Vandra Pentecost



Figure Drawing Class Syllabus

I teach two evening 7 week figure drawing classes each semester at the Indianpolis Art Center beginning  6:30 - 9:30 pm.  I also monitor open studio figure sessions on Friday mornings.

I teach additional classes on Human Anatomy, Advanced Figure Drawing, Portrait & Figure Grasialle (B&W), then students move into Portrait & Figure Painting In Color.

Please check for the summer session schedule at the Indianapolis Art Center website.

Indianapolis Art Center - class minimum 6
Life Drawing

Please bring your drawing materials of choice ( pencils, charcoal, inks, paper).

Life Drawing
Beginning to advanced students will explore the contemporary viewpoints and aspects of figure drawing. Fundamental elements including anatomy, line quality, tone, proportion and foreshortening will be explored. Handouts will be provided to help reinforce basic concepts. Several approaches of these elements will be presented to help you develop your individual style, be it along traditional academic lines or a more contemporary emotive style. Students will work in their media of choice from professional models, starting with short poses and continuing to extended poses.

Overview:
Demonstrations will be given at the beginning of each class, and a brief discussion period will be held at the end of class for students to show their work and to discuss their progress.  The instructor will give attention to each student, and as needed during each session, correct student observations by creating separate drawings for the student to help the student better understand the figure.  Each session will review and build on the previous session to help reinforce concepts. Books on human anatomy and books exploring a variety of figure drawing techniques will be brought in for students to review.  Each student will receive handouts and diagrams that reinforce basic concepts and a bibliography for reference. The class will share their thoughts and critique sketches towards the end of class.

Session 1: GESTURE - PROPORTION - SIMPLIFIED FORMS
An overview of the seven sessions will be given.  The first session will discuss the principle fundamentals of measurement, basic proportion, balance, negative space and angles in relation to landmark reference points on the figure. Gesture drawing will be discussed and demonstrated in a variety of ways – from quick line to solid massing.  The class will start with very quick gesture poses to loosen up and become familiar with their media.  This session will stay with short poses so the student can concentrate on seeing the gesture and motion, finding the attitude of the pose while beginning work with proportions. 15 – 20 minutes will be the longest pose.

Session 2: SIMPLIFIED FORMS INTO MORE STRUCTURED ANATOMY
The beginning of class will be a review of last session main topics. In depth discussion of anatomical landmarks in relation to the skeleton and a demonstration to show how to represent muscle structure on the gesture pose. Discussion will include extended and contracted muscles, and defining features of muscle groups. The class will start with quick gesture poses and go into longer poses of 20 – 30 minutes, concentrating on discussed principles.

Session 3: RENDERING VALUES AND LINE VARIATIONS TO CREATE DEPTH - WORKING WITH PLANES
The beginning of class will be a review of last session main topics. Demonstrations and discussion will be given on contour line, cross contour line, gesture massing, and how to create volume with three-dimensional shapes and rendering to create depth in drawing.  Further discussion will address anatomy and proportion. Class will begin with short gesture poses.  In the 15 – 30 minute poses the students will work with muscle structure utilizing the contour and massing concepts.

Session 4: FIGURE GROUND AND FORESHORTENING
Building on the previous three sessions, discussion and demonstration will introduce
figure ground, perspective and foreshortening in the figure. Various ways to create depth and volume through close observation of muscle groups will continue to be discussed.
The class will start with quick gesture poses and go into longer poses of 30 – 60 minutes (60 minute poses are two 30 minute sessions, same pose, with a break in between.

Session 5: PROPORTIONS OF THE HEAD AND FACIAL ELEMENTS
Demonstration and discussion in this session will be in regards to the head and portraits.
Proportion, structure and differences in the male and female head, and techniques for
drawing  the features.  Class will do a review of sessions 1 – 4 for the first hour before concentrating on the head.

Session 6: RHYTHM, BALANCE AND EXPRESSIVNESS
Class will start with a review of the past 5 sessions and demonstrations if required on any areas of concern. Concepts in composition and figure ground, rhythm, balance, and emphasis as expressive considerations that can enhance your individual drawing style will be discussed. Class will start with short gesture poses and proceed into 30-minute poses, with one 60-minute pose.

