Drawing Curriculum

Curriculum

YEAR ONE | Fall Semester

+
D501 | Figure Drawing I Intensive

This course is designed to provide students concentrating in drawing an experience ranging from thoughtful observation of the posed model, to the exploration of sculptural plastic form of casts, to self-directed compositional drawings as vigorous independent works of art. Figure Drawing Intensive addresses drawing principles related to representing and composing the figure in pictorial space, clearly situated on a foreshortened ground plane. Emphasis is placed on the body’s underlying geometry and anatomical structure. Students will also draw from casts in the Academy’s collection to reinforce drawing comprehension and skills. Instruction will stress the integration of the lessons from cast drawing and life drawing. As an essential part of this course, students will be engaged throughout the semester on independent work to explore and extend the forms, techniques, content and possibilities of drawing. Regular critique sessions are designed to inform and provide positive support to this self-directed work.

3 Credits

+
A501 | Artistic Anatomy I: Structural Anatomy

This course provides instruction in the perceptual and conceptual means needed to construct the human figure in two or three dimensions from the model or from memory. It begins by examining the body’s structure through the study of the mechanics of motion, surface form and human anatomy. The instructor emphasizes the proportions of the skeleton, the major body masses and the movement potential in the joints. Students construct simplified male and female figures in plastilene, first conceived as a series of blocks and then refined into more realistic forms.

+
H501 | Art & Culture Seminar I: 1860-1960

The Art & Culture sequence offers a challenging and advanced scheme of study and explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art and reflect on the human figure’s enduring role. Invigorated by current research, the two-semester program encourages students to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory inter-relate. It aims to expand the students’ knowledge of contemporary artistic developments as well as to deepen understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual art. The series draws upon the fields of art history, philosophy, museology, literary theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies in addressing the critical challenges posed by artistic practice. Classes prepare students to engage in studio practice within a broader context and allows them to fully engage in an ongoing cultural discourse.

Students will study the theory that surrounds critical movements of early Modernism through Minimalism and conceptual art of the 1960’s. The role of representation, figuration, and abstraction within the attendant cultural arena will allow students a broad base for understanding the relationship of recent history to contemporary concerns in art.

3 Credits

+
H503 | History & Theory of Composition I

This course investigates historical modalities and methods of compositional construction in Western figurative art from Classicism to early Modernism. The essential topics covered are: forms of spatial construction and illusion, the relationship of content to image, and the relationship of image construction to form and compositional content in various social and historical contexts. The aim is to give students an understanding of the possibilities and strategies of compositional realization, and instruction in the application of these strategies to their own ideas through studio work and class assignments.

3 Credits

+
D504 | Cast Drawing

Drawing from casts represents a quintessential practice within the academic curriculum. The Academy’s cast collection is a treasured repository of sculptural forms from Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. As examples of great sculptural art, the casts reward close study with insights into how reality is abstracted, simplified, clarified and translated into artistic form. In addition to careful study of the full-size casts, particular attention is directed toward heads, facial features, hands, feet and drapery. Artistic theories of light and shade are presented. Both linear and dimensional depictions of sculptural form are extensively explored.

3 Credits

YEAR ONE | Spring Semester

+
D502 | Figure Drawing II

This course emphasizes proportional accuracy, foreshortening, detail-mass relationships and the use of light and shadow to draw the figure as a convincing volumetric and spatial form. It integrates the conceptual geometricized model presented in Figure Drawing I (D101) with the perceptual, naturalistic concerns presented by the live model. Long poses allow the student to develop drawings that reflect a more complete realization of the human form.

3 Credits

+
H504 | Theory and Practice of Composition II

This course begins where History of Composition and Design I ends. Beginning with the birth of Modernism, it takes students through the various strategies of representing form and content from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century, covering such movements as Modernism, post-Modernism, Surrealism, Conceptual Art, Pop Art, Expressionism and Realism. Formal aspects and compositional strategies will be considered and evaluated in their social and political contexts. Relationships of past art to the development of contemporary figurative art will be addressed.

