Drawing instruction is available to students of all experience levels.
Drawing: Structural Space, Structural Bodies
This course focuses on structural drawing with the goal of assisting students to develop the ability of careful observation to respond to their surroundings. Concentrating on drawing from direct observation, this course focuses on spacial structures and the structure of the human figure. Through diverse media and techniques students will expand their ability to perceive and respond to the physical and conceptual environment in which they find themselves. We will investigate rendering space, the structure of the figure, the figure in space, and constructing non-static scenes. In-class exercises, weekly critiques, take-home projects, short writing assignments, and presentations by visiting artists will combine to challenge and strengthen students’ understanding of art’s capacity for visual communication. Verisimilitude is not our main end goal, but students will be challenged to draw from careful observation in order to hone their perceptual skills and command of the media.
The class meets twice weekly. Our evening sessions will be devoted to studying the human form, working with life models. We will explore anatomy, the history of figurative art, and how movement and psychology can be imbued in the depiction of the human figure. Our mid-day sessions will use drawing as a means to explore the city of Siena, its spaces and its artwork.
Siena is a dynamic and complex environment in which to draw, rich with multifaceted physical and social structures. This course will make every effort to capitalize on this inspiring setting through constant excursions around the city. Although each class will first meet in the studio, nearly every Wednesday we will then be venturing out into the city, using drawing as a means to explore a variety of settings, subjects, vantage points, and works of art. Excursions will include trips to the Pinacoteca, Santa Maria della Scala, Palazzo Pubblico, and the Muso Fisiocritici. Regular presentations on historic and contemporary artists and theoreticians will further enrich students’ understanding of the field of drawing.
Two long-term projects are completed during the course of the semester: “Imaginative Architectural Space,” (due at mid-term) and “Siena Drawing Project” (due for the end-of-semester exhibition) In these projects, students are asked to focus on both the technical & conceptual issues in drawing, and regular critiques are held to evaluate students’ work on these projects. Students are also asked to keep a small sketchbook with them throughout the semester & to make sketching part of their daily experience in Siena & in their travels.
Art of the Figure:
This one-evening per week course focuses on creating drawings working from live models. Work from the model will be supplemented by lectures in anatomy, proportions, and perspective to inform students' understanding of the structure of the human form. Exercises will investigate the body in motion, the body in space, and use of different drawing materials. The class will also engage in discussions regarding ongoing conversations regarding the theoretical and political implications of the use of the human form in art, both in an art-historical and contemporary context.
Drawing Independent Study:
The Drawing Independent Study is designed to be an in-depth artistic exploration with the goal of producing a substantive portfolio of work during the course of the semester which demonstrates considerable growth in the student’s understanding of the conceptual and technical possibilities possible within the medium of drawing. All students are challenged to develop their own thematic focus for their independent study, and to challenge themselves to broaden their understanding of this focus.
Students are challenged to explore not only a particular subject, but also to explore why that subject is of interest to them, and what they wish to communicate about that subject.
Students are also challenged to consider the impact their art has on their viewers, and how their art can effectively communicate their ideas. This clarity of artistic intent relies on the student’s technical abilities to control the medium of drawing. During their artistic explorations, students are expected to expand upon both their technical ability as well as their conceptual understanding of themes relating to their chosen subject.
Students are expected to maintain a focused engagement with the ongoing development of their drawing projects throughout the semester. At the same time, artistic experimentation is highly encouraged. Students are not expected to map out a precise, formulaic project plan at the outset of the semester. Rather, they are encouraged to remain open to new ideas or directions that will emerge through the process of their work during the course of the semester. Students are expected to maintain a balance between this openness to new ideas & directions and a strong commitment to the overall focus of their chosen project.
Students will meet on a weekly basis with their independent study advisor, with presentations/critiques on the progression of their projects. The student and advisor will also choose from a variety of activities including:
- a presentation by the advisor on topics related to the student’s work.
- going on drawing excursions to local museums or other locations.
- visiting the studios of local artists who employ drawing in their work, or other locations which may relate to the theme of the student’s independent study.
- working on drawings together at the school’s studio, addressing technical or conceptual topics relating to the student’s portfolio development.
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