and other course documents

ARST 11201 • 02 - Drawing I

SPRING 2016 • M/W 2:00-4:45 pm


Course Description

The purpose of this class is for you to develop basic drawing skills. As a beginning level class, no previous drawing experience is necessary or expected. Our focus will be on developing a familiarity with drawing materials, techniques, and fundamentals to make representational drawings rooted in direct observation. Integral to this process is an emphasis on learning to see changes in shape, value, and edge, while creating a record of this heightened observation.


Course Format

Instruction takes the form of demonstrations, handouts, slide lectures, individual consultation, discussion, and group critiques of both in-progress and final drawings. We also will incorporate outside readings and films to expand on the studio experience and to maximize studio time. You will be expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of drawing terms and techniques through in-class discussions and critiques. 


This is primarily a studio course; wear proper work attire.   Students should plan on spending significant time drawing outside of class. You are encouraged to work on your assignments in the drawing studio at any time, except when another class is in session. Should you arrive at the classroom when another class is in session, please do not enter or interrupt for any reason, out of respect for the instructor and students.


Outside writing and drawing assignments should be completed in your sketchbook unless otherwise indicated. Your sketchbook should contain compositional sketches, notes, quotes from readings and lectures, names of artists, critique notes, and anything else that you find relevant or helpful. You will be expected to refer to this sketchbook during discussions and critiques. Write daily summaries of your progress – like a diary.  Write reviews of art exhibits and analyze art reproductions in the library or online.  Obviously, it is a sketchbook, as well.  Use it to draw from life, *not* from photographs.  


Additionally, you will have regular homework assignments (particularly in the first half of the semester) that are designed to reinforce further your studio experience. 


Lab Fee

A lab fee of $40.00 is required for this class. Please pay the fee to Mary Kutemeier in the AAHD Office (Riley 306) ASAP. If the lab fee is not paid, you will not receive credit for this class.

Attendance Policy

This is a hands-on, studio-based course. Thus, it is important to get to class each day, to be on time, and to come prepared.  You are allowed three absences, excused or otherwise. If you miss more than three classes, your final grade will be lowered by one full letter grade for each subsequent absence. In the event of an absence, you are still responsible for any information/assignments that are missed, and assignments are due whether you are present or not. Missing critiques is unacceptable, and will result in your grade being lowered. 


You are expected to be in class on time with all materials, ready to work. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class. If you are tardy, it is your responsibility to approach me at the end of that same class to ensure that the record is corrected. The record will not be adjusted retroactively. Excessive tardiness and/or lack of preparation will be counted as an absence. Specifically, three incidences of tardiness or under-preparedness is equivalent to one absence. I suggest that you exchange phone numbers with several people in class so that you don’t fall behind in the event of an absence .


As with any serious commitment, advance or immediate notice of any absence or delay is expected. Email is the preferred means of notice. Failure to provide timely notification will disqualify you for consideration for an excused absence.   Emergency absences will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are subject to the professor’s assessment and judgment. 

Late Work Policy

Late work will not be accepted.  A 0/F will be recorded for failure to attend an exam or to present a deliverable at the time it is due.  In the event of an excused absence, you will be allowed to make up exams or work without penalty.  For exams, the make-up test must be rescheduled within two days.  For projects, you must make arrangements to have the finished work delivered to the studio or to the professor’s office within two days.  If you fail to do so, you will not be given credit.

Academic Honesty Statement

It is expected that students have familiarized themselves with the University’s Academic Code of Honor (  Should it be determined that a student has violated the Academic Code of Honor, sanctions may range from a failing grade for an assignment, a lowering of the final grade for the class, or failure of the class altogether.

Personal Technology Policy

Cell phones and other electronic devices must be set to off or silent mode.  Calls may not be accepted during class.  If you have an emergency situation and need to be available by phone, alert the professor before class.  Personal music devices may not be played during class.  Hearing the instruction of others is a frequent learning opportunity. Texting is not permitted in class under any circumstance.

Materials Policy

Drawing pad, pencils, and erasers must be purchased before the second class session. All other supplies must be purchased within one week of the second class (i.e, before the fourth class session ).  Projects must be collected at the end of the last week of class or during the first week of the following term.  Art supplies must be collected before the final exam. If a student fails to collect her/his supplies or projects by the deadline, they will be disposed of or be considered donations to the department.

