Liberal Arts


We will investigate rendering space, the structure of the figure, the figure in space, and constructing non-static scenes.

ART 103 Drawing - Structural Space, Structural Bodies
Instructor: Lisa Nonken

Course Description
This course focuses on structural drawing with the goal of assisting students to develop the ability of careful observation to respond to their surroundings. Concentrating on drawing from direct observation, this course focuses on spacial structures and the structure of the human figure. Through diverse media and techniques students will expand their ability to perceive and respond to the physical and conceptual environment in which they find themselves. We will investigate rendering space, the structure of the figure, the figure in space, and constructing non-static scenes. In-class exercises, weekly critiques, take-home projects, short writing assignments, and presentations by visiting artists will combine to challenge and strengthen students’ understanding of art’s capacity for visual communication. Verisimilitude is not our main end goal, but students will be challenged to draw from careful observation in order to hone their perceptual skills and command of the media.

The class meets twice weekly. Our Monday evening sessions will be devoted to studying the human form, working with life models. We will explore anatomy, the history of figurative art, and how movement and psychology can be imbued in the depiction of the human figure. Our Wednesday mid-day sessions will use drawing as a means to explore the city of Siena, its spaces and its artwork.
Siena is a dynamic and complex environment in which to draw, rich with multifaceted physical and social structures. This course will make every effort to capitalize on this inspiring setting through constant excursions around the city. Although each class will first meet in the studio, nearly every Wednesday we will then be venturing out into the city, using drawing as a means to explore a variety of settings, subjects, vantage points, and works of art. Excursions will include trips to the Pinacoteca, Santa Maria della Scala, Palazzo Pubblico, and the Muso Fisiocritici. Regular presentations on historic and contemporary artists and theoreticians will further enrich students’ understanding of the field of drawing.

Two long-term projects are completed during the course of the semester: “Imaginative Architectural Space,” (due at mid-term) and “Siena Drawing Project” (due for the end-of-semester exhibition) In these projects, students are asked to focus on both the technical & conceptual issues in drawing, and regular critiques are held to evaluate students’ work on these projects. Students are also asked to keep a small sketchbook with them throughout the semester & to make sketching part of their daily experience in Siena & in their travels.

The class culminates in the end-of-semester exhibition, held Friday Dec 7th at the Siena School for Liberal Arts.

All students are expected to assist in installing their work for the final exhibition and to assist in taking their work down at the end of the show (take-down Friday Dec 14th ).

None. With the small class size, the instructor is able to tailor the class to the students’ individual interests and level of experience.

Course Hours
The course meets twice a week for a total of 5 hours a week, for a total of 60 hrs during the semester. Suggested credits: 3; Course fees: €120

Student Learning Expectations
This course is designed to be an in-depth artistic exploration with the goal of producing a substantive portfolio of work during the course of the semester that demonstrates considerable growth in the student’s understanding of the conceptual and technical possibilities possible within the medium of drawing.

Instructor's contact
Office Hours: Mondays 7:30-8 pm, Weds 1:30-2:30 or by appointment
cell: 3453920675


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