Fundamentals of Drawing is a
designed to introduce students to a wide variety of graphic tools and
acquaint them with their broad range of possibilities for
In this course, students will receive an intense exposure to conceptual
and perceptual problems through specific, goal-oriented
Students will become familiar with various ways that the elements and
of design and composition improve their creative work and critical
If you have a documented disability, please see me during my office hours to discuss accommodations.
CART 101 will be taught through basic observation of the still-life, landscape, and figure to investigate the functions of visual perception and apply these functions in the graphic representation of space, perspective, volume, light and shadow, foreshortening, and proportion.
ATTENDANCE AND GRADING
Prompt attendance is expected
Three absences will lower your grade by as much as a full letter
Four absences will result in your failing the class. Three late
will be counted as an absence. Homework assignments must be
on time for a grade. This is particularly important due to the
critiques. It is unfair to the students who do show up with work,
as they do not benefit from the group discussion. In some
students may be allowed to re-do a homework assignment. If you
a homework assignment, it is still required for your final portfolio.
Grading is as follows:
A- Excellent. Work shows excellent ability, creativity, and demonstrates a superior effort.
B- Above average. Work shows exceptional ability and interest.
C- Average. Work shows effort.
D- Below average. Work uninteresting and obviously resulting from little effort.
I- Incomplete. This option is only available by the student's request. There must be a compelling, documented reason why the student is unable to finish the final class assignments on time.
W- Withdrawal. This option is only available at the student's request. A withdrawal form, available in the Advisement Center, must be signed by the instructor and then brought to the registrar's before the semester deadline.
The Sketchbook is to be kept as a requirement of the course. Try to get in the habit of using your sketchbook regularly for on-sight studies, memory drawings, and notations of ideas for future drawings. Write notes to yourself. Let this notebook be your free form expression. Much of this class is "academic" and traditional, but in your sketchbook, you can do whatever you want. Explore new ways of drawing and expressing yourself. Many artists make their best work in their sketchbook. Don't hold back. Sketchbooks will be graded periodically.
The Portfolio should
contain 1) sections
for class work with long and short studies separated, 2) homework, and
3) the final project. The work must be neatly cut from pads and
Major drawings should be divided by blank sheets of newsprint.
Homework assignments will revolve around techniques and materials introduced in class. The assignments will be given at the end of each class. Generally the assignments will be a three hour drawing (at least). All homework will be done on good paper (18"x24") unless otherwise noted. Shorter drawing can be done on the drawing paper. Bring homework to class.
Each student must choose a motif on which they will base all homework assignments. Examples may be self-portrait, still life, interiors, etc. Choose a flexible enough subject that will sustain your interest for the entire semester. You must also work from observation. No imaginary motifs. You may want to be specific. For example, instead of using the generic "still life" as a motif, you might opt for "shoes" or "plastic toys" or "mechanical devices." You must be able to observe your motif for long periods of time.
Each class will begin with a critique of the homework assignment. Students will hang their work on the wall for class discussion. Your participation is part of your grade, and you might even find that your constructive opinions would help your classmates.
Materials for Fundamentals of Drawing.
-staedtler mars plastic eraser
-alphacolor 12 square char-kole black (soft compressed charcoal)
-vine charcoal (soft big cigar shaped)
-pencils: 4B, 6B, H,
-Charcoal pencils: 2B, 6B
-ball point (black)
-a portfolio bigger than the pads of paper
-a tote box (fishing tackle box)
-a drawing board (masonite board) this is optional for you to use at home
-a chamois cloth
-work shirt or apron
Other materials may be required
course of the semester. Many of these items can be inexpensively
purchased at a hardware store. You can find all your art supplies
at Pearl Paint on Rt17 north near Paramus or on Canal St. NYC.
your student id for a small discount.
Class 1 INTRODUCTION
Review syllabus and supply list.
For the remainder of class, show slides of examples of the different techniques to be taught in class. Write the artist's names for future reference.
homework:Go to library and look up some of the artists shown in class. Choose one drawing you think is particularly effective and sketch it in your sketchbook, noting the name of the work and the artist. Note any other observations you make about the works you see. Bring to the next class. Buy all supplies. Bring to next class.