Session 7 & 8: REVIEW
This session will review the main figure drawing principles of the previous sessions.
Class will start with short poses and concentrate on one or two long poses as time permits. During the last half hour, each student will show a sketch from one of their early sessions, and one from the last two sessions to see the progress they have made.  

Fundamentals in Drawing  - Beginner/ Intermediate 

 7 week & 

12 week class ( intermediate - advanced  in depth class )

Anyone can draw! Learn the fundamental drawing skills and techniques for you to advance on your artistic path. Instruction in drawing media and their applications, sighting techniques, the principles of composition, how to apply expressive line and value, scaling techniques and perspective will be learned through step-by step weekly exercises. Demonstrations and handouts provided.

Media explored: Graphite pencils, charcoal pencils, compressed charcoal, ink, pastel and colored pencil.

1. An overview of the course will be explained. Drawing media will be discussed and      demonstrated. Create a line chart with various pencils/charcoal. A basic still life using    simple geometric forms will be drawn using line  and value variations.

Contour line, create an emotional line chart.

2. Value rendering, comparative proportion

In depth discussion of line - sensitivity, speed, edge and spatial relationships.

Sighting techniques discussed. Complex geometric form composition to

learn sighting for relative proportions.

3. Transition to still life. Composition and formatting.

Rendering form, additive and subtractive values. Creating mood and surface effects. Shifting tonal focal points to lead the eye through a composition. Drawing individual objects. Simple still life.

4. Use of viewfinder. Students’ set-up own still life. Complex composition of geometric forms or still life.

5. Introduction to perspective – I, 2, 3 point. Basics of landscape and architecture exercise. Scaling techniques - two drawings will be copied.

6. Drapery – Mapping line drawing. Pattern – abstract – value drawings. High contrast drawing (positive & negative). Into to figure – mannequins & casts.

7. Drawing from mannequin figure.

Fundamentals in Drawing  - Intermediate - Advanced  

Anyone can draw! Learn the fundamental drawing skills and techniques for you to advance on your artistic path. Instruction in a variety of dry drawing media (pencil, charcoal, colored pencils, pastels and ink) and their applications, sighting techniques, the principles of composition, how to apply expressive line and value, scaling techniques and perspective will be learned through step-by step weekly exercises. Demonstrations and handouts provided.

1. An overview of the course will be explained. Drawing media will be discussed and      demonstrated. Create a line chart with various pencils. A basic still life using simple geometric forms will be drawn using line variations.

Contour line, Value rendering, comparative proportion. In depth discussion of line - sensitivity, speed, edge and spatial relationships. Sighting techniques discussed. Complex geometric form composition to learn sighting for relative proportions.

Geometric forms - line & rendering. Simple & complex composition. Graphite.

2. Transition to still life. Composition and formatting. Charcoal subtractive technique. Rendering form, additive and subtractive values. Creating mood and surface  effects. Shifting tonal focal points to lead the eye through a composition. Drawing individual objects. Simple still life. 

4. Use of viewfinder. Students’ set-up own still life. Composition discussed. Additonal use of charcoal, introduce pastels & pan pastels.

5. Introduction to perspective – I, 2, 3 point. Basics of landscape and architecture exercise. Scaling techniques - two drawings will be copied. Inking introduced.

6. Drapery – Mapping line drawing. – value drawings. High contrast drawing (positive & negative). Colored pencil introduced.

7. Drawing from mannequin figures. Self portraits.

8.  Pattern & Texture - Composition and rendered still life of everyday objects. Wide range of textures explored.

9. Pushing values – dramatic Form and Space. Combine media – abstract

10. Embedded Objects and Floating objects – objects merging into background.  Charcoal. Conceptualization.

11. Hybrid – Observed object – part plant, animal and observed man made object.

12. Inside/Outside divided picture plane – juxtaposed themes – complex composition

13 – 15  Finish projects - Line and full value range compositions.

Materials:

White drawing pad – 9 x 12 or larger, kneaded and white plastic erasers, Mars Staedtler Lumagraph soft pencil set or any pencil set HB – 9B