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AUS opens delightful student painting exhibition
The College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) unveiled a delightful painting exhibition showcasing gouache and oil paintings done by AUS students. The exhibition was held at the university's Main Building Rotunda. It comprises the works done throughout the spring semester by students enrolled in the DES 142 Painting: The Practice of Color course.
The course, which is taught by David Hewitt, Associate Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Design, introduces the basic theories of color and paint application. Covers materials, methods, processes, techniques and the critical skills required to structure form and content into the visual language of painting.
"We are not using photo reference in this course at all, it's all about looking, it's all about perception, it's all about painting from life or developing an image from a drawing," said Hewitt.
The class takes the students on a journey starting with color theorists and artists such as Johannes Itten and Joseph Albers, in dealing with theories of color harmony and contrast. With Johannes Itten as their guide, the students painted a series of small format gouache studies and applied color theory through the use of Ittens' color star that demonstrates the effect and reality of colors, defines the harmony of colors and gives insight into subjective color perceptions.
Later on during the course, the media changes to oil paint as the students then move onto working on "impressionist" paintings, looking at pointillists and looking at knitting the paint together technically to build that form. At this stage students worked on still-life paintings created by the free use of the brush and looked at examples from impressionistic paintings that dated back to the late 1860s.
Students then moved onto looking at paintings from 1907-1920 where they explored expressionistic paintings from artists such as Henri Matisse, Andre Derain and Maurice De Vlaminck, also collectively known as "The Fauvists" (French for wild beasts). They created self-portraits with arbitrary colors by looking at themselves in mirrors.
Towards the end students move onto abstract painting, moving away from representation or the figurative element into creating an image that is, according to Hewitt, "an expression of lines, colors, shapes and textures on a flat surface."