Undergraduate Overview

With up to 80 courses offered in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) each semester, you have the choice, freedom, and openness to design a curriculum tailored to your creative needs while developing the skills and conceptual foundations necessary for your art practice.

 Choose from:

  • Painting practice classes: learn the fundamentals of painting and become familiar with various forms of visual and critical engagement with a strong curricular emphasis on technical, formal, and material concerns.
  • Multilevel and studio drawing classes: Multilevel classes offer a fertile environment for you to continue developing your technical understanding while furthering individual projects. Topic-based multilevel classes focus on particular topics of interest, such as indie comics, expressionism, color, conceptual approaches, abstraction/representation, collage, landscape, and more.
  • Figure drawing and figure painting classes: study form, shape, and line with faculty whose approaches to depicting the human figure range from the traditional to the experimental. Special topics include anatomy, large-format figure drawing, and classes that emphasize narrative structures.
  • Materials and techniques classes: offered every semester, these classes focus on the preparation and application of media such as egg tempera, casein, encaustic, and advanced acrylic techniques, among others.

Seminars and Advanced Painting Studio

A number of department-specific undergraduate seminars are offered each semester. Some are broad in scope and critique-based, while others pertain to specific topics. Seminars generally include readings, slide presentations, discussions, group critiques, and museum visits. Advanced students can apply to one of two sections of advanced painting studio where they are assigned studio space and work with three different faculty members for three days each week.