IMMERSION/DISCOVERY COURSE May 28-June 16, 2012
PROFESSOR SALMI 3 CREDITS (6 total Cohorted with
Dr. Cordulack Art History)
Under the Italian Sun: Plein Air Studies of color
light and form in Urbania.
AR 320 Topics In Studio: Watercolor/Painting(art majors)
AR 107 Introduction to Studio Art(non-art majors)
Prerequisites: None. Satisfies MPSL, Fine Arts requirement.
This course is both an introduction to the studio arts, along with an immersion
into the art, language, and culture of Italy as a principle locus of western
civilization. Students will learn about ways in which to interpret and experience
the visual world through a series of discussions, assigned projects(written or
visual) during the 3 week-long experiential immersion in Urbania, Italy.
To learn more about how to look at, interpret, analyze, and understand art, with
an emphasis on working with light and color. Students may choose to work from
the following subjects as their inspiration: Studies done directly from paintings,
sculpture, and architecture and/or landscape when in Italy. Students will learn
both the formal vocabulary by which to form an analysis, and the aesthetic issues
by which to interpret meaning and expression in a work of art. Hands- on studio
lessons will be given in basic sketching and watercolor painting.
We will have 2 hours scheduled classroom time per day that we can use for
discussion, selected studies, critiques, etc.
I will expect each student to complete all the following assigned work.
-Non Art Majors: A minimum of 4 pages of visual journaling per day.
-Art Majors: 2 completed color studies/paintings plus 4 pages visual journaling
Each student will need the following supplies. These supplies will have to be
in your suitcase as checked luggage…..DO NOT TAKE THESE SUPPLIES ON
1 small (8x10” or smaller) sketchbook(100 pages)
1 set of colored pencils and 1 set watercolors
1 set inexpensive artist brushes
Pink Pearl and white eraser
Suitable carrying case/satchel
1 small (8x10” or smaller) sketchbook(100 pages)
1 set of colored pencils and 1 set watercolors
1 set artist brushes
Assorted pencils ,pens
Assorted charcoal (if desired)
India ink, bamboo reed pen, bamboo brush
Pink Pearl and white erasers
@ 40 Pre-cut/torn selected size(s) Stonehenge or appropriate paper suitable for
Roll blue masking tape
Glue stick or gel medium
Appropriate size board on which to mount paper
Suitable carrying case/satchel
PLEASE NOTE: If you have a disability or require any auxiliary aids, services, or
accommodations, please contact me in my office so that we may discuss your particular
needs. Please be aware that participation in this course will require the ability and
fitness level to be capable of a good amount of walking, including up and down
What you will ultimately work from in terms of subject matter will be largely
consistent with your skills and overall interests. If you are not an art major, then
it will be very important for you to choose less complicated subjects from which
to study. It will be important to begin this process of finding out interesting
visual subjects by recording things in your visual journal.
I will work with each student individually to determine the best
approach/techniques to explore while in Italy. We will have weekly group
discussions about technique, subject matter, and overall progress.
Visual Journal/ Scrapbook of Your Experiences
This will be your least restrictive and perhaps most essentially open-ended
assignment. The idea is to keep an ongoing visual record of your experiences.
Artists are forever sketching in their notebooks, exploring rough ideas, not
censoring what they think, feel, see, but rather they try to quickly jot down visual
“notes, much like one might take notes for a class. The difference is in the
openness of the language. The language of the visual is typically open-ended,
fluid, and continuously exploratory.
Visually, you are free to explore only the limits of your imagination. This may be
initially intimidating for non-artists, but try not to allow yourself to censor your
ideas. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have any talent to explore
your environment visually. All that is needed is an open mind, imagination, and
Try not to be judgmental about what you include in your journal. The only thing
you will be required to do is to fill your sketchbook with visual/written
information……sort of like keeping a scrapbook/ journal….. could include
visual, written, stick figures, diagrams, napkins, scraps of paper, anything which
serves as some memento. Again, do not censor yourself……if it “speaks to
you”…. write/draw/diagram/collage….explore all that there could be about it..
You may wish to discuss what you see, touch, think in terms of the formal visual
elements ( subject matter, use of texture, materials, color, brushwork, distinctive
shapes) ….. Be creative….. come up with your own conclusions…feel free to
speculate. Experiment with free association…..sit in front of a painting or a
sculpture…be attentive to what it has to say…..initially, try not to censure your
ideas/imagination. Just allow yourself to experience. Look at the colors and
texture around you- the cobblestone streets, the green foliage, the medieval and
After you have calmed down & listened to the artwork, then you can begin to
compose/direct your writings. You may end up writing about ideas/ideals (your
own, the artist’s) in relation to your experience with the artwork.
You might find yourself inside of the painting looking out…..you might find
yourself in looking outward from the point of view of the sculpture …..you
might find yourself collecting samples of foliage…you might find yourself
playing with textures and colors. You might find yourself interested in the
varying shades and colors of light in the landscape. You might just find
Listed below are the criteria used to assess grades when evaluating your work. To be sure, there will
always be a degree of subjectivity when we evaluate artwork.
