Drawing Track

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5
Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10

This three credit track of Trajectories is intended to help students build and strengthen skills in drawing, including use of materials and tools, line quality, value, perspective, composition, and some experimental techniques. Credit will be awarded based on timely attendance, diligent completion of class work and homework, and final portfolio assessment in week 10. Evaluation will be based on the integrity with which you approach the work, how you much you challenge yourself to try new things and push familiar techniques into territory that is new to you, and visible evidence of improvement. The Trajectories covenant applies to this track as well.

All homework is due in class the week after it is assigned.

You will be assigned a group, A or B, for purposes of sketchbook review. Group A sketchbooks will be reviewed weeks 3, 7 and 10. Group B sketchbooks will be reviewed weeks 4, 8 and 10.

Week 1 Marks, lines, shapes and gestures
  • Introductions to class, tools and materials.
  • Mark making and line quality
  • Basic shapes, gesture and blind and modified contour techniques

Week 2  Scale and One and Two Point Perspective
Assignment: (Due Tuesday of week two.) Take 2-3 days:On the first day draw the series of sketches in #1-4 of a single object that has at least one dimension longer than 12”.  On the second day, repeat the exercise, using a different object.  This time explore the different tools and approaches introduced in class. Do #5 after the first animation workshop this Thursday.  Label each part of this assignment on the page on which you did it.

  1. Gestures: alternating between the 2B and 4B pencils and change the angle of viewing each time, doing 5 of 5 seconds each, 3 of 10 seconds each and 2 of 30 seconds each. (5 minutes)
  2. Blind contour: two drawings from different angles, one in pencil, one in pen, take 5 minutes each. (10 minutes)
  3. Modified contour:  two drawings, one in pencil, one in pen, take 10 minutes each. (20 minutes)
  4. Combine gesture and contour approaches to make at least one drawing of the object, using either pen or pencil or both, spend 30 minutes on this.
  5. Do this after the Thursday animation workshop:  Find a place where there is  movement.  This may be in public where traffic or people are going back and forth, outdoors where there are birds or other animals moving around, or some other location.  Spend an hour sketching paths of action of various objects or beings.  For each path of action, use marks to show how the object or being is slowing down or speeding up.  Do not try to draw the object or being-you can indicate its general shape, but the point is to record their motions, not what they look like. (1 hour)

Week 3 Three and Four Point Perspective/
Introduction to Papers
Assignment: Papers and 4 point perspective

  1. Make a set of paper swatches from the papers given to you, plus any additional ones you are interested in working with. Label each with the type of paper it is and test your drawing tools on each one. Swatches should be no more than 3” in any dimension.  Glue or tape the swatches into a page in your sketchbook.  (45 minutes)
  2. Use newsprint to sketch out a 4 point perspective image based on an actual scene.  You may want to do this two or more times to get a feel for how to approach the scene.  Then choose one of the sheets of paper you’ve been given and make a more finished drawing of the scene in 4 point perspective. (2 hours)

Group A sketchbooks due for Wednesday review.

Week 4  Value: Additive and Subtractive Techniques
Assignment: Practicing value

  1. Choose an object that has at least one dimension longer than 12”.   Use an entire page of your sketchbook to draw it using high contrast values.  Include background elements and indicate their relative distances using atmospheric effects. (45 minutes)
  2. Do another drawing of the same object using low contrast values.  This may be from a different angle, and if you like and are able, change the lighting to help you see a different level of contrast. Include background elements and indicate their relative distances using atmospheric effects. (45 minutes)
  3. Choose one of your nicer papers and cover it with a graphite or charcoal shade.  Do a drawing using a combination of subtractive and additive techniques, again indicating background elements and their relative distance using atmospheric effects. (1 hour)

Group B sketchbooks due for Wednesday review.

Week 5 Scaling Up/
Collaborative Muybridge sequence
Assignment: Scaling Up

  1. Complete the Muybridge image and turn it in by 9 am Thursday.
  2. Review all the drawings you’ve done so far. Choose one and find an interesting section of it that is a similar aspect ratio but no more than about 10% of the original. (If you have a 9 x 12 drawing, then the section you choose should be no bigger than 1” x 1.2” or so). Using light pencil, trace this section onto another piece of paper and impose a grid on it that will help you scale up the image. Choose the paper you want to work on and scale up the section so that it is at least as big as the original drawing. Use your powers of observation and imagination to develop the image further, as if by increasing its scale you have also increased its resolution and can see more of it. (2 hours)


Week 6 Composition and using Thumbnails
Assignment: Scaling Up

  1. Complete the in-class thumbnails  assignment
  2. Choose two of the thumbnails you did in class and recreate them as collages, scaling them up to at least the size of their originals.  You may use torn paper or magazine photos (for color, value and texture only), newspaper or other scrap papers.  Try to represent the values of the originals using these found papers.  After the glue dries, you may go back into the images by drawing on them to emphasize specific parts of the composition. (3 hours)


Week 7 Restraint
Assignment: Natural History Collection

  1. Make an appointment in the Natural History Collection to draw one of the skeleton specimens.
  2. Do 5 pages of gesture drawings of the skeleton you choose (each no longer than 1 minute).
  3. Do two blind contour drawings of the skeleton (5 minutes each)
  4. Make three thumbnail sketches of compositions that feature the skeleton but also balance negative and positive spaces.
  5. Choose one of these and on one of your finer papers, develop it into a full size drawing.

Group A sketchbooks due for Wednesday review.


Week 8 Images in Sequence
Assignment: TBA
Group B sketchbooks due for Wednesday review.__________________

Week 9 Experimental techniques-Process_____________________________________
Assignment: TBA

Week 10
Portfolios and sketchbooks due for review.