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ART 390 A: Intermediate Drawing

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
MW 8:30am - 11:20am
ART 304
Helen O'Toole
Helen O'Toole

Syllabus Description:

Monday/Wednesday 8:30-11:20     

Spring 2018

Helen O’Toole, Professor Painting and Drawing


Office# 314 Office hour Monday 2:30 – 3:30


Course Description

This class is an advancement of ideas and issues covered in Art 190 and Art 290. In this class students will have the opportunity to work from the figure and independent projects. The framework for classes is structured around ideas of process, material exploration, perception, form and content. The basic elements of drawing such as line, proportion, value, space, composition, and context, will be emphasized throughout the quarter.



To encourage students to work independently.

To develop students drawing vocabulary and powers of observation.

To encourage students to think independently in the studio.

To help students find their own visual vocabulary

To emphasize that drawing is more than formal observations.

To create an understanding of the symbiotic relationship between form and content in drawing.



Classes with a model will start with short warm up exercises such as gesture drawing and thumbnail composition drawings. Longer drawings will focus on a more accurate interpretation and understanding of the structure of the figure, the pose and context, wherein students begin to understand the figure structurally and how the figure might relate to the surrounding environment or space.

Independent and assigned projects will extend student’s understanding of drawing by probing specific subject matter and developing a cohesive body of work.


Critiques - Both group and individual critiques are a regular part of the class, providing an opportunity to talk about drawing in a critical and constructive manner, ask questions, discuss work, and challenge ideas. Discussions of work completed during the quarter is an integral part of course work.

Slide presentations and readings will relate to topics we cover in class.


Week 1– value, explore light and dark, and emphasize proportion (work with charcoal) (m_J)

Week 2- composition, space, proportion (work with ink) (m_J)

Week 3- use line to create light and dark, explore planar structure of figure.  Proportion (a) schematic drawing of model proportions, (b) map body proportions, measure, (c) develop drawing to create structure, volume and weight (m_G)

Week 4– line and value drawings using (m_R)

Week 5– ink drawings, collage/mixed media drawings. Explore value, space, placement and media

Week 6  Seattle Art Museum or Henry Art Gallery (no_m)

Week 7– Working with the figure (introduce the use of color, collage and mixed media) (m_R)

Week 8– Color mixed media (m_C)

Week 9- (m_C)

Week 10-  holiday 5/28, (m_J)

The schedule may change depending on individual needs and the pace of the cl


Final Exam – Tuesday June 5th8:30-10:20


Museum or gallery trips will be scheduled on Wednesdays


Visiting Artists

Thursday, March 29th at 5:45pm in room 327/329: Kayla Mohammadi
Wednesday, April 4th at 6pm in room 003: Sharon Louden
Thursday, April 12th at 5:45pm in room 327/329: Shaun Roberts
Thursday, April 19th at 5:45pm in room 327/329: Catharina Manchanda



Students are expected to work outside of class. Drawing assignments and independent work will be discussed in class every Monday. Class issues and concepts should be further explored in an ongoing sketchbook



Keep work dated and organized primarily for your own reference and for end of quarter reviews.


Mid-quarter meeting

Students will be met over a two-day period to assess progress, review class work and independent assignments.


Final Review

Students meet in small groups for a final review of all post-midtermclasswork. These reviews will be held during the final week of classes on both Wednesday 5/23 and Wednesday 5/30. A selection of in-classdrawings and outside-of-classdrawings will be reviewed. Students are assessed on in-class and outside class assignments, and participation in class. If you miss your final review you must submit a portfolio of work completed during the quarter, on or before your final, in order to receive a grade.

Final Exam:  Individual meetings to review and discuss outside class (independent work) – Tuesday June 5, 2018 8:30-10:20


Participation Policy

All students are expected to be working in the studio during class contact hours. Absences from class prevent participation and may negatively affect your grade. If you miss class due to illness or emergencies, immediately notify me and insure that all missed assignments are completed. Tardiness is discouraged as class interruptions affect everybody.



Grades are based on class work and outside class work, including sketchbooks. Other grade considerations are; participation in class discussions and critiques, improvement over the quarter and overall interest and enthusiasm for the subject.


Grading Guidelines for the Division of Art






The highest possible performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying exceptional quality. Exhibits outstanding creative potential.




