Basic Drawing 1

Memphis College of Art
Fall 2012
T/TH 1:00pm – 3:35pm
Butler Hall West

Contact Information
Cat Normoyle, Instructor
Department of Design

Office hours
T/TH 11am-12:30pm or by appointment
Gibson Hall, Room 122
901.272.5129 x 272 (Direct)

Course Description
Seeing/drawing skills are developed and sensitivity toward the aesthetics of form and space including linear perspective, mark making, value, line and line quality is explored. Students work in black and white media on a variety of papers from still-life, landscape and self-portrait.

This is an introductory class which will expose the student to a number of traditional skills and ideas that have occupied artists throughout history. The class involves drawing from direct observation with an emphasis on space, volume, linear and free hand perspective, and other basic techniques and concepts. In Basic Drawing 1 there is an emphasis on line as the principle conveyor of form. The student is expected to develop disciplined work habits and an understanding of the visual artist’s formal language. There will be regular class critiques and a required sketchbook.

Upon successful completion of the course, student’s work will demonstrate
1.     The ability to draw from observation
2.     The ability to use line as the principle conveyor of form
3.     The ability to use line to represent volume and space
4.     The ability to use linear perspective in the creation of volume and space
5.     Disciplined work habits

QEP Professional Practices Outcomes:
1.     Students will demonstrate the ability to write an artist statement
2.     Student will demonstrate the ability to digitally document their class work
3.     Students will demonstrate the ability to research in order to stay current in their field

Class Methodologies & Policies
·         In the interest of developing an appreciation of quality materials and maximizing the life span of your work, all major drawings should be executed on good quality artist papers. Using lesser types of paper for a finished drawing will result in a lower grade.
·         All work must be kept in a portfolio. Respect and protect your work if you expect anyone else to do so.
·         All work that is handed in for grading must have your name printed unobtrusively on the back.
·         All finished work must be fixed. Make sure you have fixative and bring it with you to class.
·         Do not spray fixative in the classroom. It is bad stuff, take it outside.
·         The cost of materials is not an excuse for incomplete assignments. 
·         Disruptive behavior will result in your being asked to leave class.  This will be counted as an absence. 
·         I will only discuss individual grades outside of class privately.
·         I will explain all assignments and due dates in class.  It is your responsibility to take notes and remember information given. 
·         You will not be excused from this class to do work for another.
·         No cell phones or texting during class.

EPA/OSHA Regulations
Memphis College of Art students and faculty are required to follow the standards detailed in the “EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Materials Handling Protocols – September 2007.”
All EPA/OSHA regulations that apply will be observed in this class.  This is required of all students.

Course Topics
One-Point, Two-Point, Three-Point Linear Perspective
Planar Analysis & Line Variation
Controlled Contour, Cross Contour, Blind Contour, Gesture Drawing
Free-Hand Perspective & Urban Sketching
Line into Value

Class Outline & Assignments
Portfolio Work (60%)
This will make up the majority of your work in this class. We will work primarily in black dry media such as charcoal, pencil, conte on paper. The freedom you will earn as you get into more advanced classes is not as evident in Drawing I, as many of the drawings we will do are geared for a particular learning experience. Your focus, attitude and participation are critical to your success in this class.

We will conduct critiques throughout the semester where students are expected to participate in discussion. These critiques are very important days, in which you will get direct feedback from your instructor and your classmates. Learn to take criticism without being defensive. Learn to listen and you’ll improve. Learn to talk about your work and others. “I like it” is not permitted without some type of reason why “you like it.” Learn to fail as much as succeed. Drawing is not what you might expect it to be.

Classroom & HW Exercises (20%)
You will be responsible for completing homework each week that will vary depending on the discussion topics and exercises happening in the classroom during that time. You can expect to have around 4 hours of homework each week. These home assignments will vary between sketchbook exercises, portfolio drawings, reading and writing assignments, artist research, etc and will most likely take the shape of portfolio work, blog assignments, and/or sketchbook assignments.