However, this does not mean that the entire process is completely subject to individual whim. These
guidelines are fairly consistent, since they are based on methods and techniques used in the study of art
ever since mankind has used language as a tool to harness communication and thought.
A Work shows exceptional sense of imagination and creativity. Form, composition,
and pictorial structure reflect high degree of development and integration.
Overall approach shows excellent understanding of technique. Work habits and
attitude reflect very high degree of motivation and enthusiasm. Exceptional
improvements have been made both in terms of skills and self-expression.
B Work shows above average sense of imagination and creativity. Form,
composition, and pictorial structure reflect a good degree of development with
fairly good integration. Overall approach shows an above average
understanding of technique. Work habits and attitude reflect fairly high degree
of motivation and enthusiasm. Good degree of improvement has been made in
terms of skills and self-expression.
C Work shows some degree of imagination and creativity, but is not above average
expectations. Form, composition, and pictorial structure reflect moderate
development with inconsistent integration. Overall approach shows moderate
understanding of technique with limitations. Work habits and attitude reflect
some degree of motivation and enthusiasm, with all work turned in. An average
degree of improvement has been in terms of skills.
D Work shows marginal degree of imagination and creativity and is below average
expectations. Form, composition, and pictorial structure reflect little or no
development and/or integration. Overall approach shows marginal
understanding of technique. Work habits and attitude reflect poor degree of
motivation and enthusiasm. Work is often turned in late or incomplete. Little or
no degree of improvement has been in terms of skills.
F Work shows little or no degree of imagination and creativity and is
unacceptable. Work habits and attitude reflect complete lack of
motivation. No improvement has been made due to complete lack of
Learning To See:
Discussion and/or handouts on formal vocabulary for viewing, understanding,
& describing visual language. Discussion of the formal elements of art.
Discussion on how to look, think, and see, in terms of the visual.
Visualization/Exploration: Hands- on assignment(in Italy)
Learning how to collect raw materials, explore visual ideas, sitting & viewing,
allowing the painting/sculpture/architecture /landscape to speak by remaining
open, asking questions, and jotting down all thoughts without any censoring of
Journal of experiences while in Italy, continue process of writing about selected
experiences. Written/ visual summarization of experiences in the form of visual
scrapbook/paintings/sketches, &/or 1 reflective written paper. The final
requirement will be a summary piece to be included in an Italy Immersion
Exhibition in the Fall of 2012. This exhibition will be held in Studio Gallery.
Relevant Art Terms:
Pertaining to the absence of chroma or color. With pigments, an achromatic painting
would consist of black & white only.
Space that is portrayed as neither clearly flat, nor clearly volumetric, usually containing
both 2 dimensional & 3 dimensional elements. Cubism is a good example of use of
Refers to 3 or more adjacent colors on the color wheel: 2 primary colors and the
resultant secondary color. The 3 analogous color groupings are called an analogous
color scheme (see below).
Analogous Color Scheme
Intentional use of one of the analogous groupings of color, i.e.(yellow, yellow/orange
,orange/red) (red, red/violet, violet) (blue, blue/green, green)
A work of art composed of fragments of objects or 3 dimensional materials.
Sense of compositional balance achieved by non-identical division of the pictorial space
The most distant zone or area of a picture which represents the illusion of 3 dimensional
space. see also Foreground, and Middleground.
An irregular shape that resembles the freely developed curves found in live organisms.
Refers to use of striations of color not completely mixed so as to create complexity of
The use of gradual transition of tone/value on an object in order to create the illusion of
light & shadow on a 3 dimensional form. Rembrandt was noted for his use of
Relating to color, as opposed to achromatic.
Any flat material- paper, cloth, etc. pasted on the picture plane.
Visual assessment of the qualities of light within the visible spectrum.
Refers to the emphasis of color as primary carrier of form, not subserviant to shape or
The intentional use of selected colors to establish unity, variety, harmony, or discord in a
painting. Typical color schemes are: Analogous, Complementary, Discordant,
Monochromatic, and Triadic.
Contrasting colors that lie opposite one another on the color wheel.,i.e red-green, blue-
Complementary Color Scheme
Intentional use of one or more of the sets of complementary colors(red-green, blue-
orange, or yellow-violet) in a work of art.
Typically associated with water & areas of shade. Green, blue/green, blue, blue/violet,
and violet are all cool colors. These colors appear to recede away from the viewer
relative to Warm Colors
Refers to the application of paint and color in a painterly manner so as not not conceal
brushstrokes on form.
Discordant Color Scheme
An arrangement of colors that compete or conflict with one another. Generally this refers
to colors far apart (but not directly complementary) on the color wheel.
Elements of art
The principal visual vocabulary by which artists compose: line, shape, value, texture, &
General term that refers to the intent of the artist as evidenced in completion of an idea
or feeling expressed through the formal decisions made within a given medium.
The use of color towards expressive means-often times color which may not be actually
present in the observed objects or subject matter.
Having the qualities of the human form may be actually based upon an interpretation or
abstraction from the figure.
Use of the elements of art to create an area of obvious emphasis within the composition.
