Art 100: Drawing & Composition

Department: Art

Instructor:  Tony Allard

Fall 2005

Office Hours: TBA



The purpose of this course is to master a range of skills and concepts which will strengthen your visual perception,
develop your sense of composition and to eventually work with content in your drawings. The main concentration will be
on methods and techniques to represent the illusion of the 3-dimensional world on a  2-dimensional surface and on methods
and techniques of composing a drawing. Several approaches to the subject will be explored through the use of various drawing
materials while examining a wide range of subject matter and art historical references. Some of the techniques we will be working
with are: tonal and contour drawing, measuring and proportion, eye-hand coordination exercises, gesture drawing,perspective and
2 and 3-dimensional elements of composition. The course will be occasionally augmented with lectures, screenings of video tapes,
and, if possible, trips to gallery exhibitions both on and off campus.



I will hold office hours 6 time during the semester. The place and times “to be announced”.



Your grade will be determined as follows:







Approximately every six weeks you will turn in a portfolio to be graded. The portfolio must contain all in-class work as well as occasional
out-of-class assignments. There will be three major class critiques on the due dates when portfolios are to be turned in. The final portfolio is,
of course, most important. Portfolio grades are based on the quality of work in terms of skill, concepts and presentation as well as your
demonstrated progress. I encourage you to date all  your drawings and maintain an orderly and neat arrangement of the portfolio contents.



Portfolio #1: 7 weeks

Portfolio #2: 12 weeks        

Portfolio #3: Finals week (see catalogue for exact time and date)



A sketchbook/journal is required. Throughout the course, you will maintain a sketchbook that will also function as a journal. This book will
contain various assignments (most of which will be completed outside of class) class notes, assigned writings, personal observations and
incidental information. As with the portfolio, I encourage you to date each page. Sketchbooks will be checked on a weekly basis.
Assignments will be given on Tuesday and I will review your sketch books on the following Tuesday



Participation in class discussions and critiques is essential. I can determine a great deal of your progress by your participation in class.
Specifically, I will be looking for your ability to use, in context, the terminology, concepts and historical references that are the foundation
of this course. Your sketch books should be especially helpful in this regard.  In addition, I will be looking for your individual contributions
to daily discussions and class critiques. In addition to the three major critiques, I will periodically conduct un-announced critiques.
You may also set a time with me for individual consultation during my office hours.



It is simple: come to class. If you miss just one class you miss one step in a series that are designed to build upon previous steps.
There are many assignments which cannot be made up outside of class, therefore, attendance is critical to your performance and
grade in class. More than 2 consecutive absences or more than 3 in the semester may be sufficient grounds to drop you from the class.
I should be notified as soon as possible of extenuating situations.




General outline of main topic to be covered.

Note: each of the following areas of concentration are supported by daily demonstrations, lectures and historical anecdotes relating
to the particular subject being covered. In addition to class work, each student is required to keep a sketch book in which they do weekly
assignments and take notes in class.


Lecture/Demo: Socialized Vision, Visual Habits

Exercises to break visual habits such as: drawing the subject in isolation, putting subject in middle of the page, working from top to
bottom and left to right, drawing not what the eyes see but what the mind sees.



Establish eye-hand co-ordination

Blind contour drawing, copying a line drawing upside down, blind contour drawing with both hands, using a small window to look through,
straight contour drawing.


Fundamentals of Pictorial Space

What is the picture plain, foreground, background, middle ground, point-to-line-to-shape-to-plane (Kandinski’s concept of picture space),
four primary space-making devices: overlapping shapes, size change, diagonal lines, atmospheric perspective.


Fundamentals of composition

Symmetry, a-symmetry, 2 D and 3 D composition, alternative compositional strategies, center of interest, subject dictating composition
(dynamic vs. static), working with visual weight, working with the small window, working with paper oriented to landscape or portrait.


Perspective, proportion, measuring

Introduce the elements of classical Renaissance perspective: vanishing points—one, two and three, above eye level, below eye level,
atmospheric perspective, four primary space-making devices reviewed.



Gesture drawing

Capturing the action of the subject through very quick gestural marks, drawing with search lines, working from the general to the
specific, working with total picture plain, composition through gesture, using small window.



Light and Shadow

Composing patterns of light and shadow, concept of tints (white) shade (black), advancing a gesture drawing into an expression of light
and shadow, mood of light, working with charcoal, pencil and graphite stick to build up layers of shadow, using the erasure as a mark
making device, using the white of the page as the light in the drawing.



Advanced Composition and Introduction to Subject Matter

Choosing a subject for drawing, subject choosing you!, developing a composition that is appropriate for the subject, i.e. static composition
for static subject, dynamic for dynamic subject matter, working with personal objects of positive and negative power as subject, setting up

still lifes.



More advanced: Experimental drawing techniques

Site-specific drawings, ephemeral drawings done with materials in a landscape, ephemeral drawing materials, drawing and installation
art, drawing as a performance.



pencils: 2B, 4B, 6B

graphite sticks

compressed charcoal (2 or 3 packages)
Vine Charcoal (2 or 3 packages)

blending stumps & rags

Charcoal pencils: soft, ex. soft  (4B & 6B)

white conte: 1-2 sticks

kneaded eraser

white plastic eraser ("Magic Rub")

Wide Black magic marker

Bottle of black ink, water soluble, "Design by Higgins" is good.

Bamboo brush or pointed watercolor brush, large (aprx. #10 or bigger)

More materials will be added as needed (minor amounts)




pad of 18" X 24" NEWSPRINT paper

pad of 18" X 24" Strathmore 400 Series drawing paper

sketch pad/journal: hard or soft bound, either 9" X 12" or 11" X 14"
Drawing Board  with bull dog clips attached at the top 26” X 23”



ruler (24")

supply box to carry drawing tools

portfolio case aprx. 20" X 26"

pencil sharpener, scissors, tape, glue stick, x-acto knife

can of spray fixative or Aquanet Hairspray (this is a must item)


Good luck. I look foreword to working with you.

I look foreword to working with you.