Faculty and students in the Department of Painting and Printmaking work together in a professional and creative learning environment. The undergraduate curriculum enables students to adopt a specialized focus within the discipline and use elective options to pursue other areas of interest in the School of the Arts, the university and the community. It also permits students to tailor a course of study suited to their professional and personal ambitions. The undergraduate program provides students with opportunities for concentrated experiences in both practice and theory as a foundation for independent exploration and artistic development. Classroom discussions invite students to examine a range of contemporary critical issues, which enable them to understand their own studio work in relation to historical continuum. As students develop their skills in critical analysis they are challenged to articulate and justify their ideas both visually and verbally.

The size and diversity of the faculty guarantee exposure to a plurality of ideas and stylistic approaches. In addition, the department's visiting artist program brings to campus leading figures in the world of contemporary art for discussions of their work, critiques of student work and workshops.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Students are expected to achieve technical proficiency in painting and printmaking, and possess the skill to translate their creative ideas through studio practice.
  • Students are expected to develop personal voices as artists based on an awareness of social, historical and critical issues.
  • Students have the ability to think critically and to articulate their ideas via conversation, public speaking and writing.
  • Students comprehend the potential impact of contemporary art on culture.

Special requirements

  • Open electives: The 13 credits required in this area may be either academic (lecture) or studio, but eight credits must be taken outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking.
  • Studio courses are designed to be taken in the following sequence: 200 level (basic), 300 level (intermediate) and 400 level (advanced). Instructors may ask you to withdraw from a course if you lack the appropriate background of knowledge and experience.

Degree requirements for Painting and Printmaking, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional General Education requirements
General Education electives9
Total Hours9

Collateral requirements

Art Foundation Program
ARTF   131Drawing Studio3
ARTF   132Surface Research3
ARTF   133Space Research3
ARTF   134Time Studio3
ARTF   139Project2
Art history
ARTH   103
ARTH   104
Survey of Art I
and Survey of Art II
6
Art history electives9
Total Hours29

Major requirements

PAPR   201Painting From Observation4
PAPR   211Print Media I4
PAPR   231Drawing from Observation4
PAPR   290Concepts and Issues2
PAPR   301Painting Strategies4
or PAPR   311 Print Media II
PAPR   304Paint Practice and Theory4
or PAPR   314 Print Practice and Theory
PAPR   402Senior Degree Project4
PAPR   490Senior Seminar2
PAPR 300- or 400-level (painting, printmaking or drawing)12
Total Hours40

Electives

Select 13 elective credits13
Total Hours13

Studio electives

Select eight studio elective credits (must be taken outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking) 18
Total Hours8
1

Note: Studio courses outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking include COAR, CRAF, SCPT, KINE, PHTO, GDES and CINE.

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

Electives

PAPR 300-level intermediate printmaking
PAPR   309Electronic Strategies4
PAPR   311Print Media II4
PAPR   319Printmaking, Intermediate (Screenprinting)4
PAPR 400-level advanced printmaking
PAPR   409Large Format Digital Printing4
PAPR   412Printmaking, Advanced (Lithography)3
PAPR   413Printmaking, Advanced (Etching)3
PAPR 300-level
PAPR   309Electronic Strategies4
PAPR   319Printmaking, Intermediate (Screenprinting)4
PAPR   326Color3
PAPR   329Life Drawing3
PAPR   330Figure Painting4
PAPR   355Drawing and Painting, Intermediate3
PAPR   356Drawing and Painting, Intermediate3
PAPR   392Independent Study in Painting and Printmaking1-4
PAPR 400-level
PAPR   412Printmaking, Advanced (Lithography)3
PAPR   413Printmaking, Advanced (Etching)3
PAPR   415Printmaking, Advanced (Etching)4
PAPR   423Experimental Printmaking4
PAPR   491Topics in Painting and Printmaking1-4
PAPR   492Independent Study in Painting and Printmaking1-4

