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2D Portfolio Development


Drawing and Painting

School of the Arts admissions are getting more and more competitive so it is essential that students have a high quality portfolio. Students will spend time in class and open studio sessions working on an assortment of 2D (Drawing and Painting) projects. Experienced portfolio reviewers will hold sessions regarding how best to present portfolios. Student work will be professionally documented, and preserved on CD for them to take home with them. All students will participate in a culminating exhibition.

2D Portfolio Development participants will focus on enhancing their Drawing skills for half of the day and their Painting skills the other half of the day throughout the entire Intensive.

Drawing Course Objectives
This class focuses upon the fundamental principles of drawing. Through studio instruction and lectures the students will develop the use of basic drawing concepts. The importance of observational drawing will be emphasized to facilitate the understanding of studio work.

Also, students will learn and expand an artistic vocabulary necessary to critique their own work, as well as that of others. This will enable students to engage in-group discussions and exchange ideas during the Summer Intensive.

Contour Drawing and Composition

  • Introduction and exploration of the different practices of contour and “blind” contour drawing
  • Introduction of the significance of composition in work
  • Exploration of positive/negative space and planar relationships


  • Explanation of the various uses of value: implied space and volume through light, shadow, and texture
  • Discussion of the importance of how light and dark are used in compositions
  • Application of these drawing concepts to various still lives

Perspective and Scale

  • Introduction and practice of one, two, and three point perspective
  • Combination of contour drawing, planar relationships, and composition with perspective
  • Discussion of how scale affects compositions
  • Work with various objects to explore relations of scale

Introduction to Life Drawing/Gesture Drawing from Life

  • Explanation of methods of gesture drawing relative to life drawing
  • Discussion of movement, rhythm, and position relevant to drawing from life
  • Students begin to use proper proportions relevant to human anatomy

Basics of Figure Drawing

  • Applying ideas of gesture drawing to represent human anatomy
  • Work with model to depict body structure, mass, and volume


Albert Epshteyn has been on the faculty of the Art Foundation and Communication Arts Departments at VCU since 2001.  He teaches drawing studies and figure drawing classes.  Epshteyn has also taught intermediate and advanced drawing classes for Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School and the Hand Workshop Art Center in Richmond, VA.  He has a Bachelor of Arts and Education from the Orel Arts College in Orel, USSR and a Bachelor of History and Education from L.N. Tolstoy Perdgogical University in Tula, USSR.  Epshteyn served as the Art Director for the Tula Design Studio before coming to the US, and he has received rave reviews from Intensive participants.


Students will learn to make the leap from thinking like a high school student to thinking like an artist during this challenging painting course. Participants will be introduced to both traditional and contemporary concepts and techniques in painting.

Students will learn to:

  • Create and organize forms, colors, textures and tones while experimenting with various application methods
  • Work from still life set ups and various landscapes
  • Generate more personalized works by adapting lessons during Studio Time
  • Develop their skills in critical analysis. They will be challenged to articulate and justify their ideas both visually and verbally.
  • Utilize paints (acrylics and water colors) with an emphasis on the organization of the artistic image, coupled with analysis of historical and contemporary work.

Lectures, demonstrations and critiques reveal how others have tackled similar painting issues, so that students can discover their own styles.

Art work will be exhibited during the Summer Intensive culminating event, “Show Your Stuff.”


Ryan Lauterio was deeply influenced by the diverse cultures flourishing around him during his youth in southern California. From skateboarding, hip hop, basketball, amusement parks, Venice Beach and Hollywood, he found himself inspired by an array of human expressions and constructs that seemed to have much in common. Out of this rich experience Ryan sought to filter and represent his surroundings in an equally diverse array, which led him to pursue making paintings. His passion for making art moved him north to Sacramento to study many forms and approaches to painting where he earned his BA and MA in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting from California State University, Sacramento. Later he went on to receive his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lauterio’s list of awards and acknowledgments include a Fredrick M. Peyser Sr. prize in painting, a two-time Jam Studio award, a California State Golden Bear award, a Covington International Travel Scholarship and most recently he was the VCU Painting and Printmaking Department Joan Mitchell Award nominee for 2009. Professionally, Ryan has worked in VCU’s Art Foundation (AFO) program since coming to Richmond in 2007. Currently he teaches drawing studio courses; runs open studio workshops, reviews portfolios for potential AFO applicants and sits on the selection committee that determines those that will be accepted into VCUarts’ Art Foundation Program each year.

Comments from 2013 Students:
“My painting technique improved drastically in just three weeks.”
“This class totally changed my view of art. Thanks so much!”
“I can now see correct proportions and I know how to use color.”
“I learned to be spontaneous with my paintings & how to really see what I draw.”
“My ability to draw and my observational drawing skills improved massively.”