Materials: Newsprint, charcoal, soft pencil, charcoal pencil, felt marker
A gesture is a quick, all-encompassing overview of forms in their wholeness. The gestural approach to drawing is actually an exercise in seeing--the hand duplicates the motion of the eye.
Stand while drawing
Use paper at least 18x24
Use large arm movements
Scan the subject before you begin
Be aware that the hand duplicates eye movement
Keep drawing tool in constant contact with the paper
Avoid outlines! Draw the essence of the form.
Using india ink
Using flat side of charcoal
Using charcoal pencil
Using soft pencil
The pressure you apply to the drawing tool is important. Use it to emphasis weight, tension, pressure, or an exaggerated shape. Vary line width.
3)Mass and Line Gestures
Begin with either mass or line, then alternate between the two. Define all of the objects you see as if they are transparent. Keep the drawing flexible and fresh, capable of change. Fill the space of the page. Break the borders of the paper.
4)Scribble Line Gestures
The scribble line gesture uses a tighter network of line than the preceding exercises. The ball-point pen and marker build volume by using multiple overlapping lines to create density. The scribbles begin at the center of the object and work out. The drawing tool constantly moves around the paper, defining, adjusting, and building the objects.
Using charcoal and kneaded erasure
The sustained gesture describes what an object is doing as well as what it looks like. It begins as before, with a quick, lightly drawn gesture of the overall composition. Then gradually the drawing is built up, the artist making corrections fluidly. Pause and assess the accuracy of your drawing. Make changes fearlessly. (Use the chamois) Avoid making slow constricted marks.
homework: Do 10 small self-portraits using the scribble method with ball point pen on a sheet of drawing paper. Do 2 self-portraits using sustained gesture with charcoal on charcoal paper. This should take at least three hours.
Certain mechanical aids and procedures are useful in determining relationships of size and shape. Although the ultimate goal is to develop eye/hand coordination, the beginning artist can use these tools to help ascertain correct angles and shape relationships.
1)Close one eye and "sight" along a straight edge (pencil). Hold the pencil at arm's length. Held in a vertical position, the pencil serves as a plumb line to determine vertical angles.
Held in a true horizontal
position, a pencil
helps to determine horizontal alignments.
Materials needed: 2B pencil, eraser, 18x24 paper
Draw a wooden chair placed in a number of different position in front of you. Use the pencil to sight major vertical and horizontal points. Then add the secondary lines.
2)Organizational Line Drawing
Organizational line provides the framework for the drawing. This can be compared to iron girders of a building.
-Begin with horizontal and vertical lines, both actual and implied; add diagonals last
-Establish heights and widths of all objects through sighting
-allow lines to penetrate through objects, establishing relationships to other objects
-correct basic shapes
-check proportion, relative heights, widths
-when the proportions are established, darken some of the forms, establishing their exact shape.
The pencil as a measuring devices can
be an aid
in comparing relative sizes. Holding a pencil straight out, allow
the tip to optically touch one edge of an object while your thumb nail
marks the other end of the object. Then, keeping your thumb in
move the pencil to compare the size to another object in the still life.
Find an object in the still life. Measure it then measure all other objects in relation to it. (X2, X3, X1/2) How accurate are your drawings? You will quickly learn to compare sizes with your eye, but use the pencil to check your drawings.
Distances between objects can also be determined by this sighting method.
homework: Make 3 18x24 drawings of your motif using the techniques discussed in class. Begin with several gestural studies to loosen up, then spend approx. 1 hour on each drawing. This is about line and accuracy. NO SHADING! Use drawing paper. Bring cardboard to next class.
Materials needed: 2B pencil, charcoal, eraser, newsprint pad.
Cut two "L"s 4"x5" from mat board or cardboard. Arrange them in an overlap to form a window. Secure with paper clips.
This view finder may be adjusted to
suit the proportions
of your paper. This window represents the piece of drawing paper.
Do 5 organizational line drawings. Critique.
Using the view finder, reframe the observed still life and draw the composition again. This time the vertical and horizontal edges of the view finder will take the place of the "sighting" tool.
