


Mar 20 Work period for mixed media panel painting and PC show

Hand in remaining one hour paintings 20%( paper bag, marble/glass, fruit, greenhouse)

HW Complete mixed media panel painting


Mar 27 Critique Independent Painting (20%) & Mixed-media painting (20%)


April 3 Student Showcase and One hour painting portfolio returned

Other Course Information:

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 divergent 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. Attendance at Visiting Artist talks represents a component of this category. Evidence of participation must be in the log/sketchbook.


Office Hours


Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance. 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 may sometimes occur, and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p.




Working in the Studios

It is mandatory for all studio art students to have read the Studio Safety Art Manual for Students available on

The studios are only for art students in the program. If you have a special program requiring involvement from someone outside the program you must seek permission from your instructor. Volunteer forms are on Avenue to Learn and require Director’s signature. There is no food or drink permitted in studio spaces. Exceptions to the food policy may occur in the flex studio, 114 or Atrium when art materials are not present. Steel toed shoes must be worn with the exception of 114, flex and atrium. If the policies are violated, loss of studio access will result as a consequence. Do not bring any chemicals or hazardous materials into the studios without the permission of your instructor. Do not decant any materials into food containers. All materials not in original containers must be labeled according to WHMIS regulations.



Appointments must be made with the Studio Technologist in regards to consulting and/or executing specific projects requiring the use of wood shop, metal, or ceramics facilities. Please ensure appointments and arrangements are made well in advance of deadlines and critiques.


Studios are accessible through access cards and are open from 7 am to 11 pm, seven days a week. Students are not permitted to work in the studios alone. Please arrange to work in the studio with a peer when working after hours.


Steel toe shoes are not required and eating/drinking are permitted in the following public studio spaces as long as art materials are not present:

Flex Studio 105


New Space 114


Non-art students are only permitted in 105, 114 and Atrium spaces unless accompanied by their class or with special permission of their instructor.



Incident Reports


If a student should have an accident in any of the studios, the incident (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the Studio Technologist within 24 hours. If no faculty or technician is available and immediate attention is needed, please call 88 for all emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 88 in any circumstance. Please do not make medical judgments for yourself or others. Let medical professionals make the necessary assessments.


Emergency Response

University line: ext 88

905 522-4135; or 905 525-9140, ext 24281


Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT)

Ext 27500

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday: 7 pm – 1 am

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 7 pm – 2 am

McMaster University Student Code of Conduct:

All students must familiarize themselves with the McMaster University Student Code of Conduct. Students are expected to adhere to the principles outlined in this code at all times. In particular, the following section should be noted:

Behaviour dealt with under this Code includes any action that allegedly violate the Responsibilities of Students or negatively affects any member of the University community, and arises;

a) on University property;

b) at a University sanctioned event or when representing the University;
c) through electronic media, where there is a clear connection to the University community; and/or
d) off University property and where there is a clear connection to the University community.

Email Communication

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 the 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. The instructor may take up to 48 hours to read and or respond to student emails.

Avenue to Learn

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure, please discuss this with the course instructor.

Modifications to Course Outline

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility students to check their McMaster email and Avenue to Learn weekly during the term and to note any changes.