The closest zone or area of a picture which represents the illusion of 3 dimensional
The distinctive character, or substance of an object. May also refer to a 3- dimensional
Referring to any shape or form created by mathematical laws and measurements.
Examples; circle, square, triangle.
Use of translucent colors applied in layers over dry underpainting (Indirect painting).
Usually refers to floor, tabletop, or large expanse of landscape in which the perspective
is established relative to the point of view and horizon line.
The line formed by the apparent intersection of the sky with the ground. This is evident
if one looks out towards the ocean. A primary device used to establish perspective.
The characteristic of a color in classification: red, blue, yellow, etc.
Heavily applied paint, sometimes with either brush or palette knife, or both.
Refers to the technique as employed by Renaissance painters by which areas of
translcucent color and glazes are applied over a sepia toned or black & white
underpainting. Brushstrokes are often concealed or saved for the final highlights on
Refers to the saturation or relative strength of a color or pigment.
The known color of an object, i.e. a lemon is yellow.
The materials and tools used by the artist.
The intermediate zone or area of a picture which represents the illusion of 3 dimensional
A color scheme using one color in addition to black, white and varying grays.
The areas surrounding the object or objects in a composition.
Having no reference to concrete objects or persons.
Relatively free from personal feelings, associations. Emphasis on the descriptive and the
factual rather than the expressive or subjective.
One of the primary means to establish spatial relationships on a 2 dimensional surface.
When object A is in front of object B, then A overlaps B.
Having to do with that which the eye perceives. Visual art can be said to deal primarily
with perceptual information.
Typically refers to point of view. Is a primary device used to create the illusion of a 3
dimensional space on a 2 dimensional surface.
•1 point perspective: the use of a single vanishing point on the horizon by which all
horizontal lines must converge.
•2 point perspective: the use of 2 separate vanishing points on the horizon by which all
horizontal lines must converge.
The actual flat surface on which a drawing or painting is produced. This is one & the
same as the imaginary transparent “window onto nature” which the artist superimposes
on his selected subject matter. Similar to looking through the viewfinder of a camera.
The shape of an object or objects within a composition.
Red, Yellow, Blue. These colors are the source of all others on the color wheel, hence
they cannot be made by mixing as in the Secondary Colors.
Principles of design
Basic concepts through which the artist makes use of visual the visual elements towards
creating a visual statement. These principles are: unity, variety, emphasis, balance,
contrast, rhythm, repetition, and movement.
A primary means used to establish spatial relationships on a 2 dimensional surface. If
object A is larger than object B, then A can be perceived as being closer to the viewer
than B. Generally, objects get smaller as they recede in the distance.
Use of dry brushed colors over areas so that underpainting still shows through.
Colors achieved by mixing two primary colors: (red+ yellow= orange), (blue+
yellow=green) , and (blue+red= violet).
A two-dimensional enclosed area.
The very things represented in a work of art: ie. landscape, portait, or imaginary.
Emphasis on the artist’s feelings, emotions, or personal viewpoint.
A simplified form or image that represents something more than its immediate meaning.
Colors resulting from the mixing of a primary and a secondary. i.e red mixed with
orange creates red/orange.
The tactile quality of a surface or its representation. Three basic types are: actual,
Colors typically associated with fire or sunlight- red, red/orange, orange,
orange/yellow, and yellow. These colors also appear to advance towards the viewer
relative to Cool Colors (see above)
Usually refers to the amount of 3- dimensional space an object occupies or appears to
Helpful hints when working from the landscape:
1. Place horizon above or below the middle of the picture plane. Choose which
(sky or ground) will be more important in picture plane. This will avoid the
problem of bisecting the composition.
2. Redesign your subject when necessary. Nature is not arranged to fit within the
dimensions of your picture plane. Good composition means changing & moving
things to suit the needs of the whole arrangement. Shapes, lines, textures, and
values are your raw material. The rules of composition rely on the artist to “feel”
the balance of relationships in the picture. The more you pay attention to this, the
more you will begin to have a working confidence to trust your decisions.
3. When in doubt, simplify your design. A pleasing design is an orchestration of
shapes, patterns, textures. General-to-specific is the cardinal rule. Information is
useless unless it is organized into a meaningful whole.
4. Consider the lighting of your subject. Pay attention to playing lights and darks
against one another. Light and shadow are the key to developing form. Grouping
lights and darks into larger areas of similarity in order to avoid a random
“spotty” pattern of light and dark.
5. Choose a primary focal point and arrange your tones, textures, and shapes to
be subordinate to the area of interest. Your job is to lead the viewer through your
work. This will take practice and consistent application.
6. Consider using predominantly dark values in the foreground to create a sense
of drama in your work. Avoid using an “even all-over” light /dark pattern.
7. Things that are nearer to the foreground generally should have more contrast
and detail. Objects in the distance appear not only smaller, but also tend to
appear “greyed out”. They also lose focus in terms of amount of detail perceived.
8. A confidence with the craft of drawing affords you the luxury of personal
insight and expression. Block everything in loosely and generally, and then
refine details in relation to the larger “whole”.
9. Think in terms of working from back to front, i.e. sketch the sky, then
objects(trees, buildings, etc) that are next closest to you, then the next closest, and