Introduction to Oil Painting

Sarah Stolar
10 Sessions » Tuesdays, June 3–August 12
(no class June 17)
6:30–9:30 pm | Studio 117 | $400

Prerequisite: Introduction to Drawing recommended

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of painting, particularly making representational paintings of a variety of subjects from life. As abstraction is an alteration, exaggeration, or manipulation of what “is,” the course will begin instead with learning how to render reality before considering ways of abstracting it. Students will develop skills relating to all aspects of oil painting such as surface, materials, application, texture, concepts of color, content, and craftsmanship. The course will include how to build and stretch canvases, mix and apply color through a variety of techniques, and discuss the visual information in paintings during in-class critiques. We will discuss the dialogue surrounding painting and its formulas, and when it is appropriate to abandon those formulas. Emphasis will be on getting acquainted with the medium by experimenting and pushing paint around the canvas as a means to improve facility and comfort level. Students will make several short-session paintings throughout the semester, rather than focusing on one or two highly polished works. Books, slide lectures, and art historical information will be presented and discussed. 

“Wonderful, dedicated instructor who goes out of her way to encourage each students’ strengths and is honest with areas for improvement. A truly gifted instructor.” –Autobiography in Painting student, 2013

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Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary artist living in the Bay Area. Her focus is drawing and painting, but she also works in multimedia installation, film, video, and performance art. She has been teaching art for over a decade and currently serves on the AP Studio Art College Board. Sarah has an MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute, a BFA in Painting from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and is a direct descendant of German master painter Adolph von Menzel. Working from autobiographical narrative, her work blurs figuration, abstraction, illustration, and symbolism. Stolar has exhibited and performed across the United States and internationally, including at the ANTI-Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland; the 53rd Venice Biennale; and a solo exhibition at Bohemian Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art (BGMOCA); Montevideo, Uruguay.
Sarah Stolar
Kali, 2011
Oil on canvas
48 x 48 inches
Courtesy of the artist