You will be responsible for keeping a sketchbook throughout the semester. This sketchbook/journal should be composed of a combination of drawings, sketches, observations, ephemera, and ideas related to the course curriculum. Think of this as a part of your practice as an artist, a think pad, a place to work out drawing problems and a place to experiment. Carry it around with you. Personalize it. Use it every day. It should always be with you. I will check sketchbooks periodically during the semester. Bring it with you to class everyday!
Classblog & Personal Blog
You will be responsible for checking this blog at least once per week. The blog will be your digital classroom where critique photographs, drawing resources, artist resources, and other important information will be stored. The blog also acts as an archive of class activities as I photograph and post the work you are doing in class. I think you’ll be surprised just how much you grow as an artist after the class is finished and you can look back through your work.  You will need to create a blog specifically for this class where you will document and upload portfolio work for review. Each personal blog will be linked to the class blog as you will share your experiences You will also be required to post writings / musings / inspirations to blog as assigned.
Participation (20%)
This includes general participation in regards to Lectures and Discussions throughout the semester. You will be expected to participate with your peers and give constructive feedback during class time activities, demos, discussions. General effort and a professional attitude will be expected.

Materials List
·         18 x 24 Heavyweight bond
·         18 x 24 2-ply bristol
·         Stonehenge white, fawn, grey (22’’ x 30’’)
·         Arches white (22’’ x 30’’)
·         Rives BFK white (22’’ x 30’’)
Drawing Tools
·         Sketchbook (8.5’’x11’’)
·         Graphite Pencils: A variety (hard – soft)
·         Ebony pencil
·         Graphite stick
·         Black and white conte
·         Vine charcoal (variety of hard – soft)
·         Compressed charcoal (variety of hard – soft)
·         1 Charcoal Pencil
·         Workable fixative
·         Black india ink – permenant
·         Fine tip pen – Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (F and M)
·         Watercolor brush (flat) – half-inch wide or larger
·         Bamboo ink brush
·         Kneaded rubber erasers (a few)
·         Hard eraser
·         Chamois
·         Paper stump
·         Fine sandpaper (several sheets)
·         Metal yardstick (You may also want a smaller one)
·         Pencil sharpener
·         Utility knife, x-acto or other cutting instrument
·         Masking tape
·         Tool box or compartment to carry drawing tools and materials
·         Portfolio case for care of drawings and drawing papers
·         Drawing board (minimum size22’’x30’’), Alligator clips

Attendance Policy
“On-time class attendance and participation are both critical aspects of the educational process. As the professor has the responsibility for presenting and directing the main body of day-to-day class content, so too it is each student’s responsibility to engage in the critical/intellectual discourse that evolves from that presentation. Knowledge is gained not merely by accumulating information through lecture or demonstration, but by examination, question, and assimilation.”
—Memphis College of Art Student Handbook

This is an experience-based studio class.  You will learn from me and from your peers, so it is very important to be in class. Lectures, demonstrations, and project descriptions will not be repeated for absent or tardy students. Leaving class early without permission or arriving in excess of fifteen minutes late will be considered as one [01.0] full absence.

Four [04] tardy arrivals will be considered one [01.0] full absence.
Tardy is defined as including and in excess of five minutes late.

If you arrive after roll, come see me immediately to determine whether your arrival time will be considered a late arrival or whether you will be considered absent for the day.

Three [03] absences will decrease final grade by one-half [0.50] letter
Four [04] absences will decrease final grade by one [01] full letter
Five [05] absences will result in an “F”

There are no excused absences in this class. Missed class-time cannot be “made-up”. There will be no exceptions. The reasons behind the absences are not important. It would be wise to save your 2 allowable absences in anticipation of emergencies.

An extended student illness requires a doctor’s documentation and the consultation and assistance of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs respectively, and is the responsibility of the student. Extenuating circumstances are at the discretion of the professor.

The last day to withdraw and still receive a “W” for the course is Oct 26.

If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me within the first week of classes to discuss terms.

Evaluation and Grading
The final evaluation and assignment of grades for each assignment are based on elements such as:
1.     Completion of all assignments
1.     Perception and accuracy
2.     Development of skills in seeing and thinking
3.     Professional presentation and craftsmanship
4.     Participation in critiques and discussions
5.     General attitude and effort in the classroom
Each one of these areas of evaluation will result in an alphabetic grade and its accompanying numeric equivalent. The assignment of a grade is final. Projects may not be reworked for an elevated grade.

