ARTS(D)424 Advanced Drawing, John Taylor, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(D)424 Advanced Drawing, John Taylor, Spring 2020

An advanced level course presents the appropriate moment to deepen one’s personal drawing vision, and in this class, we will do so by using the intensely concentrated history that is embedded all over Florence as a conceptual starting point.

The first few weeks of the semester will be a review of basic drawing techniques where we refresh our capacity to draw what we truly see and not what we assume we should see, looking at objects and surfaces directly in front of us without any preconceived or projected notions of what a drawing ‘should’ look like. Sketching and drawing are simple and direct means of visualizing ideas, projects, dreams, and to organize them on a two-dimensional surface. Each week there will be one lesson in the classroom with the life model, and one class outside on fieldtrips. During the field trips I will discuss the effects of the passage of time on the city to prepare the way for individual projects in the second part of the semester.

In the second half of the semester, I would like the Advanced students to each develop a personal project based on the theme of ‘passage’ and what that means visibly and socially. For example, a study of the different uses of a building over the centuries; a series based on the traces that time and erosion leave on architecture; three-dimensional and two-dimensional images that convey the effect of restorations on how we record history.

After restoration/conservation does the city actually look and feel the same? Has the passage of time/erosion been stopped, or has it changed the nature of how we measure our lives against decay and erosion? What does it mean to restore a statue that was never finished? If we strip away the tourism and visualize the early Roman city of Florence, where was it? What is left? What are the echoes of that city that came back to us through the digging up of the past at the start of the early Renaissance? The continual cycle of use and re-use (spoglia) of ideas and materials represents not just the Roman or Renaissance city of Florence but the nature of the whole planet; we will use these questions to guide us into a greater awareness of which part of the cycle we are in now, and what are the implications as we go forward.

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 indoors for life drawing. Other classes 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 basic 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 to the double drawing sessions, or individual outdoor/indoor projects.

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 and 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 downstairs and 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.

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, they must firstly submit the relevant proposals, then report to class at the beginning or end of each session to be marked present on the register. Any small studies made outdoors can be enlarged in the drawing room during the week when there are no classes in 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, January 14
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 every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, January 16
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, January 21
Sketchbook and homework review.
Proportions, learning to measure using the pencil. The use of bamboo canes to draw at a distance.
Materials: Newsprint, graphite sticks or 2B/4B pencil. * Bamboo canes provided in class
*1:30 to 4:00pm (Life model posing)

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, January 23
Onsite in Piazza Signoria drawing gesture and contour from the Mannerist sculptures of Giambologna, using proportions established with the bamboo cane and 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, January 28
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 every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, January 30
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, February 4
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 every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, February 6
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, February 11
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 every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, February 13
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, February 18
Sketchbook and homework review.

Distance, in black and white tonal values.
Gesture in black and white chalk. *The basic rules of perspective, foreshortening etc

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 every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, February 20
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 ; architectural and landscape studies using the rules of perspective, spatial depth, foreshortening, background, middle ground, foreground.1 study of landscape in tonal value, using colored chalk.

Week 7

Tuesday, February 25
Sketchbook and homework review.
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)

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, February 27
Sketchbook reviews.
Group critiques.

Homework for Midterm Break
(February 29 – March 8)
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.

Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 29 – March 8)
After the Midterm Break please bear in mind that all Advanced 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) in order to complete the course. The more competent Advanced students who do not wish to continue drawing the figure in the life room may submit proposals for outdoor projects based on architecture and the passage of time in the city of Florence.

   

Week 9

In this five-week period students wishing to work outside may submit proposals, that will be reviewed every week and they must report in at the beginning or at the end of class to be marked present on the register. Any small outdoor studies may be enlarged and clarified in the drawing class.

I would like Advanced students to each develop a personal project based on the theme of ‘passage’ and what that means visibly and socially. For example, a study of the different uses of a building over the centuries; a series based on the traces that time and erosion leave on architecture; three-dimensional and two-dimensional images that convey the effect of restorations on how we record history. ‘Contrasting the wild and ephemeral with the planned and structural’ How do we compress the passage of time - the fourth dimension into the two-dimensional picture plane?

For those wishing to continue working with the model in this five-week period the poses will be of your own choice, and each week there will be a double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday classes, enabling us to see the relationships in a two figure composition and to make longer, more concentrated, and larger studies.
*Different drawing materials may be used each week

Tuesday, March 10
Sketchbook and homework review.

*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, March 12
*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

   

Week 10

Tuesday, March 17
Sketchbook and homework review.
*1:30 to 4.00pm
(double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, March 19
*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

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

Week 11

Tuesday, March 24
Sketchbook and homework review.
*1:30 to 4.00pm
(double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, March 26
*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects
Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

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

Week 12

Tuesday, March 31
Sketchbook and homework review.
*1:30 to 4.00pm
(double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, April 2
*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

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

Week 13

Tuesday, April 7
Sketchbook and homework review.
*1:30 to 4.00pm
(double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

Compulsory Open Drawing every Wednesday 8 -10pm the subject to be decided in class every Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, April 9
*1:30 to 4.00pm (double figure pose using the same two models for both Tuesday and Thursday class) or working on individual projects

Students are strongly recommended to bring to class all those materials for which they have a particular interest.

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

Week 14

Tuesday, April 14
Sketchbook and homework review.
Working on the visual diary.
*1:30 to 4.00pm (Life model posing)

Thursday, April 16
Visual diary.
*1:30 to 4.00pm (Life model posing)

Week 15

Tuesday, April 21
Exam week.

Group critiques

Thursday, April 23
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 Draw , Mariner 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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