ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing, John Taylor, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing, John Taylor, Fall 2019

The object of this course is to acquire new experience and stimulus using Renaissance Florence as our touchstone. The interactions of line and cross contour will be investigated using the haptic sensibility of surface description and sense of touch. Proportion and light and shadow will also be investigated using the optical system of perspective. Ultimately, we will be working towards a comprehension of descriptive line and tactile surface, as against the fall of light and shadow (chiaroscuro), combined with the poetical use of spatial depth. Understanding that there are different systems of rendering form in space to discover relationships between the nude, landscape and cityscape, and on our journey develop and investigate our own artistic identity.

The first few weeks of the semester will be a review of basic drawing techniques, to draw what we see and not what we believe that we should see, looking at objects and surfaces directly in front of us without any preconceived notions of what a drawing should look like. Sketching or drawing is a simple and direct way to visualize ideas, projects, dreams, and to organize them on a two-dimensional surface.

Students please note that the results of all the Renaissance research drawings can be seen in the paintings, sculptures and architecture in and around the city of Florence.

Research and experiment is as important, if not more so, than the finished product.
Finished products can only develop from many hours of practice and research.

Classes will be held mainly indoors with life drawing. Some classes occasionally will be held outdoors.

Various media will be explored. Wet and dry techniques. The use of any kind of graphic method will also be encouraged.

Course Assignments

Classes will allow us to cover many aspects of drawing. During the first few weeks we will concentrate on reviewing beginning exercises: contour, gesture drawings, anatomy, and proportions. We will then move on to consolidate a personal approach in life drawing with the help of any media, including: watercolors and ink. Classes will usually start with quick warm-up drawings.

The second part of the term is dedicated mainly to Open Drawing sessions. Students are requested to attend Open Drawing sessions on Wednesday 8 to 10 pm, for both homework assignments and personal research.

Requirements

A portfolio/folder is required, illustrating your progress and work at the time of the last review. This will include both drawings executed in class and homework. Homework will be normally done on letter-size paper. You should keep a personal sketchbook with individual projects.

Attendance

Refer to SACI handbook.
Attendance is required, absences will affect your grade: two unexcused absences result in a lowering of the grade by 1/3 of a letter; two late arrivals to class are considered the equivalent of one unexcused absence (arriving often late to class is one of the best ways to penalize your final grade).

Responsibilities

1) Your grade will be affected by two unexplained absences.
2) Be on time for class: the assignment will often be explained at the beginning.
3) If you know that you will be absent on a given date you should notify the instructor ahead of time.

Final Meetings

The last week of class students will meet individually with the instructor for a portfolio evaluation of all work done in class, sketchbooks, homework and any extra work.

Evaluation & Grading

Evaluation is determined by your commitment to quality, completion of course assignments, in-class activities, fieldwork assignments and your sketchbook.

Graduate Students
Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.

Materials List

•    Large portfolio to store your drawings
•    Sketchbooks 11x16 inches large format (A3) and small pocket format 6x8 inches (A5)
•    Paper: newsprint and good quality paper
•    Tracing paper, 10 sheets of 50x70 cm
•    Graphite pencils: 8B to 2B (lapis)
•    Graphite stick (grafite)
•    Willow charcoal
•    Black and white chalk
•    Packet of good colored chalk pastels
•    Large fresco brush (at least 4 cm in length = 2 inches) only obtainable from Zecchi
•    Water colors only in tubes: yellow, burnt sienna, black and white
•    Black ink and cheap bamboo pen, white ink optional
•    Soft kneadable erasers only
•    Fixative spray, pencil sharpener, clips, masking tape

Note: All materials above can be bought at the Zecchi art shore with a student discount.