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
ARTF   131 Drawing Studio 3
ARTF   132 Surface Research 3
ARTF   139 Project 1
ARTH   103 Survey of Art I 3
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Quantitative literacy course (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
ARTF   133 Space Research 3
ARTF   134 Time Studio 3
ARTF   139 Project 1
ARTH   104 Survey of Art II 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Social/behavioral sciences course (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
PAPR   201 Painting From Observation 4
PAPR   231 Drawing from Observation 4
PAPR   290 Concepts and Issues 2
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Art history elective 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
PAPR   211 Print Media I 4
PAPR   301
Painting Strategies
or Print Media II
4
General education elective 3
Natural/physical sciences course (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 14
Junior year
Fall semester
PAPR   331 Experiments in Drawing 4
PAPR 300- or 400-level elective 4
Art history elective 3
Humanities/fine arts course (University Core) 3
Studio elective (outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking) 3
 Term Hours: 17
Spring semester
PAPR   304 Paint Practice and Theory 4
General education elective 3
Studio elective (outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking) 4
 Term Hours: 11
Senior year
Fall semester
PAPR   490 Senior Seminar (capstone) 2
PAPR 300- or 400-level drawing 4
PAPR 300- or 400-level painting 4
Art history elective 3
General education elective 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
PAPR   402 Senior Degree Project 4
PAPR 300- or 400-level painting or printmaking 4
Art history elective 3
Studio elective (outside of the Department of Painting and Printmaking) 3
 Term Hours: 14
 Total Hours: 120
 
 

PAPR   201. Painting From Observation. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: ARTF   131, ARTF   132, ARTF   133 and ARTF   134. Introduction to the materials of oil and/or acrylic paint through a practice of painting from observation. Students will practice fundamental concepts in the medium and gain understanding of the context of contemporary and historic painting.

PAPR   205. Painting, Basic. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. An introduction to the use of paints with an emphasis on the organization of the artistic image, through the use of plastic form and color, coupled with analysis of historical and contemporary work.

PAPR   209. Materials: Printmaking. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. An introduction to three principal printmaking techniques: etching, lithography and digital imaging.

PAPR   210. Painting for Non-majors. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 6 studio hours. 3 credits. Open to non-art majors only. The course will offer an opportunity for students to work with some of the ideas and materials of painting through lecture and studio involvement.

PAPR   211. Print Media I. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: ARTF   131, ARTF   132, ARTF   133 and ARTF   134. Designed for students beginning to explore the development of their visual vocabulary utilizing the multiple. This course is meant to be taken as part of a year-long module including etching, lithography, screen printing and digital imaging.

PAPR   221. Drawing, Basic. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Drawing instruction with attention to extension of the student's knowledge of the tools of drawing. Materials and techniques will be related to pictorial organization.

PAPR   231. Drawing from Observation. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: ARTF   131, ARTF   132, ARTF   133 and ARTF   134. This course continues the development of students’ proficiencies in drawing through an emphasis on representation, illusion and mimesis. Students will gain an understanding of fundamental concepts in drawing, including figure/ground relationships, planes and volumes, and formal and expressive approaches to mark-making.

PAPR   290. Concepts and Issues. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture hours. 2 credits. A lecture course that familiarizes students with contemporary artworks, as well as modern and postmodern concepts. Students will be introduced to contemporary issues in art through the presentation of slides, films and visiting speakers. Visits to outside events and lectures will be required.

PAPR   301. Painting Strategies. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   201. This course will explore contemporary ideas in painting through studio practice, critique, lecture, reading and discussion. Students will be exposed to relevant contemporary theory and will pursue issues such as abstraction, installation, site specificity and process, as well as systemic and conceptual approaches to painting.

PAPR   303. Painting, Intermediate. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 1 lecture and 6 studio hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of basic painting or permission of instructor. Primary emphasis on the development of an individual direction in the context of contemporary ideas and images in painting.

