ARTS 117
Paint! An Introduction to Pigments and Binders Spring 2023
Division I

Class Details

This introductory studio course offers a materials-based approach to painting. Guided by ancient artists’ accounts and contemporary craft manuals, we will begin by making our own paints using non-toxic and inexpensive ingredients, combining earth and mineral pigments with binders like egg, oil, sap, casein, and wax. Experimenting with mark-making on a broad range of found and prepared substrates, we will carefully observe the affordances and constraints of each medium. Assignments will be simple and iterative: the semester-long repetition of a single, uncomplicated form will allow us to focus entirely on qualities of hue, texture, weight, transparency and opacity. Supplementary readings, museum visits, and group discussions will touch upon histories of pigment extraction and circulation as well as the production and evolution of paint media with special attention to environmentally gentle and sustainable practices. This course will include an introduction to the rare and ancient technique of buon fresco.
The Class: Format: studio
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 4006
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Grading will take into consideration attendance, the timely completion of weekly studio assignments, the maintenance of a descriptive journal, engaged participation in studio exercises and group discussions, a demonstrated willingness to experiment, and active stewardship of our collaborative studio environment.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Students who pre-register should email the instructor a description of interest. Preference will go first to students dropped from the Spring 2022 Section of ARTS 223, and then to first-years and sophomores.
Materials/Lab Fee: $400-$600. Lab and materials fees for all studio art classes are covered by the Book Grant for all Williams financial aid recipients.
Distributions: Division I

Class Grid

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