Course Description

Beginning students will be introduced and advanced students refreshed while practicing drawing techniques via lectures, warm-up drawings, and longer finished poses. Techniques may include: gesture and organizational line, contour line, shape-plane-volume-modeling, value, foreshortening, and anatomical studies. We will work from a clothed model, and have critiques, which will show off your work and provide class supportive response. For longer poses we’ll focus on composition and the figure within this space, and students may choose to work in drawing and/or painting mediums. A Drawing Material list is posted. A painting Material list will be posted when class begins, for those interested.

Course Outline

Class will begin with a drawing technique lecture, followed by warm-up drawings using the technique reviewed. Mid class we’ll begin a longer pose–which may be carried through multiple sessions. In the longer pose we’ll focus on the figure within your composition, and discuss how the placement of your figure can create a more dynamic composition. We’ll also have group critiques on your art as it moves forward. Outside of class–work on in class drawings/and or art in your sketchbook. Post your outside drawings to the Google or Blackboard Folder. The schedule below covers what we will focus on during the warm-up and technique portion of the class, and may be adjusted. Weekly schedule subject to change.

Week 1: Gesture and Organizational Line/Framework Drawings
–Gesture drawings take in the entire form, capturing the figure or objects feeling/movement at that moment.
–Gesture drawings include: line, mass, line and mass, scribble line, continuous motion line, sustained mass and line
–Organizational Line/Framework Drawings: create a grid/map for your drawing; they take measure of height, width, and depth of objects, and the space they occupy.
–Group Critique of Drawings: a critique is for showing off your work and class supportive response.

Week 2: Contour Line Drawing
–Contour line drawings are different from gesture drawings in that you slow down, and study the parts individually as opposed to as a whole. –When drawing you want to imagine there is a string attached to your drawing tool that is unwinding and drawing around, across, and through the figure creating volume–weight via your line.
–Contour line drawings may include: slow, quick, blind, cross contour,
  and exaggerated.
–Bring: India ink-permanent, penholders, nibs, Japanese brush, brush pens, and hot press/smooth paper to hold the ink. “Volume is the three-dimensional equivalent of two-dimensional space.”
–Group Critique of Drawings.

Week 3: Shape-Plane-Volume-Modeling
–Flat shapes become dimensional when we add sides creating planes.
  When shapes are read as planes they become volumetric and have
–“Modeling is the change from light to dark across a surface to make a shape look volumetric.”
–Planar, rubbed drawings using charcoal and charcoal pencils,
  stumps, newsprint.
–Planar modeled drawings using charcoal, watercolor, and or India ink.
–Group Critique of Drawings.

Week 4: Value
–“Value is the gradation from light to dark across a form” in relation to both the “lightness and darkness of the object, and by its natural color–its local color–and by the degree of light that strikes it.” We’ll focus on the change in value across a 6–10 step scale from white to black.
–Discuss 6 Categories of light.
–Planar reduction drawing– 2 values: white of paper and black.
–Modeled Value drawing with 6 values. Begin by putting black charcoal mid –value on entire surface of paper. Create a 6-step value scale on the side.
–Group Critique of Drawings.

Week 5: Foreshortening
– Foreshortening: Is a compression of shapes, as the shapes move backward in space forms closer to you are larger and project forward, while forms farther away are smaller and project back.
–2-3 studies using foreshortening
–Longer pose with foreshortening and 6 values.
–Group Critique of Drawings

Week 6: Anatomy–Head/Skull
–Review anatomical structure of head and features, anatomical relationships in the head and major bones of the skull and face. With this understanding will look closely at the features of the face: eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
–Gesture warm up sketches
–Large drawing of head and features with value
–Longer pose including head and features, and value
–Group Critique of Drawings


Drawing materials

Bring * Material to first Class

*Paper 18” x 24” Newsprint Pad

*Good drawing paper/Charcoal sheets 18” x 24” or larger–as needed: Arches,
  Fabriano, Strathmore, and Stonehenge

* Sketchbook–small portable

 9” x 12” Tracing paper pad

*Compressed charcoal sticks and charcoal pencils, 4B & 6B (Black & White)

*Pencils–3B, 4B & 6B

*Conte crayons–white, black & sienna

*1-2 white soft pastels Rembrandt, Sennilier or similar brands

Ball point pen & or Marker

Black India ink-permanent

Pen points and pen holders (larger holder, larger points round and flat)

Soft pastels–primary colors + earthtones

*Kneaded eraser, Pencil Sharpener, Drawing board–foam core, Masonite Containers for water and mixing

#6 Japanese bamboo brush (or similar size)


Most Materials are available at Dick Blick online or one of their stores:

Dick Blick
500 E Golf Rd, Schaumburg
1755 Maple Ave, Evanston 42 S State, Chicago
1574 N Kingsbury Street, Chicago
42 S State Street, Chicago


Books: (optional)
Good Old Drawing G.O.D. by John Holder & Philip Hodgkinson
Drawing A Contemporary Approach by Claudia Betti & Teel Sale
Experimental Drawing by Robert Kaupelis
An Artist’s Notebook Techniques & Materials by Bernard Chaet
20th Century Drawings Part ll: 1940 to the Present by Una E. Johnson
Human Anatomy & Figure Drawing by Jack Kramer
The Human Figure by John H. Vanderpoel


  • Michelle Kogan
Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Figure Drawing–Painting & Composition I
Online-Live Meetings
9:30AM to 12:30PM
Sep 09, 2021
Online-Live Meetings
9:30AM to 12:30PM
Sep 23, 2021 to Oct 21, 2021
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Course Fee(s)
Tuition and Fees non-credit $289.00
  • Michelle Kogan
Section Notes
No class on Thu, 16 Sep 2021
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