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ART 2PG3 Contemp Appr To Painting (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Logan MacDonald


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675


Office Hours: By appointment

Course Objectives:


  • To cultivate critical thinking and creative innovation related to painting
  • Develop skills and knowledge of contemporary painting techniques: methodology and style
  • Discover formal properties of composition and techniques 
  • Focus on the research and development of artistic process as a skill: planning the creation of artwork
  • Build on the communication of ideas that support the work of painting: critical analysis, critiques, presentation, and peer-assessment
  • Discover contemporary and historical painters and the ideas that inform their work


Contemporary Approaches to Painting is a studio course designed to introduce painting with an emphasis on materials, processes and ideas in a contemporary context.  Students can expect to produce a diverse body of painting work by executing a series of thematic projects and in-class assignments, which are designed to broaden their knowledge on the traditional techniques and more experimental approaches prevalent in painting. Students will be provided with dynamic presentations and demonstrations held during class-time to introduce each project. Students will gain critical knowledge of the medium, as well as the objectives, expectations, and limitations for each project. Demonstrations will provide students with an example as to how they may approach the execution of each projects, however, students are encouraged to explore and developing the handling of their own materials and processes. Students will deepen their visual vocabulary and interests within the thematic and critical framework of the course, which will be supported by mentorship, engaging in peer-to-peer class discussion, and group critique.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

The schedule and online location of required readings for each lecture will be detailed on Avenue to Learn.

The following required materials can be purchased at Curry’s art & supply store (located at 610 King Street West, Hamilton). Student are expected to attend every class with the following materials:

10 - 15 Surfaces to paint on, varying sizes, TBD.


  • Oil Paint, a range of colors (Stevenson brand or Wilston & Newton ). Suggested colors are: phthalo blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red (or vermillion), cadmium yellow (or similar hue), lemon yellow, sap green, burnt umber, raw sienna, white (large tube). Suggestion: Purchase a small kit with a large tube or white, black and an additional colour. 
  • Surfaces as required
  • Brushes for Oil (minimum 4, very small, small, med, large –Sable for detail, Pig for larger – suggested options: round, pointed round, bright, large flat, detail round)
  • Acrylic gesso / Latex Primer
  • Sponge, jay cloth, rag
  • Palette knife
  • Palette scraper (available at hardware stores)
  • Glass palette (purchased at the bookstore, but picked up in painting studios)
  • Walnut oil
  • Alkyd Gel (Ap approved, absolutely no solvents)
  • Disposable Latex Gloves

FOR CLEANING: Rags, canola oil, dish soap
Two jars with tight fitting lids.

*Our facilities do not support mineral spirits of terpentine. Please do not bring any abrasive solvents into the studios.


  • Acrylic Paint, a range of colors (Stevenson brand, available at the bookstore.). Suggested colors are: phthalo blue, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, cadmium red (or vermillion), cadmium yellow (or similar hue), lemon yellow, sap green, burnt umber, white (large tube). Students may wish to purchase additional colors throughout the term, as required.
  • Surfaces as required (stretchers, board, masonite, panel)
  • Brushes for Acrylic (minimum 4, very small, small, med, large – suggested options: round, pointed round, bright, large flat, detail round)
  • Surfaces as required.
  • Sponge, jay cloth, rag
  • Palette knife
  • Palette scraper (available at hardware stores)
  • Glass/plastic palette (purchased at the bookstore, but picked up in painting studios)
  • Acrylic Gel medium
  • Acrylic gesso / Latex Primer

FOR CLEANING: Rags, dish soap, Jug for water.

There are a $100 fee associated with this course. This fee covers the cost of wood, canvas and jesso for each student to build a several canvas

Method of Assessment:

10% Assignment 1  - Plan of action / Proposal: Due Jan 10

15% Project 1 -  Small Triptic (Oil/ Arcylic): Due Jan 24

20% Project 2 - Medium Dyptic (Arcylic): Due Feb 21

25% Project 3  - Large Single (Oil/ Arcylic): Due Mar 25

20% Review: In class assignments, experiementations, and research portfolio:  Due Apr 2

10% Participation

Students will have received 20% of their grade by March 15th.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students who fail to meet project due dates or miss exams risk facing the following penalties:

All late papers, projects, and end of term assignments will be subject to penalization of 5% per day marks being docked off the final awarded grade, with no submission accepted after 7 days. Failure to not submit projects 7 days after the deadline, will then result in a 0% grade awarded for the particular project or assignment. Critiques are treated as exams. Missing 2 critiques will result in a FAILING GRADE.

Any missed critiques will not be rescheduled to accommodate students. In cases where a MSAF has been submitted, late assignments will be extended, but will not be discussed in a group sessions.


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:

Jan 3: Syllabus intro / Presentation /  Demo / Stretcher building demo

Jan 10: Stretcher building demo cont. / Work period

Jan 17: Work Period 

Jan 24: Critique

Jan 31: Presentation / Demo - In class assignment

Feb 7: Work Period

Feb 14: Recess

Feb 21: Critique P2 

Feb 28: Presentation / Work Period

Mar 4: Work Period

Mar 1: Demo/ In class assignment

Mar 18: Work Period

Mar 25: Critique P3

Apr 2: Last Class - Portfolio reviews 

Other Course Information:

While a university environment is one where freedom of speech is highly valued, students must adhere to provisions of the Human Rights Act, 2010 and discrimination is prohibited on the following grounds: race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, social origin, creed, religion, age, disability, disfigurement, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, family status, source of income and political opinion. Comments or action based on an individual’s association or relationship whether actual or presumed, with an individual or class of individuals identified above is also prohibited. 

The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in team assignments and group activity is an important part of this course work. 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. Please be mindful of tone and consider respectful engagnment when quesitoning difference.

Incident Reports:
If a student should have an accident in any of the studio, the incident, (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the studio technologist within 24 hours. If there is no faculty or technician 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 a medical professional make the assessment.         

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

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

Curry's Art Supply Store
610 King St. West, Hamilton
Tel: 905-529-7700
Store Hours:
Mon - Fri 10am - 8pm
Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 12 - 5pm

Course Changes:
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 of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.