Course Description

What is your message? How will you share it? This online class will inspire you to build themes, concepts, messages and symbolism into your paintings. Through live expert instruction, we will look to works by artists like Picasso and learn how abstract ideas can bring symbolic meaning to your work. With classmates, you will engage in critical discussion about your pieces that are created through this class.

After learning how to critique, you will have a chance to show your work! Showing your artwork to an audience is the next step for artists and this can be very exciting. This class will help you to discover a variety of ways to display your artwork online and in a gallery. Invite your friends and family to the final class for a chance to share your message and display your new creations at the virtual art show.

Everyone at all levels is invited to participate!

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Telling Stories with Objects

  • Learn to use visual symbols in your work to convey a meaningful message.
  • Discover how you can develop a theme or concept in your painting using visual symbols.
  • Learn how to tell stories with everyday objects.
  • Start a painting using objects of your choice to convey a meaningful message.

Lesson 2: Exploring Materials and Paint

  • Learn how to use various materials to convey a deeper meaning in your artwork.
  • Explore a variety of materials, techniques and tools to investigate various surfaces and objects.
  • Investigating your own unique style and technique.
  • Explore and continue painting.

Lesson 3: What is your Message?

  • Learn how to focus on your message and how to convey it in your artwork.
  • Walk through a decision-making process of imagery to keep and discard.
  • Learn how to keep the painting representational and other parts flowing into abstraction.
  • Learn scale of representation between realistic and non-representational.
  • Modify, transform and paint.

Lesson 4: Painting and Technology

  • Learn how artist use technology as a tool to create their paintings.
  • Explore different ways to use technology in your own artwork.
  • Work in multiple layers on canvas.
  • Continue to develop your art and painting(s).

Lesson 5: How to Critique and Display Artwork

  • Learn how to prepare for a class critique and how to display your artwork.
  • Review different ways artists or curators use the gallery space to display their work.
  • Learn how to engage in a critical discussion about you and your classmate’s artwork.
  • Begin finalizing painting and prepare for the last class critique.

Lesson 6: Critique and Celebrate!

  • Participate in a class virtual gallery display with friends and family.
  • Learn how a critique can be fun and informative for your art practice.
  • Discuss challenges, successes and improvements of your own art pieces.
  • Have a chance to share your work with a larger audience.

Learner Outcomes

In this class, you will:

  1. Learn to work with objects and incorporate symbolism into your artwork
  2. Practice your painting and storytelling using various objects and materials
  3. Create a painting with a message
  4. Develop your concepts/theme by incorporating various painting techniques
  5. Participate in a Final Critique

A “Virtual Art Display” for friends and family will be held during the last class. It is optional for those who want to showcase their work to friends and family.


Materials are not included. Participants must purchase the following materials before the start of the class.

  1. Any size canvas and any number of canvases preferred
  2. A collection of everyday objects of your choice. (Rock, Keys, Necklace, Button)
  3. Large acrylic paint tubes (red, blue, yellow, black and white)
  4. A sketchbook
  5. Gesso (Canvas primer)
  6. Gel Medium
  7. Various paintbrush sizes
  8. Palette knives (2-3)
  9. Spray bottle
  10. Sponges, towels or paper towels
  11. Mixed Media paper
  12. Scissors, glue and painter’s tape
  13. Other materials of your choice (ex. Cement, sand, sugar, magazine cut-outs, printed photos)

This course is offered through Blackboard Collaborate. Learners will require access to a computer with high-speed internet access.

Blackboard Requirements

All course details can be accessed through Blackboard. A link will be provided through email and you will have access the first day of class.

Please activate your UWinID. Your UWinID and password are needed to access Blackboard. If you have any issues, please contact continue@uwindsor.ca.

Blackboard.uwindsor.ca works best with Google Chrome. You can also use Firefox or Safari. It is suggested that you avoid using Internet Explorer. There is a “Navigating Your Online Course” module and technical tutorials that you can review for a brief orientation to Blackboard once you log in. Feel free to review the full Blackboard preferred system requirements.

LINK: https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student/Getting_Started/Browser_Support

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
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