Students will receive grades for each project, exercise, test, et al, as well as midterm and final grades. Mid-semester and final grade assignments will also incorporate the attendance, application, working habits, and participation of the student and thus may not concretely be based on alphabetic grades. The faculty reserve the right to raise or lower your grade based on an improvement or degradation of commitment. Participation in the totality of the course is expected. Provided studio time is reserved for the development of assigned learning only. Outside interruptions while in residence— academic, artistic, or personal will not be tolerated. Lack of ongoing development, preparation, or engagement will be noted and subsequently reflected in each final project assessment. Any student who disrupts the course and/or interferes with the ability of his or her classmates to learn will be asked to leave— with the possibility of further disciplinary actions being levied. Assignments will require students to work extensively outside of scheduled class meetings. Project deadlines and critiques will be announced in relation to the current projects.

Attendance, presentation, and full participation at meetings and critiques, et al, are mandatory. Critiques, meetings, presentations, et al, begin promptly as noted for each project. Tardiness as it relates to these matters will be considered: as once the respective activity commences in relation to the known deadline. Formats must be presented as mandated prior to this time. No project or developmental material[s] will be accepted once a critique, meeting, presentation, et al, has commenced for any circumstances, thus resulting in a grade of “F”— with a numeric equivalent of zero [0].

Absent students are unable to have their work delivered by a peer, delivered to a faculty office, or a faculty mailbox, et al, as no late work will be accepted for any circumstances, thus resulting in a grade of “F”— with a numeric equivalent of zero [0].

If you are absent the day a project or exercise is assigned, it is your responsibility to find out about missed assignments and complete all work by the due date. In some cases, there will be exercises assigned and due on the same date. These exercises cannot be “made-up”.

Undergraduate Grade Designations
Note Bene; While the below descriptions note course, individual assignments, projects, tests, et al, could be applied equally. The designation of pluses and minus will be incorporated.

Letter Grade of A
The person earning this grade is as close as humanly possible to perfection in the fulfillment of the objectives of this course. It implies great effort and great success in all aspects of the class. It is rare that this grade is awarded.

Letter Grade of B
The person earning this grade has worked very hard, has pushed him/herself beyond the strict fulfillment of the objective of each problem, has shown strong advances in technical and conceptual skills and is involved and articulate in critiques and discussions.

Letter Grade of C
The student earning a “C” completed all assignments, had a positive attitude, worked hard, showed growth in skills and thinking, participated in critiques and discussions, and successfully fulfilled the requirements of the course, in general. This is the average level of achievement for all studio courses.

Letter Grade of D
The student has made the minimum effort to understand and master the skills and concepts covered in the course, or has obvious difficulties with basic skills and concepts and/or trouble in fulfilling the requirements of the class because of excess lateness, absence, poor attitude, or some other reason.

Letter Grade of F
This grade indicates a severe problem in one or more of the following categories: lack of interest and/or seriousness of purpose, ineptitude in basic skills, lack of understanding of concepts, terrible craftsmanship, failure to complete assignments, bad attitude, excess lateness or absence.

Alpha and Numeric Point Values


Recognized manners of style sheets and citation are required. Students should consult sources including: The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press; 15th edition; ISBN: 0226104036. Each available at the Memphis College of Art library, public libraries, and online at

Office hours are presented within this syllabus. Prior appointments and secure meeting times are welcomed. Regrettably, on occasion faculty service to the College will require amended hours, at which time, revisions will be posted.

Syllabus and coursework subject to change.


Academic Honesty Agreement

The Shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be, in reality, what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.
—Socrates [Ancient Greek Philosopher, 470 BCE—399 CE]

The acknowledgement of and adherence to a code of ethics is vital as members of society and participants within the College’s academic community. To this end— the creation and presentation of all academic formats must be of the student’s independent hand. Examinations will be presided by each student’s honor. It is understood that the process of education — and that of a creative nature — is collective, and one should not confuse the development acquired from a peer or professorial reflections as a violation of this code. It is the blatant disregard for honesty with the knowing presentation of work other than your own — in a restricted manner, or receipt of assistance within a testing environment— which violates the prescribed ethics of our society.

Therefore, each format as requested will bear the student’s signature and inscription:

Ex Toto Opus Proprium Meum

Upon independent academic review,
violations will result in immediate dismissal from the course and an automatic grade of “F.”

