Course Description


Express light through different properties of color. Learn to construct form and space while painting from observation. Explore a vibrant world of color relationships while learning to mix oil paint. Basic issues of drawing, composition, color, and paint application will be addressed while working from varied subject matter, such as the still life and figure. Students will work from models, starting with very short poses and continuing to extended poses to develop more finished paintings. Learn to prepare paint surfaces, organize palette, and experiment with a variety of paint approaches. Fundamental elements of figure drawing include: anatomy, quality of line, tone, composition, and proportion will be covered. Students will have an opportunity to get feedback on their artwork from professional artists, Marc Handelman and Julie Langsam. Each student will receive artwork portfolio advisement for college.



Weekdays July 23 – August 3, 2018

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (9:30 – 10 a.m. drop off; 4 – 4:30 p.m. pick up)

Civic Square Building, Studio 427

33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick NJ 08901

Instructor: Brian Bulfer



Typical Day Structure:

9:30-10:00 a.m. — Drop-off

10 a.m. — Daily Announcements and overview, Slide lecture, demonstrations

10:30 a.m. — Hands-On studio work with model or still life, one-on-one meetings

12 p.m. — Lunch

1 p.m. — Continue individual studio work with one-on-one meetings

3:30 p.m. Clean up, hang work up for informal discussion, discuss tomorrow’s plan

4:00-4:30 p.m. — Pick-up


Please arrive by 8 a.m.  on this day to allow for maximum time in the city.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a packed lunch, $30 to cover the cost of transportation/any minor routine expenses, and a camera if you have one.

Classroom Etiquette

In this course we hope to cultivate an attitude of respect, focus, excitement, passion, and curiosity.  Please keep the following pointers in mind:

  • While materials are provided by the department, students are expected to be fully responsible for taking care of their own supplies–IE proper storage and maintenance, clearly labeling names on canvases/materials, thorough clean up of brushes and palettes.
  • Cleaning procedures will be demonstrated in detail on the first day of class and it is important to always take the time and patience to clean all brushes and palettes before leaving class each day.  This will ensure that your materials will always be in the best condition possible for you to use. Also, all materials must be disposed of properly according to safety guidelines.
  • Our class will take a lunch break each day from 12:00-1:00.  Students will be expected to bring a packed lunch everyday.  We will eat together outside (weather permitting) or in the student lounge.  However, NO FOOD OR DRINK is allowed in the painting studio.
  • Wear comfortable closed-toed shoes and PAINTING CLOTHES.
  • Do your best to arrive on time — We have a lot to cover!
  • No texting during class, No headphones

All students are expected to participate in class discussions to their fullest extent.  During critiques I ask that we maintain a constructive and productive atmosphere where all of us can learn something the feedback

Course Objectives

  • Develop keen observational skills
  • Learn the basic principles of constructing three-dimensional space
  • Heighten attunement to color and light
  • Gain familiarity with paint handling, how to control the medium
  • Become exposed to a variety of historical and contemporary painters

Learn how to prepare a portfolio for college art applications (including documentation and writing)


2017 Schedule of Activities

First Week

Day 1: 


-Course overview with slides of artwork.

-Introduction to class blog and how to make posts.

-Drawing exercises with still-life: contour drawing, blind-contour, cross-contour, gestural drawing, and scribble gesture.


-Continue with drawing exercises.

-Learn how to measure proportions and check angles when drawing.

-Discussion on how to use a viewfinder and choosing a composition from still life.

Day 2: 


-20 minutes of drawing exercises

-Introduction to oil paint mixing, paint use, and paint safety

-Discussion on value and creating the illusion of space with slides of examples.

-Start 1st oil painting with focus on checking measurements/angles accurately, how to        divide light and shadow, and check value.


-Continue with 1st oil painting with focus on value

-Finish 1st value painting.

-Last 15 minutes of class will discuss oil paint clean up.

Day 3: 


-Start with compositional sketches from various viewpoints with new still-life.

-Compose articulate yet simple drawing and mix value scale palette with                                        warm/cool colors.


– Discussion on expression of the physicality of paint and how to create space with warm and cool color relationships.

-Start 2nd still-life painting.

-Focus on value, warm/cool colors, mark-making, and the physicality of paint.

Day 4: 


-Studio-day, continue with 2nd painting.

-Finish 2nd painting.


-Introduction to 3rd painting with still-life on large canvas with focus on creating the          illusion of space with saturation and complementary color relationships.

-Show some slides of artist.

-Start 3rd painting

Day 5: 

-Continue with 3rd painting with larger canvas

-Full studio-day, with individual visits with artist Julie Langsam throughout the day

-Introduction to 4th painting assignment to be started over the weekend

Second Week:

Day 6: 

-4th painting will include gathering of at least six separate photocopies of enlarged             segments of paintings they personally choose over the weekend.

-Each student will replicate each segment to the best of their ability.

-Focus on mark-making, expression, physicality of paint, and color exploration.

-Full studio-day with one-on-one meetings with the instructor(s)

Day 7: 

Field Trip: Visit the MET!!!

Day 8: 


-20 minutes drawing exercise with the model.

-Introduction the figure painting with 20 minutes painting exercises while exploring different painting approaches.


-Continue independent studio work with one-on-one meetings and demos.

-Introduction to 5th painting project on larger canvas: focus on the figure and all content covered throughout the intensive.

Day 9: 

-Start 5th painting

-Have individual one-on-one sessions with artist Marc Handelman throughout the day.

-Full-studio day with model

Day 10:

-Finish up final piece(s), group critique in afternoon.

-Students should bring any previous artwork from outside of class that they feel relates,    or for guidance regarding art college portfolios.

-Followed by reception with parents.


Materials (provided by the Mason Gross Extension Division)

  • oil paints
  • brushes
  • palette knife
  • glass palette
  • charcoal, pencil
  • canvas
  • newsprint
  • solvents — Turpenoid, Gamsol
  • mediums — Liquin Original, Galkyd, Linseed Oil

All materials will be provided.  Students are encouraged to purchase their own sketchbook for taking notes and completing weekly assignments.

8 1/2 x 11 minimum size is preferable


Prolonged exposure to oil paints and mediums can be hazardous; as a precaution students may wish to bring their own pair of gloves to work in if they so desire.  Our studio area is well ventilated and equipped to properly handle the use and disposal of these materials.