1. Review basic drawing concepts such as shape, mass, contour, volume,
space, scale, light, movement and figure/ground.
2. Increase perception and awareness of visual relationships such as
proportion, scale, gesture, positive and negative shape within
the human figure.
3. Develop conceptual and technical skills necessary to represent a
living subject, as opposed to an inanimate object.
4. Master ability to perform analytical operations necessary to draw
the human figure from any vantage point and in any position: using
sight measuring and foreshortening techniques.
5. Study anatomy of the human skeleton and muscular system as they
pertain to drawing the human figure.
6. Consider various qualities of human and artistic expression
which the figure inspires.
7. Practice basic and intermediate drawing skills to achieve these ends.
8. Examine and analyze examples of master figure drawings, historical
9. Exercise ability to make critical aesthetic judgments through class
The primary intent of Art 12 is visual literacy and demonstration of the
ability to accurately and expressively represent the human figure using
specific media in a studio setting. This includes:
1. Comprehension of the concept of gesture and use of techniques of
gesture drawing to express the essential action of the figure.
2. Recognizing various factors relating specifically to the figure such
as mass, axis, proportion and distribution of weight.
3. Ability to recognize and name basic anatomical features of the live
4. Ability to draw from and to identify major anatomical features of
the human skeleton.
5. Ability to analyze the figure using concepts and terms of basic
drawing: shape, contour, value, textural contrasts, volumes, planes,
negative space, etc.
6. Ability to use a variety of drawing techniques to represent the
particulars of the human figure: sketching, modeling, hatching, use of
rubbed tone, use of contour line drawing, use of ink washes, etc.
7. Drawing the figure in relation to props and to the immediate envir-
onment, juxtaposing similar and contrasting shapes, volumes, values,
8. The ability to intelligently use and care for the graphic media and
tools for Art 12 (Pencils, vine and compressed charcoal, contÅ crayon,
chamois cloth, erasers, pens and nibs, brushes and inks.
The scope and sequence of the course will be presented as follows:
1. Through lectures and slide lectures concerning the concepts, elements
and art historical precedents of drawing.
2. Through lecture/demonstrations of the proper use of materials and
3. Through student practice and demonstration of compositional,
expressive and technical concepts.
4. Through evaluative one-on-one discussions with individual students.
5. Through group critique discussions and presentations of in-class
and homework drawings.
Specific areas of study within Art 12 include:
1. Gesture: using techniques of gesture drawing to express the
essential action of the figure.
2. Mass: Simplifying surface details on the figure using techniques of
mass drawing to express the overall weight, girth and shape of the
3. Schematic Drawing: analyzing the major angles and geometric shape
relationships in the figure and using primarily straight lines to plot
4. Quick Study: developing fast drawing approaches to figure drawing
suitable for short poses.
5. Proportions of the Human Figure: studying ideal and real proportions
of the figure using examples from the Italian Renaissance as well as
from actual observation of the live model.
6. Foreshortening: understanding how perspective affects figure drawing.
Use of plumb lines, sighting, measuring, observation of overlapping
edges, value relationships to accurately draw the figure in space.
7. The Figure in the Environment: considering relationships between the
figure, props and the space of the room. Developing more complex comp-
8. Abstraction, Simplification or Distortion of the Human Figure:
studying how 20th Century approaches to figurative art have employed
these techniques to enhance expressive rather than realistic properties.
9. Process: balancing the deliberate and planned, with the accidental
1. Gesture drawing (very brief poses)
2. Negative space
4. Axe (finding and demarking axial directions)
6. Blind contour (without looking at paper), quick contour, cross contour
7. Angular contours using only straight lines
8. Cubic, void, lanar construction
9. Tone as a spatial clue (darker for farther)
10. Modeling with continuous tone; with hatching
11. Light and shadow: revealing lights with eraser on toned paper
12. The figure with props an environment
13. Cropping (selecting a portion of the figure)
14. Distortion, exaggeration, abstraction
15. Three values (using white chalk and charcoal on mid-toned paper
16. Drawing the skeleton next to the figure
17. The figure as landscape
18. The figure in motion
19. Drawing the head, hands, feet
20. Changing the scale: miniscule to life-size
The Natural Way to Draw, by Kimon Nicolaides, Houghton Mifflin Co,
Boston, Copyright 1969, by Anne Nicolades.
Drawing From Life, Clint Brown, Cheryl McLean, Harcourt Brace Jovanovick
College Publishers, Copyright 1992, by Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc.
Figure Drawing, The Structure, Anatomy and Expressive Design of Human
Form, by Nathan Goldstein, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ,
1987, Third Edition.