Foundational-level College Art Class. Drawing 1 and 2. Experimental Drawing


Drawing is the most immediate and spontaneous format in the visual arts. It is not simply about media such as pencil or pen, it is an approach, an engagement, an exploration. The spontaneity that drawing affords lends itself to a vast world of understanding and expression that is the natural outcome of the creative process. In this course we will explore a variety of materials, methods, and conceptual approaches to drawing. These approaches and methods are designed not only enable the student to draw any thing in any way, but also encourage them to make more informed artistic choices, broaden their understanding of experience as well as comprehend and state the world in personal terms.

Henna Hands

This course offers a consistent understanding of mark-making, form, light and space within a two-dimensional output. It emphasizes the elements and principles of the visual language and their engagement within our everyday lives. Combined with training in the use of diverse materials and contemporary technologies, it offers a practical as well as theoretical appreciation for drawing. [D; CSU; UC]


Class format combines introduction of new assignments as slide presentations and demonstrations, individual studio work activity, group discussions and activities and critiques. Additionally there will be written assignments demonstrating application of vocabulary and concepts.



1. Student will illustrate form using elements and principles of composition.
2. Student will analyze and depict spatial relationships within a composition using conventions of two-dimensional representation.
3. Student will develop and refine skills of observation and invention.
4. Student will develop a conceptual framework for his/her artwork.
5. Student will utilize art vocabulary and concepts in oral and written contexts.
6. Student will develop analytical and communication skills by evaluating his/her drawings within a diverse conceptual, cultural, and art historical framework. 7. Student will use a variety of drawing media in order to analyze the technical and aesthetic potential of each medium.


By the end of the course, each student will be able to: Study the subjects of their pieces with an attention to detail, proportion, and form Understand how to create lines/marks that best describe the form they are drawing Create a final drawing that expresses their personal voice and illustrates their understanding of line, shading, depth, and composition. Measure and sight when creating proportional relationships in a piece Add dimension to drawings by using a variety of shading techniques Create depth in drawings by following the rules of one and two point perspective Analyze artwork objectively and discuss the artist’s use of line, value, shading, composition etc.

Gunter Brus

There are mighty few people who think what they think they think.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit



If you decide not to finish this course, you must drop the class through administrative channels. The last day to add or drop for refund is Sept. 6. The last day to withdraw without receiving a “W” is Sept 6th. The last day to withdraw receiving a “W” is Nov 13th. Other important dates to note: Fall Break Nov. 26-29. Final: Dec 8th 8-10 AM


It is up to all of us to be strongly committed to upholding standards of academic integrity. These standards, at a minimum, require that students never present the work of others as their own. Violations of academic integrity include cheating, plagiarism and any other form of dishonest behavior. Any violation of this policy will not be tolerated. Students caught forging, cheating or subverting the standards of the classroom can be immediately removed from the class. Other sanctions may include no-credit on the assignment in question, course failure, or formal charges of student misconduct. Formal charges can result in academic probation, suspension, or expulsion.


As this is a participatory class, please keep a considerate and respectful attitude throughout the semester. Disruptive behavior will be defined and dealt with in terms of the policies of Southwestern College. Despite their importance to our daily lives, there will be no reason to have your cell phones or other electronic devices on during class. You will be asked to leave, and thus considered absent, if you ignore this basic consideration.


Southwestern College recommends that students with disabilities or specific learning needs contact their professors during the first two weeks of class to discuss academic accommodations. If a student believes they may have a disability and would like more information, they are encouraged to contact Disability Support Services (DSS) at (619) 482-6512 (voice), (619) 207-4480 (video phone), or email at Alternate forms of this syllabus and other course materials are available upon request.


To further your success, reinforce concepts, and achieve the stated learning objectives for this course, I refer you to Academic Success Center learning assistance services. You will be automatically enrolled in NC 3: Supervised Tutoring, a free noncredit course that does not appear on your transcripts. Services are located in the ASC (420), the Writing Center (420D), the Reading Center (420), Math Center (426), the Library/LRC Interdisciplinary Tutoring Lab, MESA, specialized on-campus School tutoring labs, the Higher Education Center, and the San Ysidro Education Center. Online learning materials and Online Writing Lab (OWL) are available at This course adheres to the policies outlined in the Southwestern College Catalogue. For further information, see the Academic Policies stated in that catalogue.