PAPR   304. Paint Practice and Theory. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: PAPR   211, PAPR   231 and PAPR   301. This course utilizes the group critique as its principle teaching methodology and explores critical issues in the field of painting. Each student will pursue a studio practice, complete assigned reading and participate in discussion.

PAPR   305. Painting, Intermediate. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Prerequisites: 4 credits of basic painting or permission of instructor. Primary emphasis on the development of an individual direction in the context of contemporary ideas and images in painting.

PAPR   309. Electronic Strategies. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. A digital media course designed to acclimatize students with the use of computers in the context of fine art. As opposed to common perceptions of "computer art," students will learn to use the computer as they would any other tool -- to articulate their ideas and add to their artistic practice. Through in-class exercises and homework assignments emphasizing problem-solving, students will learn to express their ideas through this emerging medium.

PAPR   311. Print Media II. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: ARTF   131, ARTF   132, ARTF   133 and ARTF   134. Further studies for students exploring the development of their visual vocabulary utilizing the multiple. This course is meant to be taken as part of a year-long module including etching, lithography, screen printing and digital imaging.

PAPR   314. Print Practice and Theory. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: PAPR   201, PAPR   211, PAPR   231, and PAPR   311. This course utilizes the group critique as its principle teaching methodology. It builds advanced printmaking skill and is a seminar on critical issues in the field. Each student will pursue a studio practice, complete assigned reading and participate in discussion.

PAPR   315. Printmaking, Intermediate (Etching). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   209 or permission of instructor. Investigation of etching printmaking, drypoint, engraving, aquatint, soft grounds and related techniques.

PAPR   317. Printmaking, Intermediate (Lithography). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   209 or permission of instructor. Investigation of techniques and technical printing problems in lithographic printing process from stones and plates.

PAPR   319. Printmaking, Intermediate (Screenprinting). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   209 or permission of instructor. An investigation of cut, hand-drawn and photographic stencil techniques and printing on a variety of surfaces.

PAPR   321. Drawing, Intermediate. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: UNIV   200 or HONR   200 and 3 credits of basic drawing, or permission of instructor. Drawing for advanced students with special emphasis on creative response to the drawing as a work of art.

PAPR   324. Drawing, Intermediate. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of basic drawing or permission of instructor. Drawing for intermediate students with emphasis on problematic thinking and dealing with drawing as an aesthetic form.

PAPR   326. Color. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A course examining the concepts governing the use of color. Historical and contemporary concepts and methods of application will be explored.

PAPR   329. Life Drawing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 6 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisite: foundation drawing. Explores the structural and muscular systems of the human body with emphasis upon proportional relationships, chiaroscuro, contour, volume and foreshortening.

PAPR   330. Figure Painting. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   205 or permission of instructor. Designed to allow advanced painting students to work on a continuous basis with the life model in painting. The first half of the semester is focused on old master techniques and styles from earlier periods in art. The second half of the semester examines the work of contemporary figurative painters in the context of developing each student's individual approach to technique, style and content.

PAPR   331. Experiments in Drawing. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   231. Lecture, studio practice and historical context. Students will practice exploratory notions of drawing and be provided with relevant examples of contemporary approaches to drawing.

PAPR   355. Drawing and Painting, Intermediate. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of basic drawing or painting or permission of instructor. Intermediate instruction in drawing and painting. Models, both nude and clothed, and still lifes are used.

PAPR   356. Drawing and Painting, Intermediate. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of basic drawing or painting or permission of instructor. Intermediate instruction in drawing and painting. Models, both nude and clothed, and still lifes are used.

PAPR   392. Independent Study in Painting and Printmaking. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of six credits. Prerequisites: junior standing as a major in painting and printmaking and approval of department chair and instructor. Individual instruction and supervision of a special project. Learning experiences should be designed with the supervising faculty member in the form of a contract between student and instructor. This course is limited to those students who have demonstrated an exceptional level of ability and intense commitment to their discipline.

