Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Drawing 2 - Folio 2 - Due Thursday, Nov 17

Folio 2:

2.1 Value Skull Study
2.2 Value Study (Shanna)
2.3 Value/Observational Self-Portrait
2.4 Value Study (Shanna - Alternative Point of View)
2.5 Experimental Head Study (Shanna)
2.6 Pure Value Head Study (Shanna)
2.7 Open Head Study (Shanna)
2.8 Blind Tactile Self-Portrait
2.9 Three Best Gestures

Thursday, November 10, 2016

3033 - Drawing 3 - Folio 2

Folio 2 Due Tuesday, November 15

2.1 Figure in Geometric Space
2.2 Movement Drawing (craft)
2.3 In-class Interior
2.4 Homework: Figure in Interior
2.5 Mixed Media Figure
2.6 Multi-pose Figure (two drawings, color pencil)
2.7 Five Best Gestures

Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

1043 - Drawing 2 - Folio 1

Due this Thursday, October 13:

1.1 Large Object Still Life
1.2 Museum Interior (22 x 30 Arches)
1.3 Campus Exterior (22 x 30 Arches)
1.4 Homework: Interior or Exterior of your choice

Good luck!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

3033 - Drawing 3 - Folio 1

Drawing 3: Folio 1 is due on Thursday, October 6. Remember, the folios should be compiled, in order and ready to turn in at the beginning of class. We will have a critique on Thursday. You do not need to bring drawing materials

Folio 1:

1.1 Skeleton Study (craft)
1.2 "Beautiful Scribble" - Two 1-day drawings
1.3 "Academic Nude" value drawing
1.4 Homework: Alternate Identity Self-Portrait
1.5 "Geometric Forms" Figures - Two 1-day drawings
1.6 Five best gesture drawings

Tuesday, August 30, 2016



This project’s purpose is two-fold: 1) to introduce us to abstract painting by examining its connection to observational painting and 2) to get the semester ball rolling with a quick, small project that will get us back in the studio and working.

Abstraction, put simply, means removing something from its original source. If you think about, talk about, take a photo of or make a drawing of an object, those ideas, words, photographs or drawings are not the object itself; they are all, on some level, an abstraction of that original object. However when we think about “abstraction” in terms of painting, we tend to think of something else. Paint splatters, huge swaths of color, energetic gestures or geometric patterns come to mind. Therefore, to really begin investigating abstraction, we need to first examine what abstraction really means and how in fact it can mean many things at once. This project is designed to get us thinking about these issues through a simple exercise.

First, we are each going to make a simple “abstract object” sculpture. Choose a basic, easily workable material (cardboard, wood, construction paper, etc). Use your chosen material to make a small (between 8”-18” or so) three-dimensional geometric form. This form should not represent a recognizable object, it should simply be a shape that is three dimensional and geometric. It can be as basic as a cube or a pyramid, or it can be something slightly more complex. Once you have completed the form, you are going to paint it (I recommend acrylic, or you can gesso it and paint it with oil). Paint each side of the object differently. One may be a plain white, one may have stripes, one may be a bright green with dots, etc. Never repeat the same side twice. Try to make the colors work together. Make something that is aesthetically appealing.

Second, we are going to bring our new abstract object to class and make an observational still-life painting of it. You will set your painting up on a surface, light it, choose a background, and then paint it as faithfully as you can using your observational painting skills. We may choose to cluster several of the objects together. Your painting should be somewhere between 16 x 20” and 18 x 24”. You can work indirectly with an underpainting, or go straight into working with color. We will spend this time trying to make the most accurate painting we can and shaking some of the rust off for those of us who haven’t painted in a while.

The final result will be a representational painting of an abstract object. Does that make it an abstract painting as well? Maybe the line between the two is less clear than one might think. This project will hopefully get us thinking about these questions and allow us to move towards abstraction, but in a way that is connected to how we’ve worked in the past.

Project Schedule

Thursday, August 25: Introduction to Project
Homework: Make your “abstract object” sculpture over the weekend. It should be completely finished and ready to be the subject of our painting by Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 30: We will set up our abstract objects and begin our paintings of them.

Thursday, Sept. 1: We will continue work on them.
Homework: Finish your abstract object painting.

Tuesday, Sept. 6: We will critique the paintings and I will introduce Project 2.

