Anthony Ortega
Associate Professor
Department of Fine and Performing Arts
Regis University
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Course Listings:

Intro to Drawing

Introduction to Painting

Advanced Painting

Painting Studio

Drawing Studio

Life Drawing


Design Foundation

New Mexico Santo Tradition

Art and Culture

Painting Studio FAA 451 E-W

Tuesday and Thursday 10:50 A.M. to 12:05 P.M. 

Office: Claver Hall 133 C
Office Hours:
Monday at 8:00 9:00 A.M.
Wednesday at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00 A.M. to 9:25 A.M.



Please turn off your smart/cell phone and I pod during class time
No text messaging allowed during class time

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course teaches the student that painting is an expressive language that creates a dialogue for personal content and imagery. Students learn that both the concept and the technique of painting are important to the development of an artist. The Painting Studio class emphasis theme development, advance techniques and process. This course format gives students time to focus thought and energy on a cohesive series of paintings. Each student will develop an individual direction and a set of aesthetic values that support his or her artistic goals. This painting class consists of students who work together in the same studio area, sharing ideas and resources. At the core of instruction are individual and group critiques conducted by the professor.


1. To provide you the opportunity to paint, express your ideas, and encourage the development of your own unique personal style.

2. To stress the content and the conceptual side of your art.

3. To explore techniques as a way to enhance content, making you aware of the choices you have as an artist.

4. To provide other technical advice as needed.

5. To provide individual and class discussions and critiques that presents a wealth of fundamental information for contemplation, exploration, and experimentation.

6. To provide a positive environment that supports and challenges the student.


1. Plan to create a series of 5 paintings this semester. Your productivity will depend on size and style. You have freedom to generate your own ideas and to create a portfolio that reflects your interests as an artist. You are required to develop a theme in a cohesive series of works, rather than jumping from unrelated ideas to unrelated styles. You are expected to begin work during the second class period. All 5 paintings are due on the last day of class April 23, but progress checks will be conducted during scheduled portfolio reviews.

• In your series of paintings be original; do not copy an existing illustrations or photographs. I am looking for you to be inventive and creative with this series of paintings.

• In your series of paintings challenge yourself and integrate some complexity into your artwork, for example: challenging your use of color, value, texture, mark making and or develop the background of your subject.

Studio/class time and work out side of class: Studio time will be built into this class. This is time for you to work under my supervision. This is the best time to ask me specific questions about your work, get feedback on your work in progress. It is expected that you will have enough work to occupy the full class period. It is also expected that students put in adequate studio time outside of class. It will be necessary to ensure a quality outcome in your work. Students are expected to spend time working outside of class to complete paintings for critiques and portfolios. The painting studio is available to students when no classes are in session.

2. Write a one-page typed proposal that will explain your goals and techniques for your painting series. It should include a general plan (time line) for the semester, reason for your interest in your content/subject matter, and why your choice inspires you. When you write your one page proposal please address the following: technique (expressionism, hard edge, impressionism, abstract, supper realism etc) type of support (canvas, watercolor paper, panel etc.), size of images, negative space (background or environment) and color use. This is due during the second class period January 14. Plan to talk to me about your ideas at this time.

Ideas for writing your propsal statement

Student examples:

3. Sketch Book: Your sketchbook is a valuable tool to work out ideas and problems with your art/series. However, in this class, I also want you to use your sketchbook to help define what it is that influences and inspires you in each of your paintings/series. Sketches, photographs, photocopies, poems, quotes… put everything you look at and think about in this book. Think of this as a book you are making (as opposed to filling), a visual catalog of images you can look at when you are low on ideas. Bring your sketchbook to every class meeting. I’ll want to see it at the two midterm portfolios and final portfolio. Please place your name and date on first page of your sketchbook. Use only one sketchbook during semester and glue all loose material into sketchbook. Loose items in sketchbook will not be graded.

