Syllabus and Supplies

Robin Adair Painting I


  • Discussion of materials; preparing your support; exploring paint application and mark making.
  • Baroque study #1 (Grisaille): Working on a toned ground with a limited colour pallete to create chiaroscuro (light and dark) effects.
  • Baroque study #2 (Glaze painting): Building thin layers of transparent colours and tinting to create depth and brilliance.
  • Monet’s Lilies: Intro to the Impressionist style; colour mixing with warm and cool primaries; exploring alla prima (wet-on-wet) techniques.    
  • Seeing like Seurat: Exploring optic colour mixing and broken brush techniques.
  • Van Gogh’s Room: Using complementary colours; experimenting with the pallete knife to explore impasto techniques.
  • Picasso’s Muse: Intro to the Cubist style; understanding compositional rhythm by using repetition, harmony, and juxtaposition. 
  • Painting “Up Close”: Intro to the Realist tradition in painting and the grid technique.
  • Self-directed work. 


For the first class: 

  • Brushes: At least three hog hair brushes (size 10 or higher). I recommend one filbert, one flat, and one round.
  • Support: One full sheet (22”x30”) of heavy cotton/rag paper (Stonehenge is a good brand); or, you may bring a recycled piece of MDF or wood board that is relatively smooth on one side.
  • Paint Pallete: you can purchase either plastic or metal palletes at any local art store; or, you may use an old plastic Tupperware tray (feel free to use your resourcefulness).    
  • Paint: For the first class, bring one tube each of the following colours: Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Mars Black, and Burnt Umber. Any of the student grade brands of acrylic will do. If you want to invest in a high quality brand, Golden is the best choice. 
  • 33 oz container of white gesso (any brand is suitable).
  • Cotton rags.

Note: To prevent anyone from making unnecessary purchases, we will discuss the materials for subsequent sessions on the first day of class.