Images Below: Victor Pesce (studio), Victor Pesce, Jessica Stockholder, Andrew Holmquist, Richard Tuttle


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

All Classes - FINALS - Times/Folios

Hi All, 

Below is all Finals information. Let me know if you have questions. Cheers, John

Drawing 3: Final Critique, 8am, Thursday, May 5

Final Folio: 
3.1 Large Scale Figure Study (in-class)
3.2 Multiple Figures in Interior/Exterior Space (homework)

Drawing 2: Final Critique,  12:30pm, Thursday, May 5

Final Folio: 
3.1 Landscape Drawing (in-class, at farm complex)
3.2 Open Homework Drawing

Beginning Painting: Final Folio due in cubby by noon, May 10

Final Folio: 
3.1 Landscape
(in-class at farm complex, two small paintings or one medium/large painting)
3.2 Open Homework Painting (18 x 24" or larger)

You can pick up all paintings in your cubby after 3pm on May 12. At that time, please retrieve all materials and clean out your cubby. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

All Classes - Next Week


As you know, I will be out of town next week for an exhibition. Your assignments are all written on the dry erase board in the room (image above), but I also wanted to include directions here:

Drawing 3: 

1) Make progress on your 2.5 Figure in Interior Space homework assignment. It will be due on Thursday, April 21 along with your completed Folio #2. 

2) Sketchbook #7: Recreate the drawings of the foot from the Bridgman handout. Due Tuesday, April 19.

Drawing 3 Folio #2 (Due Thurs, April 21):
2.1 Straight Line Construction (Two 1-day drawings)
2.2 Movement Drawing (craft paper)
2.3 Layered Drawing (Arches)
2.4 Space/Ladder Drawing (materials open)
2.5 HW: Figure in Interior
2.6 Multi-Media Drawing
2.7 Five Best Gestures

We will put in one more session on 2.6 on Tuesday, Apr 19, then the folio is due the following class (Thurs, Apr 21).

Drawing 2:

1) Make continued progress on 2.4 Self-Portrait homework assignment. Remember, this should be drawn from life and observed by looking at a mirror while drawing.

2) Begin and make significant progress on 2.6 Abstract Repetition/Mark-making Assignment (described in previous post)

Bring both in on Tuesday, Apr 19. We will discuss the works in progress and continue working on 2.6 in class. Folio #2 is due the following class:

Drawing 2 Folio #2 (Due Thurs, April 21):
2.1 Value Skull Drawing
2.2 Long Value Head (Joe)
2.3 Value Head / Low Light (Joe)
2.4 HW: Self-Portrait
2.5 Tactile / Blind Self-Portrait
2.6 Abstract Repetition/Mark-Making Assignment
2.7 Three Best Gestures

Beginning Painting: 

Make significant progress on your 2.3 Self-Portrait homework assignment. You will bring this work in on Tuesday, April 19, and we will discuss your work in progress. Remember, this can be done using a direct or indirect method - your choice. It should however be observed by looking at a mirror and painted from life. We will continue work on our head study of Erica that Tuesday as well. 

1043 - Drawing 2 - Abstract Repetition & Mark-Making Assignment

Drawing 2 – Norris
Abstract Repetition & Mark-Making Assignment

Drawing Utensil: You decide, anything except the utensils we use in class (charcoal, graphite, etc). It could be ballpoint pen, sharpie, chalk, stamps, stickers, collage materials, etc.
Paper: One sheet of 22 x 30” Arches Stonehenge or Arches Cover paper. You can purchase individual sheets at the bookstore. Tape off a carefully measured, one-inch border before you begin.

In our early drawing classes, we typically use marks to build an image of a real-life subject we are trying to recreate on the picture plane. The marks might be expressive and varied, but they ultimately exist in order to achieve an illusion of reality, translated from three dimensions down to two. For this assignment, we are going to allow the marks to take the spotlight and be the actual subject of the drawing. We will not be creating an image based on observing the world around us, we will be making work that is more abstract in nature and defined by a process driven by mark-making, repetition, and intuition.

1)    Choose a single mark that will be repeated over and over again throughout the drawing. Choose your mark carefully. It should be a mark that is important, compelling, or confounding to you. It will be repeated literally hundreds (if not thousands) of times, so it should be something that will remain interesting to you over time.
2)    The mark can be varied in terms of size, color, material, etc. or it can remain exactly the same throughout the piece. However, the largest version of the mark should be no more than one square inch.
3)    The definition of “mark” is very broad here. It might not be made using a traditional drawing method. It may even be a collage element that is adhered to the paper. Or perhaps it will be a stencil or a stamp. Be creative. Try to come up with something nobody else will have imagined.
4)    You may wish to create a grid, plan, or specific method with which to repeat your mark in order to establish a particular layout or composition; or you may simply repeat the mark in a more intuitive manner, letting each one tell you where to go next.
5)    These marks are not coming together to create an image of a subject; the marks themselves are the subject.

6)    Even though we are not seeking to create an image, the piece should still feel ambitious, well-crafted, and considered. Try to think of an element that will unify the piece: a consistent texture or pattern, layers that create a fade or movement, alternating colors or other variations that create a consistent composition or design, or simply repetition that is so exact that it gives the work substance and a sense of craft.

