Drawing and Painting

Course Description: What Is This Class About?

Drawing and Painting is a Marking Period course worth 1.25 credits. We will explore different genres of art and discuss important aesthetic approaches to art making.

Rationale: Why is it Important To Learn This?

Good drawing is a foundation for all art forms. Painting is an extension of drawing with liquid media. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that explores what we value in the arts. Realism, Expressionism, and Formalism; are all prominent aesthetic perspectives. Understanding what we value in art: spontaneity vs. meticulous rendering: personal subject matter, vs. political subject matter: help us to clarify who we are as individuals.

Course Goals:What Are We Going To Do In This Class?

Over the duration of the Marking Period we will be: drawing a realistic still-life in graphite, drawing a realistic portrait in pastels, painting an expressionist painting in acrylic, and exploring surrealism. In addition to making art: we will be looking at exemplary artworks and discussing the aesthetic choices made by the artists. Technical skills taught will include: gesture, contour, shading, color blending, and expressive paint handling.

Course Concepts: What Will I Learn In This class?


Unit Major Concepts
Still Life How to find the correct shape and proportion of an object.
How to use shading to make an object look three-dimensional.
How to create the illusion of depth (foreground, middleground, background).
How artists use symbolic objects to tell stories.
Portrait How to draw the correct proportions of the human face.
How to blend and layer color.
How portraits communicate meaning about the sitter’s social and political standing.
Expressionism How an artist’s personal experiences affect their artwork.
How to paint with acrylics.
How to apply paint expressively using non-traditional tools. Psychological relationships of color.
Surrealism How Surrealist artists incorporated improvisation into their works.
How Surrealist artists used fantasy to communicate their desires.


Students will be expected to turn in 4 completed projects by the end of the Marking Period. As part of the learning process, students are given a self-evaluation rubric for each project. Criteria for getting an “A” are listed on the rubric. Students are expected to assess their own artwork based on these criteria. This process allows students the opportunity to continue to refine their artwork until they feel it meets the standard set out in the rubric. Writing about their artwork allows students the opportunity to earn extra-credit.