The Painting program encourages your imagination and creativity through skills-based training and aesthetic understanding.The critical and aesthetic understanding of painting and drawing is the foundation for a distinct artistic vision.
We encourage individuality and diversity in personal expression. In the painting classes, you'll learn both technical skills and the formal issues of color, space, shape and composition. We offer a large variety of painting and drawing classes—such as portraiture, still life, figure composition, invented and conceptual approaches, large-scale figure painting and pictorial composition—where you’ll explore themes in life painting, classical representation, abstraction and conceptual approaches. Drawing is encouraged in all stages, including figure drawing, object and nature drawing, landscape and abstract approaches in a wide range of drawing media.
At the advanced level, you'll receive a private studio and work with personal mentors and critics. Workshops and critiques with visiting artists further your development. In the Annual Student Exhibition, you'll mount a professional-quality show of your work. At all levels, the Painting program prepares you for a professional career as a painter.
Student Learning Assessment
Each academic program has a specific mission and learning goals. The goals for each program are different according to the programs nature and mission. Learn more about this programs goals here>
Al Gury (Painting Department Chair)
Peter van Dyck
Renee P. Foulks
Sidney Goodman (emeritus)
Barkley L. Hendricks
Elizabeth Osborne (emeritus)
Painting and Drawing Studio Facilities
We provide all of our advanced Certificate and BFA students with studio working space. Students have 24-hour access to the studios, which are maintained in a new facility with safety and security features.
The Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building has outstanding facilities for drawing and painting. These include two skylit studios, a number of large painting classrooms, drawing studios and painting studios, and a rooftop terrace often used for cityscapes.
Cast drawing classes and life drawing classes are held in the historic cast halls of the Historic Landmark Building. These six studios have 20-foot vaulted ceilings and skylights with northern exposure. The Cast Halls contain PAFA’s famous cast collections of antique and Renaissance sculpture, which have been part of our curriculum for nearly 200 years.