     Artists we looked at in reference to this assignment: 

Ignacio Uriarte

Agnes Martin
Yayoi Kusama

Tauba Auerbach

El Anatsui

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

3063 - Beginning Painting - Folio 1

Folio 1: Due Thursday, March 3

1.1 First Burnt Sienna Underpainting
1.2 Homework: Two Paintings of the same still life objects: 
                          one grisaille, one burnt sienna underpainting
1.3 First Indirect Painting with Color, 9 x 12"
1.4 Direct Color Painting (begun with blue line drawing) 16 x 20" (or 16 x 12")
1.5 Indirect Color Painting 16 x 20"

We will critique the work on Thursday. Good Luck!

1043 - Drawing 2 - Folio 1

Folio 1: Due Tuesday, March 1

1.1 Best Refresher Drawing
1.2 Large Object Value Still Life
1.3 Museum Interior
1.4 Homework: Independent Interior
1.5 Space/Time/Movement Drawing (color pencil)

Portfolio should be assembled by the beginning of class. We will critique the work. Good luck!

3033 - Drawing 3 - Folio 1

Folio 1: Due Thursday, February 25

1.1 Skeleton Drawing (Craft, Labeled)
1.2 Homework: Alternate Identity Self-Portrait (Arches, Value)
1.3 Beautiful Scribble (Two one-day drawings)
1.4 "Academic" Value Drawing (Arches, Value)
1.5 Five Best Gestures

Folios should be assembled at the beginning of class.
We will have a critique of the work. Good Luck!

Friday, January 29, 2016

All Classes - Next Week Assignments: Tues 2/2, Thurs 2/4


As you know, I will be out of town next week. We've gone over everything you'll being doing and it's written out on my whiteboard in the classroom (above). However, as promised, I'm also going to give instructions here. Don't hesitate to email me if you are unclear on anything regarding assignments. Cheers, John

Drawing 3: 

Sketchbook 2: Three Drawings - 1) Gordon Master Study pg 43 (top) 2) Gordon Master Study pg 55 (right). Remember to label these drawings with the specific anatomy. Also, read Gordon, pg 38-59. 3) 3-4 thumbnail sketches to prepare for your "alternate identity" self-portrait assignment (1.2).  Due Tuesday, Feb 9.

Also, go ahead and start assembling what you need for the self-portrait assignment. You'll have approximately three weeks to finish it, but I have high expectations in terms of concept, craft, and time-commitment, so getting started early is always wise. 

Finally, the skeleton is in the classroom and its placement is marked with bright pink tape. If you still need time to work on this drawing (1.1), you can use class time next week to complete it. 

Drawing 2: 

Come in as scheduled to work on your large-object still-life. Braden will have it set up for you when you arrive. He will be taking attendance. I recommend concentrating on your structural line drawing on Tuesday and moving towards value on Thursday. We will finish the drawing the following Tuesday. 

Sketchbook 2: Two Drawings: 1) Van Gogh bedroom master study 2) Your own drawing of a similar interior space in which you employ Van Gogh's line quality.  Due Tuesday, Feb 9.

Beginning Painting: 

Homework: Two 9 x 12" paintings on panel: Take 3-5 simple still life objects and make two paintings using the same objects in different arrangements. Do one as a transparent burnt sienna underpainting and a second as a black and white opaque grisaille. These are to continue practicing the two methods (direct, indirect) that we introduced last week. Due Tuesday, Feb 9. 

Classwork: Come in on Thursday, Feb 4 as usual. Braden will have set up three small still lives. Choose one and make a 9 x 12" burnt sienna underpainting. We will begin working on top of this underpainting in color the following Tuesday. You will need to have your full color set to work with at that time. 

Happy Drawing and Painting!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

3063 - Beginning Painting - Materials Link

Painters: Here is the link to the material order at DickBlick U:


This list does not cover every item on the material list, but it is way to affordably purchase the majority of your materials in one place.

3063 - Beginning Painting - Syllabus, Spring 2016

Spring 2016 – 3 Credit Hours, CRN: 11033
Section 001: T/R 2pm - 4:50pm, Fine Arts Building – 104
Instructor: John Norris, Associate Professor of Art
Office Hours: W: 8am-11am (by appointment)
E-mail: jnorris@astate.edu    Phone: 972-3050 ext. 3755
Blog: norrisartclass.blogspot.com

COURSE DESCRIPTION (from the Undergraduate Bulletin): Introduction to composition and techniques in painting media. It is expected that students will spend a minimum of three additional clock hours per week on work outside the scheduled class time for each studio class. Students enrolled in the BFA programs must pass the BFA Review prior to enrollment in 4000 ART courses. Prerequisites, ART 1013, ART 1033, ART 1043.

