AHSE 2131 Responsive Drawing and Visual Thinking

It is both a skill and an art to effectively represent three-dimensional objects from nature or in the “mind’s eye” on a two-dimensional surface in a way that is believable and aesthetically pleasing.  Furthermore, drawing can be a way to advance one’s thinking about a particular problem, such as a design idea. Students in this course will make significant strides towards gaining freehand drawing skills, enhance their ability to observe from nature, improve their visual thinking skills, and produce works of art on paper. Like learning a language where grammar and syntax is key to the ability to express thoughts, the imagination can be liberated, and ideas committed to paper in an effective way once drawing fundamentals become internalized. This is a major goal. Drawing subjects include life models, still-life compositions, and on-site environmental drawing using graphite, charcoal, and conté. Participants will gain insight and appreciation for the works of the great masters of drawing, from history and in the present, by critical examination and discussion of selected works.  Students will also gain experience with verbal communication by participation in group critiques of fellow students’ work and by effectively explaining their work to peers.  Anyone can learn to draw realistically and this course welcomes people who have never taken a drawing course before. Assessment will be measured by improvement based on weekly homework assignments, classroom work, and two final major drawing projects.

The emphasis is on realistic depiction as compared to non-objective abstraction. Students will begin with basic exercises in drawing and rapidly move to more complex intensive drawing experiences. Approximately one-third of the classroom time will be used for drawing from a life model. Class discussion and sketchbook homework assignments will be an essential element in the learning process. Two major projects provide an opportunity to demonstrate learning at the end of the course. One project is a self-portrait that is compared to a self-portrait drawing completed on day one of the course and a second project that is an exploration in detail of an organic or inorganic object that is selected by each student.

Credits: 4AHS

Usually Offered: Fall or Spring