Intro to Drawing

Think drawing is a gift that has to come naturally? You might be surprised to see learn that drawing is a skill that can be developed with practice.

This 3-lesson course provides a thorough and engaging introduction to drawing. Students learn how to draw with proper techniques, learning how to represent what they see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. By the end of the course, students will capture a complex still life.

Drawing gives you a deeper understanding of any subject you are trying to capture as an artist or designer. As you progress through the exercises in this class, you will develop a better understanding of the forms you are observing and become more skillful in representing those forms.

Course Instructor(s):

Sessions fine arts and design instructor Jordon Schranz

Jordon Schranz   is a New York/New Mexico based fine artist and designer.

Course content developed by Ingrid Capozzoli  Flinn.
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To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection (56 Kbps modem or faster).
  • Assorted supplies including: drawing paper, masking tape, drawing board, easel, HB Pencil, X-Acto blade (or pencil sharpener), black fine point Sharpie pen, ruler, kneaded eraser.
  • Ability to scan or photograph your images.
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Course Objectives:

Students learn how to:

  • Identify and address common barriers to learning to draw.
  • Identify and discuss the many applications of drawing in art and design.
  • Use basic drawing materials with a proper drawing technique.
  • Create blind and open contour drawings.
  • Identify the role of perspective and positive/negative space in drawing.
  • Identify and capture the effects of 1-, 2- and 3- point perspective.
  • Identify and capture the effects of positive and negative space in a drawing subject.
  • Identify how light casts a shadow and affects the value in a drawing subject.
  • Identify mid-tones, highlights, shadow edge, core shadow, reflected light, and cast shadow in a drawing subject.
  • Create a value study capturing a range of tones from highlights to core shadow.
  • Draw a complex still life composed of multiple objects.
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Course Outline

LESSON 1 Intro to Drawing

How do we learn to draw? By learning to see and represent the world as we see it. Lecture One begins with a discussion of common conceptual barriers to drawing. You will learn what drawing is and explore its many different applications in art and design. In order to prepare to draw, you will learn the purpose of various drawing materials and how to use them. The assignment will focus on developing proper drawing technique and creating blind and open contour drawings.

LESSON 2 Making Sense of Space

Perspective and positive/negative space are two traditional and powerful concepts in drawing. Lecture Two introduces you to the influence of perspective on the way we see objects in the world. You'll explore how eye level, vanishing point, convergence, and foreshortening affect the appearance of objects in your drawings and learn how 1, 2, and 3-point perspective are created. You'll also learn how to identify and capture the positive and negative space in a subject. In the exercise, you'll create studies in perspective and positive/negative space.

LESSON 3 Shedding Some Light on the Subject

Capturing the effects of light is a timeless challenge for artists. Lecture Three explores how light casts a shadow and affects the value in a drawing subject. First you'll examine how the strength, angle, and position of a light source affects a subject. Then you'll learn how to identify mid-tones, highlights, shadow edge, core shadow, reflected light, and cast shadow in your subject. Hatching and cross-hatching are discussed as simple techniques for adding value to a drawing. In the final assignment, you'll create a value study and draw a complex still life to showcase all you've learned.

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Student drawing work
Still life drawing by Joseph Langley
snap a bug