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2020 Drawing & Painting

Drawing & Painting students concentrate on the principles of drawing and painting through studio work, slide lectures, and demonstrations. Students are introduced to color, imagery, media, and various drawing and painting techniques. The class may also focus on printmaking, 3-D art, and/or mixed media. Students will display their work in public exhibitions. 20 students are accepted.

Requirements for Applicants

1. Complete an online application and schedule your audition no later than noon the weekday before your desired audition date. See dates in right side bar or view full audition schedule here. Audition spaces fill quickly, so schedule as soon as possible.

2. Bring a government-issued I.D. or birth certificate to your audition for age verification purposes.

3. Choose your portfolio pieces and complete a Description of Work form. Read guidelines below and tips to prepare for your audition, and download the form below.

4. Arrive at your audition at least 15 minutes early to check in. The audition consists of one 50-minute timed drawing exercise (a still life) led by an instructor.

Bring the following items:

  • REQUIRED: your portfolio and your description of work form (see guidelines below)
  • ENCOURAGED: a drawing board
  • OPTIONAL: blending tool(s), a portable easel

You MUST use OAI-provided supplies. You will not be allowed to use your own materials. The Oklahoma Arts Institute will provide the following materials for every applicant:

  • Compressed charcoal sticks, black
  • Newsprint paper (18″ x 24″)
  • Gum and kneaded rubber erasers

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

1. You must bring up to three works of art with you to your audition.

  • The artwork can be any combination of paintings, drawings, mixed media, and/or 3-D artwork (no photography) that you created after March 1 of the prior year. (Former OSAI students cannot submit artwork created at OSAI.) Artwork must be no larger than 18″ x 24″. All of your artwork, including the still-life you will create, will be photographed by a photographer at the audition. The judges will receive the images of your work for scoring at a later date. You will bring all artwork back home with you, including the still-life drawing you create at the audition.
  • When selecting artwork, choose whatever best represents your personal strengths and style. You are strongly encouraged to submit portfolio pieces that are based on original ideas and subject matter. (i.e. It is best not to include pieces inspired by images found on the internet or another artist’s work.)

2. Please download and complete this Description of Work form and bring it with you to your audition.

What to Expect at Your Audition

  • The audition consists of one 50-minute timed drawing exercise (a still life) and a portfolio element. The still life will be set up in the middle of the room, and you must draw that particular scene.
  • The 50 minutes go by very quickly! Many students are not used to working under a specific time constraint. We suggest you participate in your own mock audition at home or school. Set up a still life and assemble your drawing materials, then set the timer for 50 minutes. You may be surprised at what you weren’t able to accomplish within the time frame. You may need to practice drawing more quickly or set specific benchmarks for yourself within the 50 minutes.
  • Large, gestural drawings are preferred over small, intricately detailed drawings.

Portfolio Tips

Please review the following suggestions for selecting pieces to include in your portfolio.

Subjects NOT RECOMMENDED for your portfolio:

  • Cartoon/anime characters
  • Brands, words, numbers, or symbols
  • Drawings of floating, context-free objects

    – For example: eyeballs, hearts, butterflies

  • Drawings based on any still image that does not come from your real life

    – For example: images from the internet like celebrities, cityscapes, cars, sunsets

  • Drawings based solely on photos, especially posed photos

    – For example: photos of friends or pets

  • Subjects you are unable to explore first-hand

Subjects that have historically been more successful:

  • Landscapes, drawn from life
  • Still-life drawings
  • Abstract work
  • Portraits or sketches of people (not based on posed photos)
  • Unusual perspectives on or compositions of everyday scenes
  • Topics about which you are passionate, and that you have explored first-hand

Judging Criteria

• Live drawing – 40%
• Portfolio – 30%
• Creativity – 15%
• Potential – 15%

Read general information about our adjudication procedures here.

Funding for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute drawing & painting program is generously provided, in part, by the Ellen Woods Westheimer Visual Arts Endowment Fund.