Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit

Unit rationale, description and aim

Painting has a rich tradition of representing and reflecting the world it is created in.

This unit will introduce students to the fundamental processes and essential skills of painting by exploring a range of techniques and a variety of media through studio-based projects. Emphasis will be placed on increased attention to critical awareness and conceptual, theoretical and creative interpretations of painting. It also focuses on developing confidence with visual arts making, presenting and discussing art processes and ideas in order to make critical insights about students' own art practice and contemporary art in Australia and internationally.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Develop technical skills in a range of media and apply these processes in the creation of artworks (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Undertake individual studio-led research informed by critical and reflective thinking (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Make evident how the historical and contemporary contexts of art and design can inform their own practice (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media


This studio-based unit supports the development of students' individual art making intentions in painting. It should develop their technical skills, knowledge and understanding of painting through practical demonstrations, workshops and painting clinics, as well as lectures detailing historical and contemporary practitioners. The content of art history and theory units studied concurrently with studio-based units will also serve to inform students of the historical and theoretical contexts which underpin their own practice. The emphasis of the unit is on an open-ended investigation of art forms through rigorous project-based studio exercises that form the overall assessment requirements for this unit.

There will be a focus on Workplace Health and Safety for the professional artist.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy for this unit focuses on fostering studio culture where core competencies such as skills-based painting techniques, critical and reflective thinking, and research investigations occur. This is implemented through weekly lectures, practical demonstrations and exercises/clinics that contextualise the assessments relative to the learning outcomes in the context of contemporary painting practice and its historical lineage. This unit also introduces students to a variety of art mediums, drawing techniques and processes, as well as historical and contemporary practitioners. Group discussion about the artworks in progress will promote critical thinking about how cultural production contributes to society and the ethical perspectives associated with exhibiting artwork publicly.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment items have been carefully considered for this unit to reflect the overall approach of assessment standards for this university. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. Learning outcomes based on acquired knowledge through lectures, workshops, and practical exercises, as well as through individual study and practice, will contribute towards an expanded knowledge in this subject area, as well as helping to attain the graduate attributes set out within this unit outline.

The exploratory studies assignment assesses skills and techniques acquired during lectures/demonstrations and studio practice in the use of the medium. This meets LO1.

The creative body of work task tests students' competency in technical skills and application through their research into contemporary art practice. This meets LO1 and LO2.

The self-directed paintings supported by research documentation task ties together skills in competency developed throughout the lectures and practical sessions and tests skills in the documentation of Visual Arts research processes and an understanding of contemporary art practice and how this informs their own practical work. This final assessment task meets LO1, LO2, and LO3.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Portfolio of paintings A


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Portfolio of paintings B


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Self-directed artwork and research documentation


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Akib, H., et. al.,(2016). Artist’s painting techniques. Dorling Kindersley.

Beers, K. (2014). 100 painters of tomorrow. Thames and Hudson.

Bedford, P., Skerritt, H. F., & Carty, J. (2014). No boundaries : Aboriginal Australian contemporary abstract painting from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection. Nevada Museum of Art.

Graham-Dixon, A. (2019). The story of painting: How art was made. Dorling Kindersley.

Leslie, D. (2008). Aboriginal art: creativity and assimilation. Melbourne: Macmillan Art Publishing.

Maloon, T. (2010). Abstraction: paths to abstraction 1867 -1917. Art Gallery of NSW.

Raffan, J. (2012). Power + colour: New paintings from the Corrigan selection of 21st-century Aboriginal art. Macmillan Art Publishing.

Morrill, R., & Melick, T. (2016). Vitamin P3 : new perspectives in painting. Phaidon.

Varnedoe, K. (2006). Pictures of nothing: Abstract art since Pollock. Princeton University Press.

Watson, J., & Martin-Chew, L. (2009). Judy Watson: blood language. Carlton: Miegunyah Press.

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