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ART 490 A: Advanced 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 2:30pm - 5:20pm
ART 325
David Brody
David Brody

Syllabus Description:


Advanced Drawing


Spring 2020 • Art 490 • M/W 2:30-5:20



Prof. David Brody




The goal of this course is to help advanced students:

  • clarify and develop their individual directions
  • profitably engage in directed independent studio practice and research
  • better their abilities to communicate with others about their creative work

The two primary questions which will be addressed are:

What are you drawing?

How are you drawing this?

This course is project based. There will be five projects to complete over the course of the quarter. Projects are designed to aid students in developing their vision and further explore the range of possibilities in drawing. Attention will be paid to subject matter, materials, scale, methodology and formal language (e.g. composition, value, color, space, etc.). Classroom sessions will be devoted to studio work, looking at artists’ work, discussions, and both individual and group critiques. It is expected that students work outside of class time. When there is no specific homework, the ongoing assignment is to work on continuing projects. At a minimum, students should allow 10 hours each week for their studio work. Investing double that amount of time will have very positive effects on the development of individual projects.

This is a 400 level course with grades based primarily on the quality of work produced. Quantity of work should reflect the advanced level and time invested. Inventiveness, degree of improvement, ability to synthesize new ideas and concepts, preparedness, and class participation are also weighed. Students must have and maintain sufficient quantities of all materials (drawing tools, surfaces, etc.) needed for their work and assignments. There will be individual critiques at the end of the term when the quarter’s work will be reviewed. All work done for the course, both in and outside of class, must be saved and kept in good order for final portfolio reviews at the end of the quarter.



Grades are assessed by reviewing drawings done in class, homework assignments, and overall performance (i.e. preparedness, participation in discussions, degree of improvement). The largest component of the grade is based on the quality of the drawings as they relate to given problems or assignments. The success of the drawings is directly related to:

  • the ability to understand ideas or concepts presented
  • the ability and willingness to implement new ideas or concepts in a drawing
  • the ability to relate what is learned from one assignment to successive assignments
  • preparedness
  • participation
  • degree of improvement

Low grades are most often the result of some combination of the following factors:

  • lateness or non-attendance, hence partial or no understanding of the ideas and concepts presented
  • non-attendance, hence missing drawings
  • insufficient time devoted to an assignment
  • insufficient or minimal thought and effort applied to projects or assignments
  • assignment done the night before it is due, hence no time for self-criticism, reconsideration and change
  • directions for the project or assignment were not listened to, not read, not comprehended or not followed
  • wrong materials or papers used
  • incomplete assignments
  • lost projects and assignments

Class participation is an integral part of Art and Art History classes. Since absences from class prevent participation, they may negatively affect grades. Students who miss class due to illness or emergency are responsible for immediately notifying their instructor and insuring that all missed assignments and exams are completed in a manner agreed on between faculty and student. Students may notify instructors of absences through email, voice mail, written note placed in faculty box or in person during class or posted office hours. It is extremely difficult in studio classes to make-up work successfully. Students who miss class put themselves at a distinct disadvantage and so are strongly urged to attend every session. In the event of absence or lateness students are responsible for making up all work and for informing themselves about assignments given and materials needed for future classes.



3.9-4.0 A The highest possible performance in all aspects of the course with work exemplifying exceptional quality. Exhibits outstanding creative potential.

3.5-3.8 A- 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.

3.2-3.4 B+ High performance in most aspects of the course. Very good chance of success in subsequent courses in the field. Exhibits some creative potential.

2.9-3.1 B 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.

2.5-2.8 B- Demonstrates the minimum amount of research need to complete the course with satisfactory performance.

2.2-2.4 C+ Met basic requirements in most of the course, with the remainder being somewhat substandard.

1.9-2.1 C Evidence of some learning, but generally substandard performance. Marginal chance of success for subsequent courses in the field.



Since most of your grade is based on your work it is essential that you take good care of your drawings. Your work will show to better advantage if it is not encumbered by extraneous fingerprints, footprints, rips, folds, etc. It is a good idea to separate drawings with sheets of clean newsprint. Drawings done with soft pencil or charcoal can be sprayed with fixative to prevent erasure or smudging. Drawings must never be sprayed in classrooms or hallways. There are several spray booths in the SOA for this purpose.



All studios are meant to be quiet spaces. Use of radios, stereos, televisions and other similar equipment is only allowed with the use of headphones. Students who routinely disturb other students and interfere with their work may be prohibited from working in Painting and Drawing Program studios.



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


SAFETY - UW SafeCampus

Preventing violence is everyone's responsibility. If you're concerned, tell someone. Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger. Call 206-685-SAFE (7233) to report non-urgent threats of violence and for referrals to UW counseling and/or safety resources. TTY or VP callers, please call through your preferred relay service. Don't walk alone. Campus safety guards can walk with you on campus after dark. Call Husky NightWalk 206-685-WALK (9255). Stay connected in an emergency with UW Alert. Register your mobile number to receive instant notification of campus emergencies via text and voice messaging. Sign up online <http://www.washington.edu/alert>. For more information visit the SafeCampus website at <http://www. washington .edu/safecampus*> .


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-era veteran in accordance with UW policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.



Plagiarism is defined as using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. Please check with your instructor if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism. Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asst to the President for Student Relations and may lead to disciplinary action.



The final for this course will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2:30-4:20. All students must attand.


For further information regarding School of Art, Art History and Design policies please see this link:



Catalog Description: 
Study at an advanced level involving history, practice, and theory of drawing as an art form. Prerequisite: ART 390.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
March 31, 2020 - 9:01pm