Painting Concentration

Painting at Houghton is designed to expose students to a variety of painting media and techniques as well as subject matter from representational, abstract and non-objective content.

Painting at Houghton attracts the highest number of students among the art concentrations. Many students combine painting with drawing, which can also be a standalone concentration. All of the faculty who teach in the Houghton Art program have terminal degrees (MFA) in studio art.


The painting studio has natural north light with ample easel and studio space as well as individual loft spaces for advanced students. The drawing studio also serves as a studio for watercolor and pastel. The rural Western New York countryside is an ideal environment for all manner of plein air painting.

Painting Curriculum

Students in Painting I learn to paint in oil, beginning with the indirect value study, as masters did in the Renaissance. From there, they learn alla prima direct painting and continue through various combinations as students explore which methods most suit their individual needs and goals. Students concentrating in painting take courses I, II and III with options for individual study beyond the 400 level. In addition to oil painting, students in Houghton’s Painting concentration can take two levels of watercolor and two levels of pastel painting. Students also can pursue additional materials in their upper-level independent courses including acrylic and mixed media.


Graduates of the painting concentration have gone on to attend many top graduate schools, including The University of Wisconsin Madison, Virginia Common Wealth, Clemson, The University of Delaware, the University of Northern Illinois, the University of Nebraska, Penn State, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago.

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