Do several small drawings using the view finder. Pick unusual and varied compositions (close-ups, angles, etc.) Remember to consider the negative space.
materials: 4B pencil, charcoal, erasers, newsprint pad, one sheet good paper
Using the view finder focus on one
fills as much of the window as possible. Let the object appear to
touch the edges of the view finder. Notice the shapes created by
the negative space, the background. Make several drawings the negative
space. Notice how for every line you draw, you define not only an
but also the shape (negative space) surrounding it. Seeing the
space accurately is another way the check your drawings. Make
freely. Use the eraser both to eliminate, adjust, and to
Your erasures actually add dimension and interest to your drawing by
a history of your effort.
homework: Make 3 half hour
strathmore) of your motif using "sighting," negative space and the view
finder methods. Prepare for these drawings with thumbnail
in your sketchbook. Think about composition! Choose one to
work up on good paper into a finished drawing that is as close to the
objects as possible. Bring sketchbook to next class to turn in.
Draw using all that you have learned so far. Gestures, then longer sessions. Sketchbooks reviewed during class.
homework: Set up a still life with a wide variety of objects in it. Make one three hour drawing from it. Use your motif if possible. (still no shading) Review the next few pages about perspective.
The following information will be demonstrated through sketches and handouts in class.
Perspective is a modern convention of representing on a two dimensional surface (paper) three dimensional objects as they recede into space. It is one way of representing space. Objects appear smaller relative to their distance from the viewer, and there are all sorts of ways of plotting size using perspective. This is a visual aid, not a substitute for visual acuity. Perhaps the most important aspect to consider when drawing objects in perspective is the horizon line.
Become familiar with these terms:
Eye Level (horizon line)
Point of View
One point perspective
Two point perspective
Multiple point perspective
FUNDAMENTALS OF PERSPECTIVE
1) Objects appear smaller as they go back from the observer
2) Foreshortening-Lines and surfaces are their largest closest to the picture plane.
3) Convergence-Lines or edges that are parallel appear to come together (converge) as they recede from the picture plane.
4) All vertical lines are parallel when the observer has a horizon in view, not looking up or down.
Picture plane-is the "window" of your paper, and therefore the imaginary plane that frames what you choose to observe. It is always parallel to your face.
Vanishing Point-where parallel lines converge. Regardless of direction, each set of parallel lines will converge toward its own vanishing point. All horizontal lines converge to a single horizontal vanishing line AT EYE LEVEL. Think of the eye level. The convergence of lines, foreshortening, etc must be determined by careful observation. The only exception: lines and planes parallel to the picture plane never converge. (one point persp)
Horizon Line- is always on a horizontal plane with the viewers eyes. It is low if the observer is looking up. It is about midway on the sheet is the viewer is looking straight out. It is high on the paper if the observer is looking down.
One Point Perspective:
When the subject
is parallel to the picture plane, it's vanishing point must be in the
of the picture.
Two point perspective: When
not parallel to the picture plane, they converge to the left and right.
The following concept is the basis for most of the aids employed in finding perspective depths:
The diagonals of any square or rectangle will always intersect at the exact center of the figure.
This applies to planes drawn in perspective also.
To draw equally spaced receding objects
posts),1) sketch two of them between the desires top and bottom guide
leading to their vanishing point.2)draw diagonals between 1 and 2 to
the midpoint. A horizontal line through this point gives us
of 1 and 2 and all similar verticles. (see class handouts)
3)draw diagonals from A through
midpoint of B
to locate C. Since the diagonals place B exactly midway between A
and C, the location of C must be correct. All subsequent
verticles are located by the same method.
Circles and Cylinders:
Circles will foreshorten and appear as ellipses except when parallel the observer's face.
Circles in a square touch at four points. You can use the rules of perspective to place circles by defining the square where they are located.
homework: Invent a world
the imagination using the rules of perspective. Use architectural
elements like stairways, pillars, arches, and buildings. Be
and have fun.
Continuous Line Drawing
Materials Needed: pencil, felt-tipped marker, newsprint pad, one sheet of good paper, erasers
The line in a continuous line drawing is unbroken from beginning to end. Draw through forms as if they were transparent. Vary the weight of the line, pressing harder where you see shadow or weight or where the form turns in space. Variation in line becomes line quality.
long drawing session
A contour line is a single, clean, incisive line which defines edges. A contour is different than an outline because it defines planar changes, value edges, and color.
