Fundamentals of Drawing
This course aims to systematically set out the basic principles of drawing for either the very beginner or lay intermediate student. Each week will progressively build upon the last. Starting with the most elementary geometric shapes, the course aims to gradually introduce the student to more complex forms and challenges within the process of learning to draw. The course is well suited to anyone who has wanted a solid grounding in the basic elements of drawing.
Geometry and Perspective We will start by drawing basic shapes, such as circles and squares; followed by spheres, cubes and cylinders. Having observed these shapes, we will attempt to draw them in relation to perspectival space and the directional fall of light. We will end by examining how more complex forms can be understood in terms of these basic shapes.
Building on the knowledge gained from employing the structure of basic shapes to express more complex forms, we will make a copy of a lithograph from the late Nineteenth Century drawing course of Charles Bargue. This classic drawing course was used as a common learning aid by such artists as the French Post-Impressionist painters Van Gogh and Seurat.
Drapery: We will examine how folds fall on drapery. Their cylindrical shape. How their form is suggested by light. A basic ink wash will be employed to suggest the comparative light and darkness of the cloths form.
Still Life with organic and inorganic objects: Working on coloured paper, this class will introduce the student to the fundamentals of composing objects. We will examine tonal values, the role of both linear and aerial perspective, scale, and the direction of shapes. In addition, we will consider the historical function of a still life, as a vanitas, and how a conscious awareness of this helps us avoid creating an image that is little more than a dry formulaic exercise in composition.
Still Life and Colour: Continuing on from the previous week, this class will introduce colour into the completed still life drawing. So-called “warm” and “cool” values will be addressed, as will the use of a coloured paper ground to suggest a mid tone in the objects drawn.
Luca Cambiaso and the Figure as basic geometric forms: In the first hour we will make a copy of the Genoese painter Luca Cambiaso’s drawing of very basic cubic figures on watercolour paper. A sepia wash will be used to suggest the shadow planes on our copy. Students will then take short turns posing, and we will attempt to see the figure in terms of the same basic cubic and cylindrical shapes.
Antique Cast Drawing: A copy of an antique cast will be set up to draw. In this final class we will build upon the structural exercises from the week before while addressing the human form in more detail. The benefits of inanimate cast figures as aids to drawing the human figure will also be discussed.
PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Gain a sound structural approach to drawing objects.
- Accurately conceive of objects in relation to linear perspective.
- Conceive of gradations of light and dark as contingent to an understanding and conceptualisation of structure and form.
- Employ a range of materials to suggest direction, contour, value and chroma.
- Utilise coloured chalks and ink washes in relation to varying paper grounds.
Note: Only the first four materials are initially required
- Pencils 2H, F
- Kneadable Eraser
- Razor blade for sharpening
- A3 sketch book
- Box of chalk pastels
- Two paper stumps
- Coloured buff or/and brown or grey paper (Ask the tutor about this in class)
- Sepia ink
- Medium sized water colour synthetic sable brush.
- Watercolour paper.