ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing - Section A, Dario Arcamone, Summer I 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS313 Intermediate Drawing - Section A, Dario Arcamone, Summer I 2019

The objective of this course is to apply the history of Renaissance Florence and the stimuli offered by the city in learning the basic elements of drawing. Students will realize how the results of all Renaissance study drawings can be found in the form of paintings, sculptures and architecture in and around the city of Florence. They will investigate the interaction of line, proportion, tonal value and weight—and proceed to develop their own individual artistic identities.

The class sessions will focus on applying basic drawing techniques to the figure. On-site drawing during field trips will be an important part of the assignments.

Course Assignments

During the first sessions on life drawing, we will concentrate on exploring exercises such as: contour, gesture drawings, anatomy, and proportions. Various techniques will be explored such as graphite and 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.

Intermediate students are required to try to develop a more “expressive” drawing style based upon the schedule of the beginning students. The use of any kind of graphic method will also be encouraged. Extra assignments are required for this level.

Open drawing hours: Monday from 7 to 9 pm, Sant’Antonino building, Drawing room.

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


A portfolio/folder is required, illustrating your progress. This will include both drawings executed in class and in a personal sketchbook with the drawings done outside of class.


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 during the term.

Evaluation & Grading

Evaluation is determined by your commitment to quality, completion of course assignments both in the studio and during field trips.

Materials (Materiali da Disegno)

Graphite pencils 2B, 4B, 6B

Matite or “Lapis” n° 2B, 4B, 6B

Graphite stick


Charcoal sticks


Kneadable eraser

Gomma pane

Sketch book

Blocco schizzi

Paper for the longer poses

Carta da disegno (Fabriano F2, F4, F5)


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)
  • Water colors (with big brush) in tube: black and white. Cheapest quality. For students that would like to work on watercolor more extensively, a burnt sienna and a warm-yellow can be purchased later. (Acquerello or 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 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. 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

Monday, May 20
Intro to class, studio use and safety
Life drawing: Proportions
Homework: Open Drawing on each Monday evening: 7-9 pm, Drawing room

Wednesday, May 22
Life drawing: Gesture drawing; Contour drawing
Drawing field trip: Loggia dei Lanzi

Friday, May 24
Drawing field trip: Museo Archeologico

Week 2

Monday, May 27
Life Drawing: Tonal drawing; Charcoal

Wednesday, May 29
Life drawing.
Drawing field trip: National History Museum of La Specola

Friday, May 31
Life drawing:Sustained Study (Anatomy using tracing paper)

Week 3

Monday, June 3
Life drawing: black and white chalk_dry technique

Wednesday, June 5
Drawing field trip: Museo Opera del Duomo

Friday, June 7
Drawing field trip: Il Bargello

Week 4

Monday, June 10
Life drawing: Ink

Wednesday, June 12
Drawing field trip: Boboli Gardens

Friday, June 14
Life Drawing: Watercolor

Week 5

Monday, June 17
Life drawing: Long Pose

Wednesday, June 19
Life drawing: Long Pose and Portfolio set up

Friday, June 21
Final individual meetings

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