ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing - Section A, Dario Arcamone, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing - Section A, Dario Arcamone, Spring 2020

The object of this course is to apply the experience and stimulus from the artistic history of Florence into your own individual artistic identities that are immersed in this new experience. We should realize that drawing intended as the origin of an artistic elaboration can be found in all forms such as paintings, sculptures and architecture that moreover had been developed for many centuries in Florence. Not to forget that drawing is essential in the expansion of ideas in today’s annexes of contemporary art practice.

The first sessions will be a review of basic drawing techniques. We will investigate the interactions of line, proportion, tonal value and weight. Sketching or drawing outside should be a simple and direct way to visualize projects and ideas. The second part of the term will encourage ways for the student to express more deeply concept and technique through our own individualistic vision of drawing.

Various media will be explored using wet and dry techniques, and the use of any kind of graphic method will also be encouraged.

Classes will be held indoors for life drawing and personal projects, and outdoors for on-site drawings.

Course Assignments

During the first sessions, on life drawing, we will concentrate on reviewing exercises such as: contour, gesture drawings, anatomy, and proportions. Various techniques will be explored, as graphite going to watercolor. We will then move on to consolidate a personal approach in drawing with the help of any media and long life poses. Classes in life drawing will usually start with quick warm-up drawings.

Open drawing hours: Thursday from 8 to 10 pm, Sant’Antonino building, Drawing room.

Students are required to have an end-of-term portfolio review.

Post-Bac students will develop drawing works in close connection with their own studio research (in agreement with the instructor).


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 as homework. You should keep a personal sketchbook with individual projects.


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).


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

  • Quality
  • Completion of course assignments that include in-class drawing and fieldwork assignments
  • Your sketchbook is a critical cornerstone for the grade

Intermediate Students are required to produce a minimum of three well-finished drawings

Graduate Students
Post-Bac students 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 (Materiali da Disegno)

Graphite pencils 2B, 4B, 6B

Matite 2B, 4B, 6B (called “Lapis” in Tuscany)

Graphite stick


Charcoal sticks/pencil

Carboncini/ Matita Conté/ Sanguigna

Kneadable eraser

Gomma pane

Sketch book

Blocco schizzi

Paper for the longer poses

Carta da disegno (Fabriano 2 or Fabriano 5)

Optional Materials

● Colored chalks: seppia, gray, sanguigna. A good, easy and cheap option is a 5.6 mm mechanical pen with the different options (Penna meccanica)

● Watercolors (with big brush) in tube: black and white. Cheapest quality. For students who would like to work on watercolor more extensively, a burnt sienna and a warm-yellow can be purchased later. (Acquerello o Gouache)

● For the Monotype technique: Rosa Spina paper 2 pieces (not provided in class)

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 ceramic 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.

Storage Area

Drawing paper and portfolios can be stored on the flat shelves in the storage area. 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 off the Clayton Hubbs Lecture Hall.


Week 1

Tuesday, January 14
Intro to class, studio use and safety
Gesture drawing
Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room

Thursday, January 16
Life drawing: The Gesture

Week 2

Tuesday, January 21
Life drawing: The Gesture drawing at la Loggia dei Lanzi

Thursday, January 23
Life drawing: Proportions in life drawing

Week 3

Tuesday, January 28
Life Drawing: Proportions in life drawing

Thursday, January 30
Field trip: The Archeological Museum

Week 4

Tuesday, February 4
Life drawing

Thursday, February 6
Life drawing

Week 5

Tuesday, February 11
Life drawing: black/white chalk

Thursday, February 13
Life drawing: black/white chalk

Week 6

Tuesday, February 18
Life drawing: black/white chalk

Thursday, February 20
Life drawing: Ink

Week 7

Tuesday, February 25
Drawing outside: Museo Opera del Duomo

Thursday, February 27


Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 29 - March 8)


Week 9

Tuesday, March 10
Life drawing: Watercolor/Gouache

Thursday, March 12
Life drawing: Monotype

Week 10

Tuesday, March 17 Life Drawing: Drawing on plaster

Thursday, March 19
Individual project

Week 11

Tuesday, March 24
Individual project

Thursday, March 26
Individual project

Week 12

Tuesday, March 31
Individual project

Thursday, April 2
Individual project

Week 13

Tuesday, April 7
Class critique

Thursday, April 9
Work in progress

Week 14

Tuesday, April 14
Preparation for end-of-term-show

Thursday, April 16
Preparation for end-of-term-show

Week 15

Tuesday, April 24
Final portfolio review_Individual

Thursday, April 26
Final portfolio review_Individual

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