European Paper Dimensions

 

Centimeters

Inches

A0

84 x 120

33 x 47

A1

60 x 84

23 x 33

A2

42 x 60

16,5 x 23

A3

30 x 42

11,5 x 16,5

A4

21 x 30

8,3 x 11,7

A5

15 x 21

5,8 x 8,3

B0

100 x 140

39,37 x 55,67

B1

70 x 100

27,83 x 39,37

B2

50 x 70

19,69 x 27,83

B3

35 x 50

13,90 x 19,69

B4

25 x 35

9,84 x 13,90

B5

17.5 x 25

6,93 x 9,84

 

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

Additional Studio & Safety Rules

On Studio Use
The life drawing class will have nude models posing for students, and, as such, there are certain rules of conduct to be obeyed.
1. When the model is posing all doors and curtains should be kept closed.
2. Students should only be drawing while the model is posing, when the model is dressed then we can chat and relax.
3. It is essential to always leave the life room clean and tidy for the next class.

It is essential that care and attention is taken in regards to studio practice. This will be addressed the first week of classes. But beyond rules and safety and health issues, it is necessary to point out the importance of maintaining a certain order in the studio for the sake of all the students in the classes that utilize the space.  At the end of class put your materials away and drawings and boards off the easels and into the storage shelves.

Air-Exchange System
When working in the ground floor studios an air-exchange system can be utilized for maintaining proper ventilation and extraction of undesirable fumes and odors. The control panel is located on the wall opposite of the stairway between the printmaking and painting studios. 

There are also skylight panels, which can be opened and closed using switches located in the small sky-lit studio off of the main painting studio, another on the wall next to the stairs going into the basement storage area, and also in the studio with skylights off of the main lecture hall.  Do not spray fixative on your drawings in the studios.  Go out into the garden, or under an air-extraction hood in the printmaking studio.

Disposal of Materials
There are not as many toxic materials in drawing as there are in painting, but with some experimental drawing approaches there may be the necessity of properly disposing of these types of materials.  Do not ever throw used solvents, thick washes, acrylic mediums, etc. down the sink.  There is a special barrel for this located just to the right of the sink in the painting studio.  The same goes for saturated rags or paper towels. There is a special disposal barrel in the printmaking studio next to the plate cleaning tank.

Storage Area

Drawing paper and portfolios can be stored on the flat shelves in the storage area  located near the sink in the painting studio and between the drawing and painting studios. Lockers can be claimed for use by putting your name, term, and class on a piece of tape onto the locker door.  They are located just off the Clayton Hubbs Lecture Hall.

Schedule

STUDENTS SHOULD PRINT OUT A COPY OF THIS SYLLABUS AND BRING IT WITH THEM TO CLASS ON THE FIRST DAY, ALONG WITH PORTFOLIOS OR CDs

*Denotes that a life model will be posing in class.

The instructor reserves the right to change the program whenever necessary.

The Intermediate drawing sessions will be a return to the basic life drawing sessions for the first half of the semester, using all materials and methods of mark making, interspersed with some on-site field trip drawings to break the routine.

During the second half of the semester, we will aim for one individually finished drawing per session. The life model will be available throughout the semester for those students who wish to work in the life room. For those students wishing to work on individual personal projects, first they must submit relevant proposals, and report to class at the beginning of each session and show the finished work done at the end of each class session.

First thing every Tuesday and Thursday there will be sketchbook and homework review in class with emphasis on the study of perspective and the use of foreground, middle ground and background.

Week 1

Tuesday, September 10
Introduction to the life room - drawing from the life model.
Materials list, collecting email addresses.
The grading system. Attendance. Effort. Progress. Proficiency.
Buying sketchbooks; large for on-site sustained study drawings and small to fit in the pocket, for quick observational and spontaneous studies.

Slideshow. Introduction to Gesture (The gesture - the armature of the drawing)
Starting gesture and moving action drawing using small sheets of newsprint 30X50 cm, charcoal or fat graphite stick. Each student should bring at least 10 sheets of newsprint and charcoal to every class session.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm

Thursday, September 12
Slideshow. Introduction to contour (the line that contains the gesture)
Cross contour (the line that describes the surface of the gesture)
Materials: Newsprint, graphite sticks or 2B/4B pencil
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks: 5 gesture and 5 contour drawing to be repeated every week until Midterm Break, and only daily composition each day on the way to or from class.