Do a blind contour drawing. This is a continuous line drawing made without looking at the page. This develops your hand/eye coordination and concentration. Start with a quick gestural sketch lightly drawn in then slowly and continuously follow the forms with your eyes as the pencil describes them on the paper. Again use pressure to describe weight, shadow, and curve. Remember you are not drawing the outline of the objects, but their contour.
homework: one three hour contour
of your motif. Think about line quality as well as capturing your
Materials: Charcoal, drawing paper
Be prepared to work outside. We
ways to create the illusion of space on a 2D surface at the beginning
We will be working with charcoal from now on. Bring charcoal paper and one sheet of good paper to each class.
Value is the gradation from light to
a form represented in this class through white to black. Separate
color from value. By squinting your eyes while observing an
you will see it more in value than in color.
homework: Using good paper, make
drawing of your motif using as wide a variety of value as
Arrange two lamps on either side of your set up. Make a second
drawing using a constricted variety of tones--white, black and a middle
Achieving value through subtraction
materials: Arches white cold press, Rives BFK or other good paper, soft compressed charcoal
Tone the paper as dark as possible by
even tone of charcoal over a full sheet of white paper. Use soft
charcoal or crushed compressed charcoal.
Draw the light. Lift out the charcoal with a kneaded eraser and chamois. Notice how some objects loose their defining outlines. Work generally, creating larger massed forms and interesting shapes.
Tone your second sheet to an even middle value. Using both your eraser and your charcoal, draw both the lighter values and the darker ones. Consider how objects further away from the viewer become more alike in value. Notice how subtle marks can differentiate the ground of your page from a form.
homework: Cover one sheet of Arches with a ground value of your choosing. Using the techniques discussed in class, draw your motif. Make this as highly finished as possible.
Materials:char-kole black compressed charcoal, hot press rag paper or charcoal paper
Make a drawing using only additive marks from the wide edge of the charcoal. Begin with a simple organizational line drawing to establish accuracy and good composition, then slowly build up a rich and varied drawing. When you see white in the still life, allow the white color of your paper to show through untouched. When you see black, you will have none of the paper showing through. Think about Seurat's work. Make no erasure marks.
homework: Draw a room interior.
composition interesting in terms of light and space. Apply what we have
learned about perspective and value. Use charcoal paper.
The biggest advantage and handicap to drawing the figure is psychological. Approach this form as you have approached every object you have drawn this semester. Integrate all you have learned thus far. At times you will be showed general proportions of the figure. These measurements are, at best, a guide. The most important aspects of drawing the figure is careful observation. An understanding of anatomy helps you decipher the overload of information the figure presents. Think in terms of simple shapes and light and dark.
materials: good paper, charcoal, eraser, and stumps.
Draw the model including just the head and shoulders. Begin with a few gesture drawings, then proceed to four or five thumbnail sketches, elaborating on the one you find most interesting. As always, begin your large drawing with general, light lines, gradually building to specifics. Work in a quick, flexible manner that keeps your lines fresh. Make corrections as you go.
Repeat the same procedure, except choose a different view of the model.
homework: Draw a self-portrait
paper. Spend at least three hours on this drawing, bring it to as
high a finish as you can. Begin by doing a series in you
of different poses. Place the mirror at unusual angles.
the lighting dramatic. Be creative in your choices. When
find one you think will work, begin the large (18x24) version. Bring
to next class.
Your final project will
be turned in with your portfolio and can be shown at the Final Critique
along with your other work. Choose two subjects that are
to you. These subjects can deal with issues not discussed in
however be sure you can fulfill the goal of the assignments--namely, to
demonstrate your drawing ability and visual acuity. On good paper, make
two finished drawings of the subjects. Have one drawing be
value, concentrating on expressive line quality. Have the other
convey light as it falls across a form; you'll be concentrating on
readable volumes. These two drawings will require a sustained
on your part. You can feasibly work on each one for six+
You be the judge. Remember, a drawing can also be
I recommend using either Arches or Stonehenge.