Painting & Drawing Electives

Drawing and painting courses are fundamental ingredients of every BFA student’s visual arts education. The Boston University School of Visual Arts offers a wide selection of advanced painting and drawing courses that direct, complement, and refine the pursuit and practice of each major discipline.

Course Selections

AR 236 Anatomy & Figure Drawing 4cr
AR 237 Drawing from Observation 4cr
AR 238 Drawing Concepts 4cr
AR 239 Figure Drawing 4cr
AR 432 Advanced Drawing 2cr
AR 469 Color Theory 4cr
AR 512 Architectural Drawing 4cr
AR 526 Video Art 4cr
AR 547 Painting Techniques I 2cr
AR 548 Painting Techniques II 2cr

Course Descriptions

Advanced Drawing
Life drawing; emphasis on figure structure; further development of drawing skills; work from the nude, draped figure, and objects in various media as points of departure toward a personal expression.

Anatomy & Figure Drawing
Drawing analysis of the human figure with emphasis on anatomical structure; study of the skeleton and muscle groups as they affect volume and surface definition. Drawing from the living model, prepared skeleton, and anatomical casts; as well as compositional work from memory.

Architectural Drawing
This course will introduce students from CFA and from the Architectural Studies concentration of the History of Art and Architectural Department to basic skills of architectural drawing. Drawing has been a tool for architectural representation and a means of communication for centuries. It is imperative for designers to understand the role of drawing in architecture and design. Through a series of lectures, tutorials, exercises and precedent studies students will develop the skills and understanding required for successful architectural representation.

Color Theory
Color is a studio course that investigates the relativity of color, and the role that quantity, proportion, and context play in our perception of color, both in the visual arts, and in our daily environment. Lectures, demonstrations, slide presentations, and museum visits will complement the primary studio activity of solving specific color problems, and of generating individual, expressive color compositions. Open to all University students. No previous experience in art is required. Elective credit may be applied to the BFA Major or the Visual Arts Minor.

Drawing Concepts
Discussion of a broad range of drawing issues, including drawing from memory, and from secondary sources. Introduction of subjects explored in non-representational drawing traditions. Drawing process will be emphasized through a study of drawing media- such as water-based inks and paints, collage, and pastel- to address both aesthetic and technical concerns.

Drawing from Observation
A representational drawing course with a focus on drawing from observation. Subjects to include still life, interior, landscape, and the human figure. Emphasis on creating convincing pictorial form and space. Development of expressive drawing skills and elaborated study of drawing media.

Figure Drawing
The focus of this class will be to teach students to think and understand the principles of drawing as a visual language. Class will involve an in-depth study of the human figure. Students will make a series of drawings and sketches in a variety of mediums, including graphite, charcoal, conté, ink, etc. Students will study from a live model, and will use the human figure as a vehicle to better understand the fundamentals of organic form, proportion, and balance.

Principles of Painting Techniques I
Lectures, studio demonstrations, and workshops concerning materials and techniques for oil painting: selection of tools and studio equipment; preparation of traditional and modern supports and grounds; principles of oil and alkyd painting; properties and interactions of pigments, binding mediums, solvents, and protective coatings; paint-making and tubing procedures, toxicity of materials, safety issues and precautions; introduction to a variety of direct and indirect techniques; presentation of completed artwork, including photographing, varnishing, and framing completed artwork. Open to undergraduates who have completed Painting II, CFA graduate students, and art history students.

Principles of Painting Techniques II
Lectures, studio demonstrations, and workshops concerning materials and techniques for non-oil painting: selection of tools and studio equipment; preparation of supports and grounds; principles of egg tempera, distemper, encaustic, watercolor, casein, gouache, buon fresco, acrylic polymer, PVA, and vinyl painting; properties and interactions of pigments, binders, solvents, and protective coatings; paint-making procedures; toxicity of materials, safety issues and precautions; introduction to a variety of direct and indirect painting techniques; introduction to oil and water gilding; presentation of completed artwork, including matting, photographing, and framing. Open to undergraduates who have completed Painting II, CFA graduate students, and art history students.

Video Art
Students will explore the practical and theoretical aspects of narrative and non-narrative film-making. They will produce both types of films, exploring narrative through historical and documentary forms and non-narrative through experimental works. Presentation of experimental work is not limited to the screen; installation and video art as a sensory experience will be explored. Emphasis will be on editing and how visual images, sounds, pacing, sequencing and camera perspective impact a film’s meaning and content.