Week 2

Tuesday, September 17
Sketchbook and homework review.
Proportions, learning to measure using the pencil.
Materials: Newsprint, graphite sticks or 2B/4B pencil
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, September 19
Onsite in Piazza Signoria drawing gesture and contour from the Mannerist sculptures of Giambologna, using proportions established with the pencil.
Materials: Large sketchbook, charcoal or graphite stick, 2B pencil.

Homework in small sketchbooks: 5 gestures and 5 contours using the pencil to find correct proportions.

Week 3

Tuesday, September 24
Sketchbook and homework review.
Sustained study, with layering.
Materials: Tracing paper, 10 pieces 50x70 cm: newsprint in same size and quantity as tracing paper. Pencil 2B - 3B.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, September 26
Slideshow.
Onsite in the Academia to draw the statue of David.
Gesture, contour, shading with tracing paper.
Materials: Large sketchbook, 2 sheets of tracing paper (same size as sketchbook), charcoal or graphite stick, 2B pencil.

Small sketchbooks: 1 sustained study using the tracing paper and pencil to find correct proportion.

Week 4

Tuesday, October 1
Sketchbook and homework review.
Anatomy drawings - layering
Materials: 10 sheets of tracing paper 50x70 cm: 10 sheets of newsprint in same size and quantity as tracing paper. Pencil 2B - 3B
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, October 3
Pen and ink; drawing; gestures, contours cross contours in ink, and ink on tracing paper.
Materials: Bamboo pen, black ink, good paper-Fabriano ruvido 2 or 3 sheets, 50x70 cm (available from Zecchi).
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks: Hand and feet anatomy from yourselves or from friends.

Week 5

Tuesday, October 8
Sketchbook and homework review.

Drawing with spatula and fingertips, using black paint and water, direct finger contact on the paper to make gestures, after break using a spatula and larger paper.
Materials: Strong white paper (Fabriano ruvido) 2 sheet 50x70 cm (plastic cups, plates, black pigment and spatula provided in class).
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, October 10
Onsite drawing at the Boboli Gardens, Landscape.
Materials: Large sketchbooks.
(Plastic cups, plates, black pigment and spatula provided in class)

Homework in small sketchbooks: Two landscape studies in black and white using fingers and/or brush.

Week 6

Tuesday, October 15
Sketchbook and homework review.

Distance, in black and white tonal values.
Gesture in black and white chalk.
Materials: Charcoal, white chalk, 2 sheets of black paper 50x70 colored chalks or pastels.
Sustained study, using colored paper, colored chalks or pastels.
Relating fabric back drop to figure in the foreground.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, October 17
Cityscape in tonal values, distance.
On site at the monastery of San Miniato al Monte.
Materials: Large sketchbook, charcoal, white chalk, 2 sheets of black paper 50x70 colored chalks or pastels.

Homework in small sketchbooks: 1 study of landscape in tonal value, using colored chalk.

Week 7

Tuesday, October 22
The figure in watercolor.
Materials: Watercolor paper, 2 sheets 50x70 smooth.
Large fresco brush available only from Zecchi.
Watercolors only in tubes: yellow, burnt sienna, black and white.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)
Sketchbook and homework review.

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, October 24
Sketchbook reviews.
Group critiques.

   

Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK  (October 26 – Nov 3)

Homework for Midterm Break 
In small pocket sized sketchbooks; please bring back a lively and interesting record of all places, people, landscapes, architecture encountered during the Midterm Break, to be sketched in all materials and techniques that have been covered up till now.

