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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David Brody
ART 121
Seattle Campus


Drawing studied as the means of creating a coherent visual and expressive statement. Development of ability in the fundamentals of drawing: line, tone, and gesture, theory and practice of linear and aerial perspective, and basic concepts of composition. Offered: AWSp.

Class description


The primary goals of this introductory class are:

- Building basic drawing skills - Understanding primary concepts which relate to drawing - Developing an understanding of the grammar or syntax of two-dimensional visual language.

Students should be prepared to move beyond their current knowledge and abilities in drawing and link new skills, concepts, and understandings to creative expression.

The class will concentrate on the use of LINE during weeks 1-5 and VALUE during weeks 6-10. Both will be considered in-depth in their relationship to the following three principal formal foci:

1. COMPOSITION or Pictorial Organization - Choosing what to draw and how to frame this - Composing with gestural line - Composing with shape and negative shape - Exploring the format 's implicit divisions, balances, depths of space, and dynamics - Hierarchies or systems of relative dominance - Figure-environment relationships; object-ground relationships

2. Controlling PROPORTION - Determining amounts, distances, angles, and shapes with accuracy using negative shapes, a standard unit of measure, plumb lines, and grids

3. Controlling SPACE on a two-dimensional surface - Flatness - The illusion of three-dimensional space, planes, and volume (including one-point and two-point linear perspective)

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Classroom sessions will be devoted to drawing, looking at artists' work, discussions, and critiques.

Recommended preparation

This is a beginning course and has no prerequisites.

Class assignments and grading

Drawings will be done both from observation and from the imagination. Many of the latter will make use of synthetic systems (e.g. linear perspective). We will also explore various drawing media (including graphite, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, pen and ink, and brush and ink) for their intrinsic qualities (i.e. value, texture, mark, reflectivity, etc.) and various papers for their intrinsic qualities (rough, smooth, cool, warm, etc.). There will be assignments to be completed outside of class time. An amount of time at least equal to that spent in class should be budgeted for out of class assignments. Outside projects are generally assigned on the second meeting of each week and are due one week later. There will be 7-8 homework assignments over the quarter.

Grades are assessed by reviewing drawings done in class, homework assignments, and overall performance (i.e. preparedness, participation in discussions, degree of improvement). The largest component of the grade (90% or more) is based on the quality of the drawings as they relate to given problems or assignments.

Students are expected to be prepared with sufficient quantities of all materials needed for class work and assignments. All work done over the course of the quarter must be saved and kept in good order for final portfolio review.

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by David Brody
Date: 10/24/2003