Statement on Workspace Responsibilities

The studio is a communal workspace.  It should be kept clean and arranged in an orderly fashion.  Supplies should be stored in designated areas.  Possessions (including supplies and work) must be collected at the end of class or after an independent work session.

Changes to the Syllabus or Course Calendar

The syllabus and course calendar are subject to change as deemed necessary by the instructor.  Should there be any changes, they will be announced in class and published to the course website.



Grade Calculation

There are 100 possible points for the course. Keep in mind that you start with 0 points and work your way up. You do not start with an “A” and “lose” points. 


Your performance in this class will be determined by: in and out of class work, finished drawings, homework, attendance, sketchbook, participation in critiques and discussions, and degree of effort. These criteria are evaluated using a rubric consisting of these five areas: Originality, Compositional Quality, Craftsmanship, Effort/Concept Development, and Other Considerations.   The Portfolio Rubric and Sketchbook Rubric  (linked from the Course Documents below) provide specific guidelines for applying this rubric.


The percentage of possible points that you earn using the rubric will be multiplied by the number of points available for each deliverable to determine your grade for that element. The final grade is determined by adding up the earned points for each element and dividing by 100. For example, 20 points are available for your outside work and sketchbook. If 82% of the possible points from the rubric are earned, you will receive 16.4 points on that dimension. 


Mid-Term Portfolio         

40 x  _____%  =  ______

Final Portfolio  

40 x  _____%  =  ______  

Outside Assignments/Sketchbook

20 x  _____%  =  ______


           Total Points ______ / 100 = _____%


SIGN AND DATE AND KEEP ALL OF THE DRAWINGS THAT YOU DO THIS SEMESTER. At midterm, we will meet individually to review the drawings that you’ve completed so far this semester, and I will give you a mid-semester progress report. I will want to see everything you’ve done at midterm, including your sketchbook. For your final portfolio, you will turn in all of your work for the second half of the semester, including your sketchbook.


Grade Scale

Letter    Point    Percentile           Description

Grade    Value   Range       

    A            4         95-100%            Truly Exceptional

    A-      3.667      90-94.99%         Outstanding

    B+     3.333      87-89.99%         Very Good

    B            3         83-86.99%         Good

    B-      2.667      80-82.99%         More than Acceptable

    C+     2.333      77-79.99%         Acceptable: Meets All Basic Standards

    C            2         73-76.99%         Acceptable: Meets Most Basic Standards

    C-      1.667      70-72.99%         Acceptable: Meets Some Basic Standards

    D            1         60-69.99%        Minimally Passing

    F             0         0-59.99%          Failure


Finer distinctions are drawn in the course rubrics, available in Course Documents, below. But here are general comments for the macro-level grade ranges:

  • A range—90% and above—Exceptional solution to the assignment; excellent level of commitment; reflects an excellent understanding of drawing elements and techniques.

  • B range—80-89%—Above average solution to the assignment; above average level of commitment; reflects a clear understanding of drawing elements and techniques, but shows some problems or shortfalls in composition, proportion, value, etc.

  • C range—70-79%—Meets minimum requirements; average level of commitment; reflects an average understanding of drawing elements and techniques; does however, exhibit problems and/or shortfalls in composition, proportion, value, etc.

  • D range—60%-69%—Does not meet minimum requirements; below average level of commitment; reflects serious problems and shortfalls in terms of composition, proportion, value, etc.

  • F range—60% and below—Failing, incomplete, not turned in.


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Mark Welch • 322 Riley Hall • 


© Jorge Royan /, via Wikimedia Commons

“If I were asked what one thing more than any other would teach a student how to draw, I should answer, ‘Drawing – incessantly, furiously, painstakingly drawing.’” – Nikolaides


“It is often said that Leonardo drew so well because he knew about things; it is truer to say that he knew about things because he drew so well.” – Kenneth Clarke

If I were asked what one thing more than any other would teach a student how to draw, I should answer, ‘Drawing – incessantly, furiously, painstakingly drawing.’” – Nikolaides


“It is often said that Leonardo drew so well because he knew about things; it is truer to say that he knew about things because he drew so well.” – Kenneth Clarke