Ralph Larmann

Art Department

University of Evansville

ART 340 Painting
FALL 2004

Instructed by Ralph Larmann
Office: FA203 / Hours: 8-10 am MWF or by appointment

SYLLABUS: First Semester Painting

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Oil paints and supplies will be used during the first semester.
  • COLORS: 2 oz. tubes of each:
    • cadmium yellow medium
    • ultramarine blue
    • cobalt blue
    • cadmium red medium
    • alizarin crimson
    • pthalo green
    • raw siena
    • burnt umber
    • 4 oz. tube of titanium white
  • BRUSHES: #9 or #10 flat, #4 or #5 round, #1 or #2 round, palette knife
  • PALETTE: made of glass or a suitable palette pad
  • GROUND & SUPPORTS: canvas panels and prestretched canvas as needed.
  • RECEPTACLES: with lids for brush cleaning and to hold medium mixture
  • CLEAN UP: paper towels and rags, bar of soap
  • MEDIUM: 2.5 oz W&N Liquin Painting
  • PAINT THINNER: 1 qt or more, odorless
  • SKETCHBOOK: 9 x 12, for ideas
  • FRAMING: lattice strips, wire brads, latex paint
OTHER MEDIA: Will be discussed individually.


Assignment 1: Composition and Planes.
This assignment is done in the sketchbook. Students will do a number of drawings of an object or small group of objects. Emphasis is put on the shading and expression of the planes of an object. Value and the rhythms within the work are the primary focus.

Painting 1: Low Key Monochrome Painting (Shades).
From Assignment 1, choose a successful composition of the object (objects). Do a painting on a 11 " x 14" canvas or canvas panel where most of the values are dark. All the values will be achieved by adding white or black to the chosen color. Any color which is derived from adding black is called a shade.

Assignment 2: Construction Zone Sketch.
This assignment is done in the sketchbook. Do three full-page drawings using a construction area as your source material. The images should reflect the idea of change and transition even in the way they are drawn.

Painting 2: High Key Duochrome Painting (Tints).
From Assignment 2, choose one of the Construction Zone sketches and transfer the drawing to a 11 " x 14" canvas or canvas panel. Paint the surface with only shades of two colors. All the values will be achieved by adding black or white to the chosen colors. Any color which is derived from adding white is called a tint.

Painting 3: Vegetablescape Imprimatura Painting.
Cover a 11 " x 14" canvas or canvas panel with a neutral color (burnt umber or raw siena). Bring assorted fruits and vegetables to contribute to a still life. Paint the still life using the rules of landscape depth. Focus on the attributes of landscape-like depth. Do three thumbnails and choose the most interesting. Then paint the composition over the prepared canvas, making sure to use some of your medium with the paint. Match colors as closely as possible.

Research 1: Artist Report
Write a two-page paper on any 20th Century or Contemporary painter. A list of artists from which to pick will be provided. The paper should examine the work, life, and character of the artist and should be done with bibliography and appropriate citations. This research will be orally-presented to the class. Students are encouraged to take on the persona of the artist and deliver the presentation from the point-of-view of the artist.

Painting 4: Paint in the Style of ...
Using an 16" x 20 " prestretched canvas, do a painting in the style of the chosen painter. Subject matter should reflect the same interests of the artist without copying a work by that artist. This painting will be critiqued in conjunction with the Artist Reports.

Painting 5: Broken Stroke Object Painting.
Using Painting 1 as your ground, paint the same object (objects) using the broken stroke technique. Apply paint in an impasto fashion. Allow elements of the underpainting to show through. This assignment investigates the concept of painterly space.

Painting 6: Self Portrait
Using a 16" x 20" prestretched canvas, do a self portrait that is bold, dramatic, or shocking. You may change some of your physical characteristics and do a work about your alter-ego if you like. Dramatic lighting can be used to create strong contrasts (always a good idea when trying to create strong visual impact).

Assignment 3: Familar/Strange Composition.
Using your sketchbook, draw at least three compositions in which you make something familar strange or vice versa. Choose one of these for Painting 7.

Painting 7: Making the Familiar Strange.
Create a composition using something familiar as the subject and do a painting (18" x 24" or larger). You should try to make something that is familar seem odd or strange. As an alternative to this painting, you can opt to make something which is strange and odd seem familiar.

Painting 8: Fact
Create a composition that describes an idea, place, person, or thing in the most realist way that you can (18" x 24" or larger). Factual paintings are things like history painting, portraits, some still life, or they can describe an idea that reflects a fact rather than a fiction. Painting 8 and 9 can be merged into one larger painting (24" x 36" or larger) to show contrast between fact and fiction.

Painting 9: Fiction
Create a composition that describes a fictional idea, place, person, or thing (18" x 24" or larger). Fictional paintings are things like surrealism, fantasy, mythology, or they can describe satirical or opinionated ideas rather than fact or reality. Painting 8 and 9 can be merged into one larger painting (24" x 36" or larger) to show contrast between fact and fiction.

Assignment 4: Portfolio
We will be creating three portfolios for during the course of the semester to document our collections of paintings. Each student will create a digital, online and physical collection of work from the semester. This will be done through the use of digital cameras, some introductory computer work, and the framing of at least one of the paintings done during the semester.

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© copyright 2004 by Ralph M. Larmann, all rights reserved.