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Advanced Figure Class Syllabus

September 1, 2011

My advanced figure drawing/painting class starts one week from today. I still have one or two openings. The class is always a lot of fun, and we learn a lot together. It’s a little bit of a time commitment–the more time you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. But don’t be intimidated by the level of expertise of the other students–if you’re interested in taking the class, please let me know. It’s held Thursday evenings 6-9pm in Provo. I’m including the course syllabus in this post so you have a more detailed overview of what we’ll be doing.

Course Syllabus

IN CLASS:

We will draw from the figure in class every week, in your preferred medium. You should push that medium as far as you can during the course of the semester, whether it be pen and ink, graphite, prismacolor, nupastel, transfer drawing, oil paint . . .or reclaimed garbage for that matter. Whatever you want to use is fine.

Bring everything you need to draw two short gestures and a long pose every week. Plan on including a detail of either the hands or feet in your drawing, similar to the drawing shown here.


Also, bring your homework assignments.

HOMEWORK:

1. Complete the Copy Analysis Form I (see below).
2. Copy a master work.
3. Create your own work using elements from the master copy.
4. Draw a hand or foot from life every week.
5. Draw a hand or foot from a master painting every week.
6. Take photographic reference of a hand or foot every week.
7. Complete the Copy Analysis Form 2 (see below).

HOMEWORK SCHEDULE:

September 8th: – Bring your completed Copy Analysis Form I
September 15th: – Bring your panel or canvas with a completed underpainting of the master copy.
– Bring a hand drawn from life.
– Bring a hand drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed hand for later use as reference material.
September 22nd: – Bring composition sketches for your new painting based on the master copy.
– Bring a hand drawn from life.
– Bring a hand drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed hand for later use as reference material.
September 29th: – Bring your panel or canvas with a completed underpainting of your new painting based on the master copy.
– Bring a hand drawn from life.
– Bring a hand drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed hand for later use as reference material.
October 6th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a hand drawn from life.
– Bring a hand drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed hand for later use as reference material.
October 13th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a hand drawn from life.
– Bring a hand drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed hand for later use as reference material.
October 20th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a FOOT drawn from life.
– Bring a FOOT drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed FOOT for later use as reference material.
October 27th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a foot drawn from life.
– Bring a foot drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed foot for later use as reference material.
November 3rd: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a foot drawn from life.
– Bring a foot drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed foot for later use as reference material.
November 10th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a foot drawn from life.
– Bring a foot drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed foot for later use as reference material.
November 17th: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a foot drawn from life.
– Bring a foot drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed foot for later use as reference material.
December 1st: – Bring both your master copy and your new painting based on the master copy so we can see how they are developing.
– Bring a foot drawn from life.
– Bring a foot drawn from any master painting.
– Bring a photo you took of a purposefully posed foot for later use as reference material.
– Bring your completed Copy Analysis Form II

———–

And guess what. I’m going to do all this homework along with the students. Here’s the painting I’m going to copy, and below is the copy analysis form:

Georges de La Tour, St.Joseph, the Carpenter


COPY ANALYSIS FORM 1

Pick a master painting that you love. You need to have a good reproduction of it in a book or on the web, and even detail shots if possible. You will copy this work in the same scale and medium as the original. Don’t choose a twelve foot painting. This should be a manageable size, so you can finish the piece or at least come close to finishing the piece during the course of the semester. You will simultaneously create your own composition based on what you’re learning from the master copy.

Please answer the following questions about the master work you’ve chosen to copy:

1. What kind of rectangle or non-rectangle has the artist chosen, and how has the artist divided or filled up the space? Has the artist used traditional geometric divisions within the rectangle, such as golden sections or squares?

2. Where does the painting lead your eye—what is the primary eyepath of the artwork? What secondary eyepaths can you see within the composition?

3. How has the artist used value (light and dark contrast) to move the eye and create emphasis?

4. What is the overall color scheme and/or color harmony?

5. How has the artist used color to move the eye and create emphasis?

6. Does the artist use a cool/warm dither, simple gradations, or flat shapes of color?

7. How has the artist used repeated shapes to move the eye and create rhythm?

8. How has the artist used repeated marks to move the eye and create unity and/or variety?

9. How has the artist depicted the human figure? Is it stylized? Is it idealized? Is it classical, realist, or modern? Is it hyper-realistic? Is it strictly tonal, strictly linear, or a combination of the two?

10. How has the artist used lines and edges?

11. How has the artist used perspective, including atmospheric perspective? What other methods has the artist employed to push and pull objects in and out of the picture plane?

12. How has the artist manipulated the surface of the painting, including the ground layer? Is it egg-shell smooth? Are there areas of thick, impasto paint? Are there any textural hints to the artist’s painting process?

13. What do you think the artist was trying to say? Was the artist reacting to a previous artistic movement? What do you guess were the artist’s aesthetic and thematic goals? What do you think the artist was hoping to communicate to the viewer?

14. Now that you’ve begun to copy the master painting, begin your own painting using elements learned from the copy. Based on the above questions, write a brief outline (15-30 sentences) describing what you intend to do similarly to the master painting in your own new painting and what you intend to do differently. How will your composition be the same? How will it be adapted to your own voice and ideas?

COPY ANALYSIS FORM 2

Refer to your initial copy analysis form. Now that your paintings are finished, briefly describe (15-30 sentences) how your painting turned out. What elements does it share with the master painting copy? What elements are different and unique to your new composition?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2012 1:12 pm

    Advanced? What would qualify me for your class? I’ve got the desire, talent and supplies. I’d like to take your class, is there still room?

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