STUDENT COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES: Skills will be developed through technical exercises in class and homework assignments employing these techniques. The homework will allow students an opportunity to use their acquired skills creatively and to build off of the techniques they have learned in class.  This is a STUDIO CLASS; one which requires that students be actively involved in daily exercises and contribute during critiques.  Thus, students must be present and punctual in order to fully participate.

ATTENDANCE & CLASS PARTICIPATION: All late work will be counted off 10 points (aka one letter grade) for each class period late. For example: if your work merits a 93 but is 2 class periods late, then your grade will be a 73.  Participation counts as 25% of your grade and is based on the following considerations: 1. Being present, punctual, and prepared for class 2. Focus on and completion of exercises during class 3. Participation during critiques, discussions, and dialogues 4. Maintenance of the shared studio space, including cleaning up after work sessions, respecting shared tools and resources, and storing work and materials appropriately. After 2 absences, 10 points will be subtracted from your participation grade for each class missed. 20 points will automatically be deducted from your final participation grade if you miss the Final Critique.

GRADING: Grading will be based on assignments (which will be submitted in portfolio form), and class participation. The portfolios will make up 75% of your grade, and class participation will make up 25%.

A: 90 - 100%   B: 80 - 89%   C: 70 - 79%   D: 60 - 69%   F: 0 - 59%

Portfolio grades will be based on the following elements: 1) Indications that the student has understood the assignment and is employing its specific techniques. 2) a sense of quality showing that the students has invested a significant amount of time and focus into the assignment. 3) The overall success of the final image based on formal elements (composition, line quality, sense of light & volume, etc.) as well as creativity. AGAIN, TURNING IN ASSIGNMENTS LATE AUTOMATICALLY REDUCES YOUR GRADE.  IF YOU ARE CONFUSED ABOUT GRADING, FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS.

COURSE OUTLINE: We will be covering a wide range of introductory techniques and processes associated with the act of oil painting, from the very beginning stages of preparing a surface, through the various approaches of building a surface and developing an image, and finally to the end stages of presentation and documentation. In doing so, we will perform short-term formal exercises in class, create long-term multi-session paintings, and you will be given ambitious homework projects.

1. We will discuss a new concept and do several exercises based     
    on this idea. We may also do readings and/or have slide talks.
2. We will do one or more extended paintings connected to the concept.
3. We will work on extended paintings outside of class that may take up
    to 2/3 weeks to complete.
4. We will critique the work and its relation to the concept as a class.

CLASS STRUCTURE (subject to change):

Painting – Materials – Preparing a surface
Painting – Still Life – Short Term Monochromatic Paintings – Transparent
Painting – Still Life – Short Term Grisaille Paintings – Opaque
Painting – Stilll Life – Short Term Color Shape Paintings – Transparent/Opaque
Painting – Still Life – Long Term Still Life with Underpainting
Painting – Still Life – Long Term Direct Painting Still Life
Painting – Portrait – Short Term Monochromatic Paintings
Painting – Portrait – Long Term Portraits with Underpainting
Painting – Portrait – Self Portrait
Painting – Portrait – Abstraction and the Human Form
Painting – Landscape – Short Term Landscape Paintings
Painting – Landscape – Long Term Landscape Paintings
Painting – Final Project

BOOK / BLOG: There is no textbook required for this class. Handouts will occasionally be made available. Students will usually receive additional info, image examples, assignment specifications, and portfolio details via the following blog:


You will be expected to check this regularly as part of your class participation. THE BLOG SERVES AS A SUPPLEMENT; IT IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR BEING IN CLASS.

MATERIALS: Students will be required to purchase the following materials. Most materials can be found at the ASU Bookstore, Hobby Lobby, and hardware stores. You might also do well to just go online and make an order to acquire your materials: dickblick.com, aswexpress.com, danielsmith.com, etc.

PAINT (Windsor & Newton Winton oil Colors are recommended):

-Burnt Sienna, 200ml                     -Titanium White, 200ml
-Yellow Ochre, 200ml                     -French Ultramarine, 200ml
-Alizarin Crimson, 200ml              -Viridian Hue, 37ml
-Burnt Umber, 37ml                       -Sap Green, 37 ml                            
-Cadmium Yellow Hue, 37ml       -Cadmium Red Hue, 37ml                       
-Ivory Black, 37ml                          

-Raw Umber, 37ml                          -Prussian Blue (37ml)
-Chromium Oxide, 37ml                -Naples Yellow Hue, 37ml

Natural Bristle Hair Oil Painting Brushes (Filbert or Flat style):
Sizes #2, 4, 8, 12

-Mixing Knife                                                -Razor Blade and holder
-Paper Towels                                  -Solvent Holder
-Bar of Soap                                                -Toolbox for Materials
-Turpenoid (at least 1 liter)                        -Silicoil Brush Tank


You will be required to regularly provide surfaces on which to paint. They will generally be primed masonite and canvas. We will discuss acquiring and preparing these surfaces in class.