Create two pencil studies before you start each painting. Is it necessary to plan a painting in thorough detail before you start, or should you let it develop as you go along? Planning a painting can be a help as you know exactly what you're going to do, but it could also inhibit spontaneity. Letting a painting evolve as you work is very free and lets you be spontaneous, but also leaves you open to the possibility that the painting won't go anywhere and you'll end up with a mess. Ultimately the degree to which you plan out a painting depends on your personality; some people find it essential and others a hindrance. But regardless of how detailed you like to plan (or not), there are numerous decisions that have to be made before you to start to paint.

Take a 4” x 6” color digital image of each painting and place into the sketch book. Make sure your digital image is in focus, squared off as well as color and value that are comparable to original painting.

4. Critiques: There will be a group critique at the end of each assignment. The group critique is an important learning tool and the entire class will be expected to participate. During critiques, each assignment will be discussed and assessed and an evaluation will be made. Among other things, the merits of techniques employed, sensitivity with media, compositional strength and weaknesses, and the effectiveness and or ineffectiveness of the painting as a response to the assignment. In order for your painting to be properly critiqued, it should be 80% to 100% complete, in other words we will need enough information on the painting to give you effective feedback. Failure to complete this requirement will result in a lower grade on your painting.

5. Write a one page comprehensive artist's statement that will explain the underlying philosophical position of your current body of work. At its best, an artist's statement reads easily, it is informative, and adds to your understanding of the artist and the painting. At its worse, an artist's statement is difficult to understand or rambles on, is pretentious, and irritates rather than informs. An artist's statement is a short piece written by the artist to accompany a particular painting or group of paintings. An artist's statement shouldn't be dismissed as insignificant or dashed out in a hurry as it's a vital selling tool, promoting and explaining your work to people looking at your paintings, whether they're potential exhibition curators, critics, fellow artists, or casual browsers.

Develop this statement throughout the semester as you work on your paintings by taking notes or keeping a journal. You will develop a couple of drafts that you will submit prior to a fine one. The first draft will be due on Apirl 14. The final statement will be collected, on the last day of the semester April 21. It will be graded and discussed on your final critique.

Writing your artist statement

6. Three portfolios will be submitted for evaluation. The first portfolio will be submitted on February 18, the second portfolio April 5, and third portfolio on April 21. The first portfolio will consist of 2 paintings and sketch book. The second portfolio will consist of 4 paintings and sketch book. The final portfolio will consist of 5 paintings and artist statement and sketch book.

I take attendance very seriously. Information is given throughout the class; therefore, it is essential that you remain present for the entire time. Missed reviews, lectures or group critiques may also affect your grade. You are responsible to notify me if you will be absent, late, or need to leave before the class ends. Tardiness will not be tolerated. Five absences, final grade will be lowered one whole grade. Seven absences, final grade will be lowered two whole grades. 9 absences, final grade will be lowered to an F.

The four ways to be marked absent are:
• Miss class
• Attend class without the required supplies and or reference materials
• Attend class but do not work as required
• Leave, without returning, without explanation prior to leaving.


Smart/Cell phone policy: phones are to be turned off at all times, any information (photographs/text) stored on phones needed for class should be printed prior to class time. Class participation also means that you are fully present in class, not texting or looking at your cell phone. I expect that cell phones and other electronic devices will be put away and not sitting out in view. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in lowering of grade. I reserve the right to deduct points from your grade for each such instance without notice.

Course Withdraw Policy: Students are expected to know and observe the published deadlines for (a) dropping the course and (b) Withdrawing from the course. These deadlines are published on the University’s Academic Calendar, Which is available in the Bulletin, the course schedule, and is in the Dean’s Office? Please observe the following Dates: Last Day to Drop the Course: January 19, 2016; last Day to withdraw from the Course (No refund): April 3, 2016. THESES DEADLINES ARE NOT FLEXIBLE.

Learning Support: If you have a documented disability requiring academic adjustments for this class, please contact the Director of Disability Services, Joie Williams, (303-458-4941, who will review your documentation with you and help determine appropriate, reasonable accommodations. Following this meeting, please make an appointment with me, as your instructor, to discuss your accommodation request in light of the course requirements. You may self-disclose and request an academic adjustment any time during the term. However, I strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible because accommodations are not provided retroactively and adequate lead-time is required.