Exhibits creative potential with superior performance in most aspects of the course; high quality in the remainder. Well prepared for subsequent courses in the field.




High performance in most aspects of the course. Very good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field. Exhibits some creative potential.




Good performance in some of the course; satisfactory performance in the remainder. Exhibits some creative potential. Good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field.




Demonstrates the minimum amount of research needed to complete the course with satisfactory performance.




Met basic requirements in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard.




Evidence of some learning, but generally substandard performance. Marginal chance of success for subsequent courses in the field.













Lowest passing grade.



Academic failure.

No credit earned.


Health and Safety

Please keep the room solvent free. No fixative spraying in the studio or the corridors.

 If you need to “fix” drawings, the spray booth is located on the 3rdfloor.


Art Lockers

Art lockers are available for rent.  Students should fill out one of the locker rental slipsavailable in 104 ART. Lockers are $10/quarter and are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Lockers must be cleaned out and the locks returned to advising by the end of the quarter.

Equal Opportunity

The School of Art reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam veteran in accordance with UW policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.


Disability Accommodation

If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924(V/TTY) or If you have a letter from Disabled Students Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodation, please present the letter to me on the first day of class so we can discuss the accommodations you might need.



All-purpose drawing paper pad 18”x 24”

Texture and weight of paper is important, smooth paper is often used for pencil and pen and, rougher paper tends to be used for charcoal, crayons and soft pencils.


I may suggest working on better quality drawing papers such as strathmore, rives bfk, etc. throughout the quarter.

Sketchbook - 8.5”x11” or biggerfor assignments. You can also buy individual sheets of good quality paper.

Drawing materials

Graphite pencilsHB, 2B 4B 6B or set of pencils

Charcoal– vine charcoal, compressed charcoal


Erasers, kneaded, gum, mars plastic, pencil eraser

Masking tape

Drawing board 18”24” and clips

Sumi brush


Other supplies you might need -

12”/18” ruler with metal edge for cutting paper or T- Square, clear ruler (for measuring)


Ink Higgins waterproof or own choice

Small containers for water and ink

Stanley knife/blade or scissors for cutting paper


Glassine (transparent acid free paper used to protect drawings)


Recommended Art Supply Stores

University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE

Artist and Craftsman 4350 8thAvenue NE

Dick Blick, 1600 Broadway Ave (near Pine)

Daniel Smith, 4150 first Avenue South

Jerry’s Artarama -



Title/location/call number                                                                                           Author

Drawing from Observation                                                                                          Curtis, Brian

Drawing the human form: methods, source   (NC765 B391994)                   Berry, William A

Constructive Anatomy ((NC760 B83 1973))                                                          Bridgeman, George

The Human Machine: the anatomical structure NC760 B854 1972)           Bridgeman, George

Figure & Form (NC765 B778 1992                                                                             Bro, Lu

Figure Drawing: the structure, anatomy (NC765 G64 1993)                          Goldstein, Nathan

Master Class in Figure Drawing (NC765 H155 1985)                                         Hale, Robert Beve

The Natural Way to Draw  (NC650 N5 1975)                                                        Nicolaides, Kimon

Drawing from Life                                                                                                            Brown, Clint/ McLean, Cheryl

The Art of Drawing                                                                                                          Chaet, Bernard

A Guide to Drawing                                                                                                         Mendelowitz, Daniel/ Wakehan, Duane

An Artists Notebook Techniques and Materials (ISBN 0-03-040726-7)     Chaet, Bernard

Drawing:  A Contemporary Approach                                                                     Betti, Claudia/ Sale, Teel

Drawing Space, Form and Expression                                                                      Enstice, Wayne/ Peters, Melody

Creative Drawing                                                                                                             Smagula, Howard J.





Both the studio and the classroom are places of learning, experimentation, discovery, and disciplined work; a springboard for new discoveries, pushing boundaries, and acquiring knowledge.


I encourage you to draw every day. Draw what interests you. This could be portraits, everyday objects or a specific location or source. Working outside the classroom will enable you to probe specific imagery and arrive at a level of creative independence different from your assignment-based work in the classroom.


Link to syllabus as a pdf file


Catalog Description: 
Prerequisite: ART 290.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:20pm