PAPR   401. Painting Investigations. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   301. With the emphasis on the exploration of an individual direction, this course continues the development of a student’s technical and conceptual proficiencies in the context of contemporary painting practices.

PAPR   402. Senior Degree Project. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   304 or PAPR   314. In this course the student will pursue an independent studio practice toward the development of a personal and informed body of advanced work.

PAPR   403. Painting, Advanced. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 1 lecture and 6 studio hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate painting or permission of instructor. More ambitious projects with the aim of developing in the senior student a highly professional approach and achievement in his or her work. Individual as well as group discussions.

PAPR   404. Painting, Advanced. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 1 lecture and 6 studio hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate painting or permission of instructor. More ambitious projects with the aim of developing in the senior student a highly professional approach and achievement in his or her work. Individual as well as group discussions.

PAPR   405. Painting, Advanced. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 20 credits. Prerequisites: 4 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. More ambitious projects with the aim of developing in senior students a highly professional approach and achievement in their work. Individual as well as group discussions.

PAPR   409. Large Format Digital Printing. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisite: PAPR   209. Engages students in the use of digital tools in printmaking. Students will investigate developments in digital culture in relation to print's history and future. Creative applications of digital tools, with an emphasis on the digital print, form the heart of this course.

PAPR   412. Printmaking, Advanced (Lithography). 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Specialization in one medium. Aesthetic suitability of the design to a particular medium is emphasized.

PAPR   413. Printmaking, Advanced (Etching). 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Concentration on one medium with emphasis on creative techniques.

PAPR   415. Printmaking, Advanced (Etching). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 20 credits. Prerequisites: 4 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Specialization in one medium with emphasis upon technical research and aesthetic suitability of the design to the particular medium used.

PAPR   417. Printmaking, Advanced (Lithography). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 20 credits. Prerequisites: 4 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Further investigation of techniques and technical printing problems in the lithographic printing process from stones and plates.

PAPR   419. Printmaking, Advanced (Screenprinting). 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 20 credits. Prerequisites: 4 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Further exploration of cut, hand-drawn and photographic stencil techniques and printing on a variety of surfaces.

PAPR   421. Drawing, Advanced. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 9 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 15 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate drawing or permission of instructor. A studio for drawing with individual criticism. Special attention is given to contemporary concepts.

PAPR   423. Experimental Printmaking. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate printmaking or permission of instructor. Relief printing, collographs, monoprints, photoengraving and mixed media will be investigated.

PAPR   431. Drawing and the Model. 4 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 6 studio hours. 4 credits. Prerequisites: PAPR   331. Historical and contemporary figure drawing will be explored with an emphasis on developing the student’s individual approach to the figure.

PAPR   455. Drawing and Painting, Advanced. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 9 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate drawing or painting or permission of instructor; completion of PAPR   455 to enroll in PAPR   456. Advanced instruction in drawing and painting. Models, both nude and clothed, and still lifes are used.

PAPR   456. Drawing and Painting, Advanced. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 9 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisites: 3 credits of intermediate drawing or painting or permission of instructor; completion of PAPR   455 to enroll in PAPR   456. Advanced instruction in drawing and painting. Models, both nude and clothed, and still lifes are used.

PAPR   490. Senior Seminar. 2 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 2 credits. Information to help graduating seniors in the department of painting and printmaking meet the professional requirements involved in exhibiting and promoting their creative work and in functioning as an artist. Writing intensive.

PAPR   491. Topics in Painting and Printmaking. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; 1-4 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 12 credits. Topical course focusing on creative expression and research in the areas of painting and printmaking. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered.

PAPR   492. Independent Study in Painting and Printmaking. 1-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of six credits. Prerequisites: senior status as a major in painting and printmaking and approval of department chair and instructor. Individual instruction and supervision of a special project. Learning experiences should be designed with the supervising faculty member in the form of a contract between student and instructor. This course is limited to those students who have demonstrated an exceptional level of ability and intense commitment to their discipline.