Regis Writing Center:
The Writing Center is a free resource for Regis College undergraduates. All writers, no matter how proficient, benefit from working with a writing consultant. These peer consultants will help you at any point in your writing process, from brainstorming for ideas to organizing a draft to polishing the final version. You get immediate and personal feedback about your writing as well as answers to your questions. Appointments are recommended. Drop by the Writing Center in Loyola 1 or call (303) 458-4039 for more information.

Academic Integrity: Acts of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for this course. Consistent with the College’s Academic Integrity Policy, I will report all violation of this course’s academic integrity policy to the Dean’s office. Students who have committed multiple instances of academic dishonesty can be subject to institutional penalties like probation, suspension, or expulsion, in addition to the penalties for this course. The Academic Integrity policy is described in the Bulletin; detailed information about the policy and the appeals process can be found in the Dean’s office.

Grading will include:
• Good attendance
• Prompt arrival to class
• Good work ethic in prompt and timely preparation for class (prior to class time students should be prepare with           required art materials, subject matter and have read assignment)
• Amount of diligence the student has demonstrated in the creation of his/her work.
• Sustained engagement and sustained effort
• How in-class work time is utilized
• Project solutions
• Successful completion of all assigned problems
• Meeting project due dates
• Craftsmanship which includes care and neatness in the presentation of his/her work during class critiques.
• Rigor in how the student has challenged his/her self in the creation of their work.
• Involved Critique Participation demonstrated during class critiques.
• Display a positive attitude towards constructive criticism by participating in and responding to individual (instructor)      critiques and class (peer) critiques.
• Demonstrate an attitude of willingness to learn and drive to reach potential
• Demonstrate a willingness to experiment with previously untried methods of painting.

Grading Criteria:
Portfolio includes 5 paintings based on your one-page proposal.
Each painting is worth 25 points = for a total of 125 points maximum.

Written work includes:
One-page typed proposal =10 points maximum
A type final artist statement=10 points maximum (a couple of drafts will be submitted prior to the final statement)

A sketch book with preliminary sketches (2 per painting) and documentation (photographs) of your series =15 points maximum

Total points= 160 maximum

The FINAL GRADE will be determined by totaling all grades:



























Materials can be purchased at the following locations:
Regis Book Store;
H.R. Meininger CO., 499 Broadway, Denver, 303-698-3838;
Guiry’s Art & Office, 2245 Market St., Denver, 303-292-0444;

Dates Assignments, critiques and portfolios
January 12 Introduction syllabus presented
January 14, 19, 21 and 26 one-page typed proposal  due on January 14,
painting time
January 28 critique assignment 1
February 2, 4, 9 and 11 painting time
February 16 critique assignment 2
February 18 first portfolio due, sketch book, first and second paintings
February 23, 25, March 8 and 10 painting time
February 27 -March 6 Spring break
March 15 critique assignment 3
March 17, 22, 24 and  29 painting time
March 31 critique assignment 4
April 5 second portfolio due, sketch book, third and forth paintings

April  7, 12, 14, and 19

Draft of artist statement due on April 14, Painting time

April 21 Last day of class, sketch book and final paper due
April 26, 10:10 A.M. final exam (critique) Attendance is mandatory! Missed final will result in lowing final grade a full step!

Everyone enrolled in this class will participate in cleaning and maintenance of the equipment, tools and working surfaces in the painting classroom. This is not only the necessary chore that we must share; it is also the important part of the artist’s education. By participating directly in the care and upkeep of the shop, you will learn about practical aspects of the medium. Do not eat in the shop (it is not healthy—too many chemicals and dust).  Always be considerate toward your classmates and aim to leave your working area in a shape better than you have found it.

A NOTE REGARDING CLOTHES: Wear the kind of clothes that is appropriate for the studio. Wear clothes that you will not mind staining with paint.