The Principles of Life Drawing from the Masters
This course seeks to systematically outline and guide you through, some of the fundamental principles that lead to a comprehensive proficiency for drawing the human figure. In the space of seven weeks, it summarises skills that could be repetitiously applied in a three to five year life drawing course; thus giving the student the necessary tools in a short time, to build on principles they can practice and repeat over a life time.
Each week introduces the student to a new aspect of competent figure drawing. Included with this is a brief analysis of human anatomy, starting with the major masses of the skeleton and concluding with an analysis of each of the major muscle groups of the human body.
The course also lays a strong emphasis on learning from the drawings of the Old Masters. Students will be assigned a weekly drawing(s) to copy that relates to a specific principle studied during class. Furthermore, the life model’s pose - and where necessary lighting - will be set up to mirror the action in a drawing studied, in order to further aid the student in conceptualising its principles in the empirically observed figure.
- Week 1. Luca Cambiaso (1527 – 1585) – the figure as basic line and structure.
- Week 2. Luca Cambiaso (1527 – 1585) – the figure as line and structure.
- Week 3. Fundamental gesture and action
- Week 4. Tintoretto (1518 – 1594) - Gesture and action with basic anatomical masses, landmarks and limited convexed contours
- Week 5. Raphael Sanzio (1483 – 1520) – Basic anatomy and the figure as line and contour
- Week 6. Ludovico Cardi, il Cigoli (1559 – 1613) – Basic modelling and shadow masses
- Week 7. Andrea Sacchi (1599 – 1661) - The figure as convexed forms, basic shadow masses and modelling at the plane break.
Planned Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Identify how the placement of the models weight coincides with the figures action.
- Begin to understand and grasp the processes of conceptualising, selecting and creatively inventing from the figure.
- Learning how to treat the figure as a “mannequin” rather than a static object to mindlessly copy and reproduce.
- The ability to apply a basic knowledge of human anatomy to figure drawing, including the basic skeletal masses of the figure and muscle groups.
- Understand the basic principles of suggesting form with line alone.
- Making use of and/or inventing a light source to model form.
- Being able to identify techniques and make use of Old Masters drawings within a contemporary drawing practice.
Drawing materials required:
- Either charcoal, H, HB, B pencil, oil based hard red or black chalk pencil.
- Kneadable eraser and razor blade / sharpener
- A3 sketch book
- Two metal paper clips