ARTS(D)424 Advanced Drawing, Dario Arcamone, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(D)424 Advanced Drawing, Dario Arcamone, Fall 2019

The Advanced Drawing class is structured through a review of the formal elements of drawing that will advance to a series of individual projects that will explore concept and vision: this will be developed with sessions of observational drawing, field trips in Florence and class assignments focusing on the creative development of the drawing process as a medium per se.

Students are responsible for developing their own personal projects. Progress at the Advanced level should be supported with multiple sketches (i.e. quick drawings in charcoal, pencil or any other expressive 2D technique that allows for a fast execution of an intuitive process), including a few written lines about the changes that occur in the concept and materials. Students are encouraged to use them or other pertinent documentation for a review and individual meeting with the instructor.

In the second part of the term, students will be encouraged to express more deeply concepts and techniques through the 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.

Course Assignments

During the first sessions with life drawing, we will concentrate on reviewing exercises such as: contour, gesture drawings, anatomy, and proportions. Classes in life drawing will usually start with quick warm-up drawings. The second part of this class will include on-site drawings in Florence and different assignments that aren’t exclusively created by observational drawing. Then we can discuss a strategy for the final weeks that will lead to the end-of-term exhibition in the SACI Gallery and your final review.

Open Drawing

Open Drawing hours: Wednesday from 8 to 10 pm, Sant’Antonino building, Drawing room. In the first weeks it is essential that you keep in mind Open drawing: I will give some homework to practice during these life drawing sessions.

End-of-Term Portfolio Review

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

Graduate Students

Graduate 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 sketchbook.


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

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 (Materiali da Disegno)



Graphite pencils 2B, 4B, 6B

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

Graphite stick


Charcoal sticks


Kneadable eraser

Gomma pane


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 that 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, please.

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.


(Subject to change according to developments)

Week 1

Monday, September 9
Intro to class, studio use and safety
The Gesture drawing—Life Drawing: Model

Wednesday, September 11
Developments in drawing changes—Pentimento Drawing
Life drawing: Model
Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room

Week 2

Monday, September 16
Drawing field trip: Mannerist Sculpture of Giambologna—Gesture applied to static forms
Second part of class: life drawing back at school: gesture black/white

Wednesday, September 18
Drawing distinction between tonal and sculptural haptic attitude
Cross contour—Life drawing: Model
Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room

Week 3

Monday, September 23
Tonal drawing
Life drawing: Model

Wednesday, September 25
Free form drawing Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room

Week 4

Monday, September 30
Free form drawing applied to Life drawing: Model
Boboli Gardens landscape: Presentation and preparation

Wednesday, October 2
1st Class on site Boboli
Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room

Week 5

Monday, October 7
Landscape cont’d

Wednesday, October 9
Life drawing: black/white chalk

Week 6

Monday, October 14
Life drawing: Large scale Wet and Dry technique

Wednesday, October 16
Monotype in relation to drawing—Model available
Homework: Open Drawing on each Wednesday evening: 8-10pm, Drawing room


Week 7

Monday, October 21
The City—part 1

Wednesday, October 23rd
The City—cont’d


Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (October 26 - November 3)


Week 9

Monday, November 4
The City—cont’d

Wednesday, November 6
Critique of both “Landscape” and “City”

Week 10

Monday, November 11
The City—fantasy version—Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities

Wednesday, November 13
The City—fantasy version—cont’d

Week 11

Monday, November 18
Portfolio reviews

Wednesday, November 20
Critique Invisible Cities
Begin Individual projects—Model will be available for students who want to relate project to observational figure drawing

Week 12

Monday, November 25
Work in progress—line up: sharing and exchange of ideas. Modifications of initial project. Discussion and selection of drawings for the 2-D student exhibitions

Wednesday, November 27
Project time: work in progress

Week 13

Monday, December 2
Project time

Wednesday, December 4
Project time

Week 14

Monday, December 9
Group Critique of Final Projects

Wednesday, December 11
Prepare for end-of-term-show

Week 15

Monday, December 16
Exam week: Final portfolio review—Individual

Wednesday, December 18
​Exam week: Final portfolio review—Individual

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