3 Credits

+
D505 | Perspective

This course addresses theoretical and applied perspective in order to build spatial environments within artworks. Artificial perspective is applied in both one-point and two-point modes. Observational tactics of sighting are applied to on-site perspective problems, including shadows and reflections. Additionally, historical theories on perspective are addressed with a particular focus on methods of representation and visual phenomena. Students are encouraged to examine issues and methods of perspective in the context of their own pictorial concerns.

3 Credits

+
A502 | Artistic Anatomy II: Anatomical Drawing

The goal of this course is to improve the student’s powers of observation by providing a basic understanding of the human body’s underlying structures and to delineate strategies for representing those forms two-dimensionally. Emphasis is placed on anatomy (skeletal structure, muscular origins and insertions, and surface forms) and proportion. Ample time is given to students to work directly from the model. Focus is also placed upon the variety of the human form as represented by artists both historical and contemporary.

3 Credits

+
Elective

Elective

3 Credits

In the second semester, students select one elective course based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select an elective outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.

YEAR TWO | Fall Semester

+
D 603 | Figure Drawing III

The emphasis of this course is on the composition of figures in pictorial space from the imagination. Gesture studies, memory, imagination and class poses are used as sources for figures, which are developed and/or modified for formal and expressive reasons. The single figure is treated as the primary compositional element. Methods of organizing volumetrically conceived bodies in space are explored by studying the drawings of past masters. Students learn to modify existing lighting conditions, as well as to invent imaginary light sources.

3 Credits

+
H602 | Art & Culture II, 1960 to Present, The Birth of Modernism and its Aftermath

The Art & Culture sequence offers a challenging and advanced scheme of study and explores a range of theoretical perspectives that shape attitudes towards visual art and reflect on the human figure’s enduring role. Invigorated by current research, the two-semester program encourages students to explore conceptually and creatively the ways in which contemporary artistic practice and critical theory inter-relate. It aims to expand the students’ knowledge of contemporary artistic developments as well as to deepen understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of academic discourses on visual art. The series draws upon the fields of art history, philosophy, museology, literary theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies in addressing the critical challenges posed by artistic practice. Classes prepare students to engage in studio practice within a broader context and allows them to fully engage in an ongoing cultural discourse.

Seminar II addresses critical theory, modernist paradigms and the contemporary environment. A research paper that will be developed and graded as a component of the MFA Thesis II course is required. The paper should make a convincing argument for the MFA Thesis by citing relevant sources in philosophy, culture and artworks, and stand as a verbal study of an argument for the MFA Thesis. Individual reasoning, analysis and perceptions should inform this endeavor as they do the visual work.

3 Credits

+
I601 | MFA Thesis I

In the first semester of the MFA Thesis, the emphasis is placed on developing individual direction through the exploration of ideas resulting in the execution of artwork. These ideas may first be outlined in maquettes, studies and compositional plans that clarify, refine and consolidate the developing work. Photographs and other material not hand-crafted by the artist may serve as valuable references but do not qualify as gradable material in this context. The MFA Thesis I works are presented in-progress during the mid-semester critique and should show significant development as coherent artworks for the end-of-semester critique.

3 Credits

+
2 Electives

Elective One 3credits

Elective Two 3 credits

In the third semester, students select two elective courses based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select electives outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.

YEAR TWO | Spring Semester

+
D604 | Figure Drawing IV

This course offers students an opportunity to create large-scale figure drawings from the model, working half, three-quarter and life size. The course will be devoted to long-pose sessions using single and double model arrangements. Though working directly from the life model is the primary concern of the course, students will be encouraged to work creatively, incorporating memory work, invention, transformation, narrative content and composition. Research projects will involve an exploration of suitable drawing techniques and materials as well as a consideration of those problems and challenges unique to large-scale work.

 

3 Credits

+
I602 | MFA Thesis II

In this course, students continue building on the body of work and themes addressed in MFA Thesis I. In addition to completing paintings, drawings or sculpture over the semester, students are required to refine their research paper that began in the fall semester in Art and Culture II. (See paper description above.)

6 Credits

+
2 Electives

Elective One 3credits

Elective Two 3 credits

In the third semester, students select two elective courses based on their area of interest. Electives provide students with the opportunity to enrich their core curriculum and gain experience with new concepts and techniques. Students are encouraged to select electives outside their concentration. Click here to view offerings.