ARTS221 Beginning Painting, Paul Beel, Spring 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS221 Beginning Painting, Paul Beel, Spring 2019

Course Objectives

This course aims to introduce students to the basic techniques, ideas and history of oil painting. Topics include understanding color mixing and application, tools and processes, rendering form in oil paint and developing content in visual imagery.

Important Guidelines for Course

Italy can be very seductive. Its pace of life is a welcome change, especially to American students. But it can also be very risky! You have chosen to enter a program that gives university level credits for work satisfactorily done. Remember your educational obligation! It is possible to have a rich cultural experience and a rewarding academic one at the same time. Students in the past who have maintained this equilibrium have gotten the most out of their study abroad experience.

A Note on Laptops, I-Pods, Mp3s, Walkman Personal Stereos, etc.

Laptops may be used for purposes of source imagery and image/concept only. We can alternate playing publicly music during painting times, but please, please, please, please no headphones.

Grading & Attendance

Grading is based on attendance, effort, improvement, and proficiency.

Attendance: It has probably already been stressed during orientation, but I want to reiterate the importance of class attendance. It is an important factor in the SACI grading system. Attendance means more than attending class. It means coming on time, not leaving early or taking long breaks. It also means being “mentally present!”
Effort: This is self-explanatory.  Save all your sketches, paintings (even failed attempts) for the final crit. This may help your participation evaluation!
Improvement: Here is where you are evaluated in relation to yourself; how you were when you entered the course, and how you are at the end.
Proficiency: Level of competence in the course material.
Final Grade: The sum of the above with the addition of a subjective evaluation in the case of borderlines.
Students enrolled at SACI through Bowling Green State University: Final grades can only be submitted as A, B, C, D, or F. There are no pluses or minuses.


(To make things easier, I have asked Zecchi to prepare a bag with brushes, paints, solvent, liquin, and paper for your first assignment.) You will also need a palette and a pencil and eraser for the first assignment.


s. 141 ventaglio n. 2

s 285 setola tondo n. 0

s 850 synthetic tondo n. 2

s. 304 synth. Da vinci n. 2

s. 185 synth. Da vinci n. 6

s. 855 da vinci piatto n. 14

s. 290 setola piatto n. 18


The following is a list of colors for a basic oil or acrylic palette. *denotes required color

Color Names in English

Color Names in Italian

*Rembrandt cadmium red light 40ml

rosso cadmio chiaro

*Rembrandt alizarin crimson

carminio di alizarina* this should be a dark, dark red violet

Yellow ochre 40ml

Giallo ochra

*Rembrandt turquois blue 40ml

blu ceruleo

Rembrandt Pthalocyanine green 40ml

Pthalocyanine verde

*ultramarine blue dark 40ml

blu oltremare scuro

*Rembrandt cadmium lemon yellow* 40 ml

giallo di chromo limone

*cadmium yellow deep* 14ml

giallo di cadmio chiaro

*ivory black 14ml

nero di avorio

*titanium white 40 ml or more

bianco di titanio

Naples yellow 14 ml

Giallo di napoli

Additional materials

*Wooden or disposable palette Minimum 23x30 cm

*½ liter solvent “a base di agrumi”

*1 sheet of prepared painting paper. (color chart project)

*1 canvas 30x40 (monochrome assignment)

*1 canvas approx. 50x60 (photorealism project)

*1 canvas approx. 60x70 (life model project)

*1 large sheet of tracing paper (life model project)

*Charcoal pencils, compressed charcoal, kneaded eraser.

*Palette knife

*Liquin original (75 ml)

*4h graphite pencil

*1 sheet of drawing paper to fit scale of life model project canvas

Short, flat, closeable glass jars



Week 1

Monday, January 7
Class orientation, intro to materials and painting vocabulary.

Wednesday, January 9
Lecture and start assignment 1, part 1: value chart: value chart due on Wed., Jan. 16. Bring design for abstract monochrome painting next class!

Week 2

Monday, January 14
Start monochrome painting.

Wednesday, January 16
Continue monochrome painting.

Week 3

Monday, January 21
Continue monochrome painting.

Wednesday, January 23
Monochrome painting due. Color lecture. Start color wheel project.

Week 4

Monday, January 28
Continue color wheel. Lecture on working from a photo, introducing next project.

Wednesday, January 30
Continue color wheel. Demo on transfer techniques.

Week 5

Monday, February 4
Continue color wheel. Color wheel due Wednesday Oct. 10. Stretching canvas demo.

Wednesday, February 6
Start photorealism project. Theme: Florence. Demo on rendering techniques.

Week 6

Monday, February 11
Continue photorealism project.

Wednesday, February 13
Continue photorealism project.

Week 7

Monday, February 18
Continue photorealism project. Midterm individual critiques.

Wednesday, February 20
Continue photorealism project. Midterm individual critiques.


Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 23 - March 3)
Homework: Draw and sketch and learn


Week 9

Monday, March 4
Continue photorealism project.

Wednesday, March 6
Continue photorealism project.

Week 10

Monday, March 11
Photorealism project final group critique. Project due.

Wednesday, March 13
Life model. Drawing.

Week 11

Monday, March 18
Life model: prep drawing.

Wednesday, March 20
Group crit, life model: prep drawing.

Week 12

Monday, March 25
Life model.

Wednesday, March 27
Life model.

Week 13

Monday, April 1
Life model.

Wednesday, April 3
Life model

Week 14

Monday, April 8
Group critique.

Wednesday, April 10
Life model. Talk on packing techniques.

Week 15

Monday, April 15
Life model and final critiques.

Wednesday, April 17
Final critique (individual crits)


General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

Additional Safety & Studio Rules

It is essential that care and attention is taken in regards to studio practice.  This will be addressed the first week of classes. But beyond rules and safety and health issues it is necessary to point out the importance of maintaining a certain order in the studio for the sake of all the students in the classes that utilize the space.  At the end of class put your materials away and paintings off the easels and into the storage shelves.

Air-Exchange System
When working in the ground floor studios an air-exchange system can be utilized for maintaining proper ventilation and extraction of undesirable fumes and odors. The control panel is located on the wall opposite of the stairway between the printmaking and painting studios. 

There are also skylight panels, which can be opened and closed using switches located in the small sky-lit studio off of the main painting studio, another on the wall next to the stairs going into the basement storage area, and also in the studio with skylights off of the main lecture hall.  

Disposal of Materials
Do not ever throw used solvents, thick washes, acrylic mediums, etc. down the sink.  Do not leave half-filled jars or containers of turps, mediums, or varnishes around in the studio.  Small metal disposable containers for this use are supplied by the painting department.  Pour out only what you need, and throw away the residue. There is a special disposal barrel for this located just to the right of the sink in the painting studio. The same goes for throwing out saturated rags or paper towels. The disposal barrel for these materials is also located just to the right of the sink in the painting studio.

Storage Area

Painting surfaces can be stored in the vertical niches located on the ground floor in front of the sink. Lockers can be claimed for use by putting your name, semester, and class on a piece of tape onto the locker door. They are located just off the Clayton Hubbs Lecture Hall.

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