Course Overview


ARTS 2323 Life Drawing I 
Detailed study of the human form. Emphasis on rendering, mood, expression, and skeletal and muscular structure.

PREREQUISITES: ARTS 1316 Drawing I or departmental approval

3. Required Texts/Materials:

Required Text:   The Human Figure by David K. Rubens

Suggested Reading:

Constructive Anatomy by George Bridgman
Bridgman’s Life Drawing, by George Bridgman
Figure Drawing by Nathan Goldstein

The Human Figure, by David K. Rubens is available in the ACC bookstore on the ground floor of building 4000.
The Library is on the second floor of building 1000 at NRG. It has a fairly good collection of art and anatomy books.

I would recommend visiting the downtown branch of the Austin Public Library, or the UT Fine Art Library, for a really in depth collection of art books.




1. Tackle box
2. Charcoal – (hard, soft, medium)
3. Charcoal paper – white and gray
4. Drawing board
5. Graphite pencils – 3B, 4B, 5B,6B, powdered graphite
6. Kneaded eraser (large)
7. Chamois (optional)
8. Single edged razor blade (optional)
9. Hand pencil sharpener
10. Conte crayons – black and white, brown optional
11. One pad 18" x 24" Strathmore drawing paper, white
12. One pad 18" x 24" newsprint
13. An assortment of markers, fine to medium point, permanent and water soluble
14. Spray fixative
15. Watercolor brush, Chinese bamboo
16. Water container
17. Water soluble drawing ink
18. Drawing pen (optional)
19. Sharpened stick
20. Clamps for holding paper
21. Masking tape (optional)
22. Portfolio, cardboard


4. SCANs Competencies (not applicable)

5. Instructional Methodology

Teaching will be done by the following methods:

1. Demonstration – The instructor will demonstrate concepts and technique by drawing in front of the class..
2. Hands on teaching – The instructor will make the rounds, working with each student, giving constructive criticism, and doing individual demonstrations.
3. Discussion – The instructor will illustrate the technical and expressive aspects of life drawing by showing examples of his own work, and the work of other artists. Students will be encouraged to participate in group discussions and critiques as time allows.
4. Individual Discussion – The instructor will guide students individually by giving technical advice and suggested reading and research which would benefit individual students.
5. To alternate a gestalt, gestural approach to life drawing with a methodical approach, this is to insure that the student will draw with energy and accuracy


6. Course Rationale

The purpose of Life Drawing I is to provide each student with specific drawing media experiences and to build basic perceptual skills in terms of drawing from the human figure. The student will review basic knowledge of the elements of art: line, value, shape/volume, texture and color to lead to their deliberate manipulation for different types of spatial illusion, compositions, and expressive meaning.

The human body is marvelously complex and expressive. Excellent figure drawings may Be either very involved or very simple and always convey a sense that the represented form is alive. This course is directed towards giving the student a structured approach to drawing the human figure ,which will serve as a foundation for his or her personal interpretive approach.

Common Course Objectives

· Students will demonstrate knowledge of the bone structure of the human skeleton and the body’s muscle structure by drawing and by quizzes on the nomenclature of anatomy.
· Students will be able to draw the human figure accurately displaying normative proportional relationships of the body’s parts to the whole.
· Students will depict the figure in a variety of poses using foreshortening (linear perspective).
· Students will draw the figure so that the illusion of volume is achieved through a variety of shading techniques, such as, graduated continuous tones, cross contour lines, and cross hatching.
· Students will convey gesture, the illusion of expressive movement, when drawing the figure spontaneously in very brief periods of time.
· Students will simplify, exaggerate, or distort visual elements and normative proportions to interpret expressive qualities of the figure.
· Students will evoke mood through the expressive use of drawing materials.
· Students will present their completed work in a professional manner.

v Objectives/Outcomes established by the instructor:

Students will alternate gesture drawings with long methodical studies . The aim is to enable the student to draw spontaneously, energetically and accurately



8. Course Evaluation/Grading System   

All grading will be done on the point system:

Drawing assignments submitted for grading will be evaluated as follows:

Understanding of concept and objective of the assignment 10 points
Use of tools and technique 30 points
Accuracy of human structure and proportions 30 points
Three dimensional illusion and foreshortening 10 points
Expressive qualities of drawing:
-good line quality
-life like quality
10 points
Work performance in class 10 points

Work performance in class is based on the instructor’s observation and record of the student’s personal performance in the following areas:

1. Attitude, demeanor – courteous, respectful, teachable, considerate of other students’ needs for concentration
2. Attendance, punctuality, and handing in work on time.
3. Participation in class projects and discussions.
4. Conduct – Helping to create an atmosphere conducive to creativity and keeping the workspace neat.

Work will be handed in for evaluation three times during the semester. In addition three anatomy tests will be given and two pages of hand studies and two pages of foot studies will be submitted for grading

The Final grade will consist of:
All in class work                                             75%
Anatomy tests and studies of hands and feet   25%


9. Course Policies:

· Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes. If a student misses class for any reason, he or she is responsible for making up the work missed in class. After three absences the instructor may withdraw a student from class. Absences do lower the grade. Attendance will be taken ten minutes after class begins. Three late arrivals equal one absence.

· Withdrawal

After three absences, the instructor may withdraw the student. The instructor may withdraw the student or suggest to the student that he withdraw for the following reasons:
If the student falls far behind in the exercises, for any reason
If there is an extreme language barrier between student and instructor
If the instructor finds that the student has insufficient understanding of the course prerequisite.

· Incomplete

I do not give incompletes