Department of Art

Studio Arts - Oil Painting

oil painting

The Painting curriculum begins with an emphasis on the use of oil paint in rendering three-dimensional forms and space from direct observation.

An embrace of process and a willingness to change are the main objectives at this early stage of study. Abstract and nonobjective forms of painting are also extensively covered, explored and encouraged.

Additional materials and processes are continually introduced, including: acrylics, acrylic mediums, collage, image transfers and encaustics.

Exposure to contemporary painters is interwoven and integral to the curriculum. Assignments are geared toward developing the students’ problem solving skills.

As the projects become more open ended, students decide whether to work with representation, nonobjective imagery, or alternative forms of painting.

Advanced painting is contingent on the students’ self-motivation and requires personal investigation into the formal and conceptual aspects of their work.



Degree Plan

There are two degree paths in the Oil Painting program:

  • Bachelor of Arts - Studio Art
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Studio Art

The following Program Study Plans will help you determine which classes are needed to complete a degree in a timely fashion:


  • Painting facilities at Western Illinois University are housed in Garwood Hall. The painting studio measures 21' x 70'. This is a large natural light painting studio.
  • The space houses Klopfenstein easels, glass palettes and equipment storage.
  • A separate secure office houses hand tools and a large collection of still life objects.
  • Several large North-facing windows provide the students with the opportunity to utilize natural light in addition to adequate available artificial light sources.
  • The studio is equipped with a solvent recycling station and has storage for solvents and mediums. The room includes a sink and painting racks sufficient for storing student work.
  • The painting program provides six individual studio spaces in the basement of Garwood Hall for selected painting majors. This space measures 21' x 45' and is usually divided among the BFA senior painting students.