Drawing and Painting

Drawing and Painting Program

The intent of the MSA Drawing and Painting courses is to explore the creative process that allows artists to understand ourselves and our culture at a deeper level and share that through artistic expression.

Goals and Objectives:


Original painting by Zach Endosa, 2014 graduate, earned first place in the MSA Artfest juried artshow.

  • To investigate and study the many ways of making art;
  • To introduce a variety of materials, techniques, and concepts used in art making;
  • To introduce and practice critical thinking and discussion skills;
  • To experiment with a diverse collection of materials in the completion of individual and class projects.

What to Expect:

The coursework is exciting, but creating art is a lot of work. It is a great adventure; it is about finding your voice as an artist and as a creative being. These adventures will stay with a student and enrich their life. A high level of participation is expected from each student, as well as a deeper level of thinking. With full participation, art classes will form a creative and supportive community to enrich and deepen a student’s experience as a person and as an “artist.”

MSA-student-drawingCourse work follows The California State Framework for the Visual and Performing Arts which include five components:

  • Artistic perception
  • Creative expression
  • Historical and cultural context
  • Aesthetic valuing
  • Understanding and making connections

Drawing and Painting Courses 


Foundation year will be spent learning and applying the Elements and Principles of Art and Design in individual works of art. Students will be given both projects that help build skill in techniques, as well as creative problem-solving.

Drawing and Painting I (MSA and NHS)

This course moves students into beginning the practice of observational drawing and painting, Students will be given projects that both build technical skill and allow development of a voice and investigations of their own art making process. Students apply the elements and principles of art in their pieces and be given engaging and meaningful projects, that simultaneously develop technical skill and concept/ideas that are of value to them.

Drawing and Painting II and III (MSA)

This course that deepens the painting and drawing experience, with an in-depth study of figurative drawing and explorations in figurate painting. Students will be creating large-scale works of art from both observation and imagination and be given a series of engaging and challenging creative problems.  The expectations are high for students to be self-motivated, often with separate projects done at home.

Original drawing by MSA student Sasha Honigman.

Original drawing by MSA student Sasha Honigman.

AP Studio art (MSA)  

This is a college-level course to guide students to create a strong body of work, completing a portfolio with 24 pieces in total—12 that demonstrates the range of materials and approaches students can achieve, as well as a concentration of 12 works of art that is based on an concept chosen by the student and approved by faculty.  This is a difficult and challenging course; students will need to be able to work independently with strong self-discipline. Student works are documented and submitted to the college board for scoring.


Student advancement within the program is contingent upon instructor approval; students will only be advanced if instructors endorse advancement to the next class level based on their current performance and commitment.  Visual Fine Arts teachers confer extensively to measure student performance throughout the year. Students may be retained in a level if their progress indicates the need for further growth before advancement. In the senior year, specifically, Advanced Placement is an extremely demanding class and is not suitable for all students. Some students choose to try a new specialty in their final year, such as Video or Photography, rather than completing an AP portfolio.