After midterm break there will be a concentrated period of double life model poses using the same two models for both Monday and Wednesday classes. thus enabling students to work longer on relationships of a two figure study with background and depth.  Longer drawing time will mean larger and more concentrated studies, and your own preferred drawing materials may be used for each week.

Those students who do not wish to continue drawing the figure in the life room may start to make proposals for outdoor or other projects based on architecture or landscape in the city of Florence. But please bear in mind that all students must produce a minimum of 10 large sized finished drawings from midterm until the end of the semester (one finished drawing for each class including open drawing) in order to complete the course. 

To help obtain the ten finished drawing projects; we could divide the rest of the second half of the semester into four different open drawing themes.
1. Perspective foreground, one or two point perspective, the use of middle ground and background to create poetical awareness of space.
2. The flowing line, line to create rhythms.
3. Chiaroscuro; tonal drawings using light and dark, with atmospheric perspective.
4. The descriptive tactile surface; the modeled drawing in large scale works.

 

 

Week 9

Tuesday, November 5
The basic rules of perspective, foreshortening and perspective drawings from still life.
*1:30 to 4.00pm (Life model posing) 

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm. 

Thursday, November 7
The use of bamboo canes to draw or paint at a distance.
Materials: Bamboo canes provided in class.
*1:30 to 4.00pm (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks; architectural and landscape studies using the rules of perspective, spatial depth, foreshortening, background, middle ground, foreground. 

 

 

Week 10

Tuesday, November 12
Sketchbook and homework review.
Perspective must be your main theme in these two open drawing sessions. The use of poetical space, using vanishing points.
Open drawing, one finished study on good quality white paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, November 14 
Perspective must be your main object in these two open drawing sessions. The use of poetical space, foreshortening.
Open drawing, one finished study on good quality white paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks: 2 studies of cityscape in perspective, one vanishing point and two vanishing points.

Week 11

Tuesday, November 19   *(The same two life models for Tuesday and Thursday sessions)
Sketchbook and homework review.
The use of poetical flowing line.

Open drawing, one finished figure study on good quality colored paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest. Rope drawings, hair styles.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, November 21
The use of white line to represent tonal value on dark blue paper, with white ink.
Open drawing, one finished study on good quality colored paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm  (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks: 2 studies of hairstyles of friends.

Week 12

Tuesday, November 26   *(The same two life models for Tuesday and Thursday sessions)
Sketchbook and homework review.

Chiaroscuro or tonal values (photographic effect).
Open drawing, one finished study on good quality dark paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, November 28
Perspective through atmosphere.

Open drawing, one finished study on good quality white paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing) 

Homework in small sketchbook: Several studies of friend’s heads.
 

Week 13

Tuesday, December 3    *(The same two life models for Tuesday and Thursday sessions)
Sketchbook and homework review.
Descriptive tactile surface with cross hatching.
Open drawing, one finished study on good quality white paper for each session.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing Wednesday 8 -10pm.

Thursday, December 5
Large scale drawings. Let the muscles or drapery or clothing reflect the form in line and then in tone.
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest. 
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Homework in small sketchbooks; looking at portraits and particularly hair styles.

Week 14

Tuesday, December 10
Sketchbook and homework review.

Working from life model, and/or working on the visual diary.
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Thursday, December 12
Working from life model, and/or working on the visual diary.
*1:30 to 4:00pm  (Life model posing)

Week 15

Tuesday, December 17
Exam week.

Final Group critiques.

Thursday, December 19
Exam week.
Individual portfolio review, with visual diary and sketchbook.

 

Recommended Reading

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: All three books are available for loan or can be consulted in the SACI Worthington Library.

Kimon Nicolaides,The Natural Way to DrawMariner Books, 1990.
ISBN: 9780395530078 (Retail price: $16.95)

Daniel M. Mendelowitz, Drawing, Stanford University Press, 1980.
ISBN: 9780030561306 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

David Hockney, Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, Studio Expanded Edition, 2006. 
ISBN: 9780142005125 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

 

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