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COURSE NAME: "Painterly Prints"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: James Gardner
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W9:00 AM 11:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: One previous course in Painting / Printmaking. This class requires a materials fee of €75/$85 to cover all basic art supplies.

This course will investigate the material, operational, and conceptual overlaps between painting and printmaking, focusing primarily on the exploration of one-off mono-prints. In contrast to the tradition of printmaking as a medium for technical reproduction, students will deconstruct techniques for image making into principal elements such as pressure, tactility, materiality, and transfer, reconceptualizing them to foster expressive uncertainty and spontaneity associated with painterly prints. This course centers on the creative reinvention of images and the development of a personal portfolio derived from sketchbook exercises and visual research. Through active experimentation on the plate, students will create painterly prints utilizing various techniques for texture, pattern, and mark-making.


The course is structured around technique demonstrations and three projects regarding scale, alternative surfaces, and seriality through which students will explore various printmaking processes such as collagraph, screen-printing, and experimental intaglio. In addition to practical work, students will participate in group critiques to evaluate the work of their peers, as well as applying aesthetic and theoretical analysis to their own output. Time will be spent considering color, composition, communication, and application of technique.

  • Develop an advanced technical proficiency in the use of techniques, materials, and processes to generate a sustained body of independent enquiry

  • Expand the ability to work across a variety of media and develop visual responses to independent research

  • Demonstrate theoretical understanding and practical application of the concept of seriality

  • Progress analytical abilities to evaluate both the individual creative process and the work

    and practice of other professional artist’s/designer’s relationship to printmaking


Reflective Essay1000-word Artist Statement reflecting on their practice 15
Scale ProjectEvidence of research and development to arrive at a final artwork. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills, process, and use of composition. Ability to translate sketches and collages into larger compositions. Understanding of color, layering and layout.20
Alternative SurfacesEvidence of experimentation with surface. Ability to think critically and technically about the conceptual and visual value of found materials and their relationship to 20% the resulting prints.20
Seriality ProjecEvidence of idea research and development, which may take the form of drawings, photography, compositional experiments, and experiments with color. Consideration will be given to technique and process used in relation to the quality of the series of final prints.30

AWork of this quality shows excellent mastery of the course content along with exceptional levels of technical skill, artistic awareness, originality, resourcefulness, commitment, quantity of work and improvement. There has been excellent collaboration and leadership in group projects, and there have been no attendance problems.
BA highly competent level of performance with work that directly addresses the content of the course, with a good quantity of work produced.
CAn acceptable level of performance: the work shows awareness of the course content, but is very limited in quantity, quality, commitment and skill.
DThe student lacks a coherent grasp of the course material and has failed to produce much work.
FNegligent in attendance, academic honesty, engagement with the course content, or production of work.


As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Week 1: Course Introduction – Research methods

An overview of key concepts and strategies for approaching printmaking as a painterly practice. Students will begin their visual research through the sketchbook as tool for collecting images.

Week 2: Scale Project – Introduction

Through a series of experimental exercises students will being to develop a body of work involving both image transfer techniques and painting. Exploring layering, visual hierarchy, and composition, students will develop a series of printed collages.

Week 3: Scale Project – Development

Through technical demonstration and critique, students will plan how to translate and scale up their compositional studies through variable articulations of the monoprint process.

Week 4: Screen-Printing Techniques
Technical introduction to serigraphy, including color-mixing and registration. Students will create a

series of monoprint screen-prints, based on their collages from the previous project.

Essential reading: K.E. Gover, ‘Are all multiples the same? The problematic nature of the limited edition’ (pp. 132-173) in Perspectives on Contemporary Printmaking: Critical Writing Since 1986 (2018)

Week 5: Alternative Surfaces Project
Technical demonstration, expanding on monotype screen-printing processes, including direct

application of inks and the use of stencils. Week 6: Alternative Surfaces Project

Students will be tasked with collecting and exploring alternative surfaces for print, departing from the standard use of paper. Students will use these surfaces to experiment with novel combinations of print techniques learned thus far.

Week 7: Experiments in Printing

Students will expand upon ideas from the previous weeks to progress their experimental approach. Emphasis will be placed on investigation of surface and image, as well as the application of varied techniques.

Week 8: Mid Term Critique
As a group, students will evaluate the work of their peers and discuss how to evolve their practices

in the second half of the course

Week 9: Exhibition Visit – Istituto Centrale per la Grafica
The class will visit the archive of the ICG to strengthen their research with an art historical

Week 10: Collagraph Techniques

Technical demonstrations and workshop on collagraph prints including carborundum and chine collé techniques.

Week 11: Thinking Through Seriality Project

This project invites students to explore the concept of a series of prints in terms of repetition, quantity, and the aesthetic relationship between individual works. Students are expected to synthesize techniques demonstrated thus far to develop a personal approach.

Week 12: Research Presentations
Students will present visual outlines for their proposed set of final prints

Essential reading: Jeremy Lewison, ‘Projects and portfolios: narrative and structure’ (pp. 274-256) in Perspectives on Contemporary Printmaking: Critical Writing Since 1986 (2018)

Week 13: Print Development and individual critique
Week 14: Final Prints
Students will finalize their works and consider how to present them for the final critique 
Week 15: Final Critique