I______________________________________________________________________[print name], have received the Drawing 1 | Fall 2012 course syllabus and have read it as obtained. I recognize I must be fully engaged in this course and am obliged to fully meet all of the requirements, expectations, and deadlines as detailed in their totality.
In particular, I am wholly aware of the honor, attendance, and grading policies. I understand and acknowledge the consequences of not realizing these expectations will drastically decrease my independent assigned grades and thus their culmination as a final grade. These actions may also alter my academic standing and progression within the sequence of the course of study.

Student Signature

Cat Normoyle


Schedule Overview
* Schedule subject to change.
WEEK ONE: Introduction / Linear Perspective
·         Meet & greet
·         Review of syllabus and materials
·         “drawing what you see”
·         Introduction to linear Perspective
o   Demonstration/discussion of 1,2, and 3 point perspective, planes, ellipses
o   One point perspective: work from still life of cubes, spheres, cones (planes and ellipses)
§  Draw from eye-level, below eye-level, and above eye level
Materials: 4B and 6B drawing pencils, eraser, yardstick, 5 sheets of white bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: One sheet of line exercises: Neatly draw a .5” border on your page.  Divide the paper into at least eight horizontal bands which fill the page.  Fill each band with vertical lines which explore different line weights and methods of drawing lines.  Don’t try to draw objects or things.  Simply design the lines for strong positive/negative relationships.  Lines can touch but not cross.
WEEK TWO: One-Point Linear Perspective
·         Still life: cubes, cones, spheres (planes and ellipses)
·         Above and below the horizon line
·         Work to edge of page, push line variation
Materials: pencils, yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Interior: One-Point Perspective (line only)
Materials: pencils, yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
WEEK THREE: Two-Point Linear Perspective
·         Still life: cubes, cones, spheres (planes and ellipses)
·         Above and below the horizon line
·         Work to edge of page, push line variation
·         Work on wall or floor
Materials: Pencils, metal yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Interior (same one as last homework): Two-Point Perspective (line only)
Materials: Pencils, metal yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
WEEK FOUR: Two-Point Linear Perspective
·         Review Sketchbooks and Grades
·         Still life: cubes, cones, spheres (planes and ellipses)
·         Multiple Points of View
Materials: Pencils, metal yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Interior/ Free-hand Perspective (line only)
Materials: Pencils, metal yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
WEEK FIVE: Ruler drawings: Planar Analysis and Line Variation
·         Drapery and Objects
Materials: Pencils, metal yardstick, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Drapery:  use a sheet or other non-patterned material; include the full space (line only)
Materials: charcoal pencil, metal yardstick, eraser and good paper (22” x 30”)
WEEK SIX: Ruler drawings: Planar Analysis and Line Variation
·         Still life objects
Materials: Pencils, metal edge ruler, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Ruler drawing: portrait head in planes (line only); work from observation with a sitter; reduce the head to a series of planes which clearly define the volume of the head as well as major features such as eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair
Materials: Charcoal pencil, metal yardstick, eraser and good paper (22” x 30”)
WEEK SEVEN: Ruler drawings: Planar Analysis and Line Variation
·         Midterm Sketchbooks Due
·         Still-Life Objects
Materials: conte or charcoal pencil, metal yardstick, and good paper (22” x 30”)
Outside Assignments: bananas and pears
Materials: conte or charcoal pencil, metal yardstick, and good paper (22” x 30”)
WEEK EIGHT: Blind and Controlled Contour/ Gesture Drawing
·         Line quality: weight, width, value, space – thick/thin, dark/light, fast/slow, push/pull
Materials: black conte, charcoal pencil, sharpened stick and ink, bond paper and Bristol
·         Gesture Drawing: line and mass gesture and combination
Materials: black conte, charcoal pencil, sharpened stick and ink, bond paper and Bristol
Outside Assignments: Blind contour self (line only) – full page – include background
·         Working from a mirror, draw four self portraits in blind contour as we did in class. (One drawing in conte, one in pencil, one in stick and ink, one in brush and ink.)
Materials: black conte, pencil, sharpened stick and ink, bamboo brush, bond paper (18” x 24”)
WEEK NINE: Cross Contour & Wireframe
·         Still-life
Materials: TBD
Outside Assignments: TBD
WEEK TEN: Free-Hand Perspective/Blocking In/ Line Quality/ Loosening Up/ Loose to Tight
·         Still life
·         Draw through objects
Materials: black conte or charcoal pencil, rubber eraser, bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: Paper loops and curls: Cut out a strip of drawing paper approximately 2” x 24”, attach the strip to a clean wall and light it, draw the paper strip four times from different angles using line only, use line variation to heighten the illusion of three-dimensionality.
Sketchbook: Urban Sketching
WEEK ELEVEN: Free-Hand Perspective/Blocking In/ Line Quality/ Loosening Up/ Loose to Tight
·         Still life with complex objects
·         Draw through objects
Materials: black conte or charcoal pencil, rubber eraser, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: TBA
Sketchbook: Urban Sketching
WEEK TWELVE: Free-Hand Perspective/Blocking In/ Line Quality/ Loosening Up/ Loose to Tight
·         Still life with complex objects
·         Draw through objects
Materials: black conte or charcoal pencil, rubber eraser, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
Outside Assignments: plant or flowers
Sketchbook: Urban Sketching
Materials: black conte or charcoal pencil, rubber eraser, and bond paper (18” x 24”)
WEEK THIRTEEN: Line: Controlled Contour/ Finished to Unfinished/ Limited Value/ Placement
·         Skeleton Still Life
Materials: black conte, rubber eraser, and good paper (22” x 30”)
Outside Assignments: Self-portrait: controlled contour, work from mirror
Materials: black conte, eraser, and good paper (22” x 30”)
WEEK FOURTEEN: Line into Value/ Cross-Hatching/ Pen and Ink
·         Still life
Materials: ink pen, metal edged ruler, pencil, 3-ply Bristol or Multimedia (18” x 24” or larger) 
Outside Assignments: Attic or bathroom interior
WEEK FIFTEEN: Line into Value/ Cross-Hatching/ Still Life
·         Still life
Materials: ink pen, 3-ply Bristol or Multimedia (18” x 24” or larger) 
Materials: ink pen, 3-ply Bristol or Multimedia (18” x 24” or larger) 

Artists to Consider

·         Luca Cambiaso
·         Auguste Rodin
·         Christopher Wilmarth
·         Bill Waterson
·         Winsor McKay
·         George Harriman
·         Edmund Dulac
·         Alberto Giacometti
·         Richard Diebenkorn
·         Janet Fish
·         Gwen John
·         Paul Cezanne
·         Vincent Van Gogh
·         Martin Puryear
·         William Beckmann
·         Jim Dine
·         Edgar Degas
·         Jean Auguste
·         Dominique Ingres
·         Kathe Kollwitz
·         Rembrandt Van Rijn
·         Georges Seurat
·         Egon Schiele
·         Susan Rothenberg
·         Henry O. Tanner
·         Paula Modersohn-Becker
·         Horst Janssen
·         Romare Bearden
·         Mary Cassatt
·         Jacques Villon
·         Jennifer Bartlett
·         Jack Beal
·         Maurice Sendak
·         Franz Kline
·         Pablo Picasso
·         Wayne Thiebaud
·         Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
·         Henri Matisse
·         Sylvia Plimack-Mangold
·         Datsushika Hokusai
·         Utagawa Hiroshige
·         Giorgi Morani
·         Giambattista Piranesi

Books for Further Study
·         A Guide to Drawing, Daniel Mendelowitz, Harcourt Brace
·         Creative Drawing, Howard Smagula, Brown and Benchmark
·         Design Principles and Problems, Paul Selanski, Mary Pat Fisher, Harcourt Brace
·         Drawing A Contemporary Approach, Claudi Betti / Teel Sale, Harourt Brace Jovanovich
·         Drawing Dimensions, Cynthia Dantzic, Prentice Hall
·         Finding Water, Julia Cameron
·         On Drawing, Roger Winter, Collegiate Press
·         Shaping Space, Paul Zelanski, Mary Pat Fisher, Harcourt Brace
·         The Art of Drawing, Bernard Chaet, Holt, Rinehart and Winston
·         The Art Spirit, Robert Henri
·         The Artist Way, Julia Cameron
·         The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards

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