Banana Drawing


A student’s participation, in the form of consistent attendance, contributions to class discussions and completion of course assignments, is essential to a successful learning experience. It is crucial that you attend each class meeting at its scheduled starting time and be ready to work. Habitual tardiness and/or absence will detrimentally affect your learning and progress in the course.


In a studio class, critiques are as important as exams are in a lecture course. Attendance and participation is critical and required. No make ups will be allowed for scheduled critiques.


You must attend all classes, critiques as well as the midterm and final. After the add period of the term, a student may be dropped from class when the total hours of absences for any reason exceed twice the number of hours indicated for that course in the College Catalog.

Non-attendance is considered non-participation. If you do not participate, it will result in a lower grade.
   Four absences lowers final grade one grade.
   Five absences lowers final grade two grades.
   Six absences lowers final grade three grades.
   Seven absences lowers grade automatically to an F.

You are considered absent if:
You miss class, habitually arrive late - leave early or are not participating in class activities. Missing scheduled Critiques count as an extra absense.



Handouts and other materials will be available on the class Blackboard page (You are enrolled in a Blackboard account the first day of class) I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about an assignment if you were present during the introduction of the assignment. If you are absent, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find out what you missed from ANOTHER STUDENT BEFORE the beginning of the next class session.


A variety of exercises, In-class projects and out-of-class homework will be assigned throughout the semester. Late or unfinished work will be graded down. Unfinished work must be completed before receiving a grade.


You will be required to keep a sketch/ reference book. Format is of your choice but it must be demonstrated that you have kept ideas in a book or book-like situation throughout the semester. Many of the homework assignments will be created in this sketchbook. We will discuss parameters later as this sketchbook/reference book will be a part of your final grade. I will ask to see your book periodically to determine participation.


Make-up assignments for excused absences will be on a case-by-case basis but will not be available for the scheduled critiques, midterm and final.


If the instructor misses any scheduled class time, there will be an outside-of-class assignment given as homework. An example assignment would be a Museum or Gallery visit and write up. Participation will be equivalent to the missed time. The project will be due within two weeks of the instructor absence. See assignment handout if such an occasion arrises.


Save ALL of your work in a portfolio, as you will need this for the final. The final will consist of a presentation including 5 of your strongest works from throughout the semester. You must be prepared to explain why these are your strongest works to the class. Professionalism (i.e. matted, neatness, completeness) in presentation is expected and will be a part of the grade. You will again turn in your sketchbook as well as the rest of your portfolio for review.

Banana Drawing


Consistent viewing of a variety of artwork during the course of the semester in galleries and museums is expected. Make use of area and school galleries. Evidence of drawing and the draw-able is everywhere. All instances of such explorations should be noted in your sketchbook.

If, instead of saying “experimental,” one were to say “adventurous,” one would probably win general assent–so great is the power of words. Because the artist is a lover of unalloyed experience, he shuns objects that are already saturated, and he is therefore always on the growing edge of things. By the nature of the case, he is as unsatisfied with what is established as is a geographic explorer or a scientific inquirer. The “classic” when it was produced bore the marks of adventure

John Dewey - Art and Experience



Grades will be determined by a combination of participation, comprehension, exploration of ideas, completion of assignments, and a demonstration of growth. Technical competence will be discussed in the Final critique but will not be a part of the your grade.

Grading Criteria:
Understanding & application of contemporary drawing concepts and techniques
Aesthetic quality and/or Exploration of Ideas
Attendance and Participation
Ambition, Integrity & Imagination
Quality of Execution (craftsmanship)
Safety & maintenance of the studio

Non-attendance is considered non-participation. If you do not participate, it will result in a lower grade.
   Four absences lowers final grade one grade.
   Five absences lowers final grade two grades.
   Six absences lowers final grade three grades.
   Seven absences lowers grade automatically to an F.

You are considered absent if:
You miss class, habitually arrive late - leave early or are not participating in class activities. Missing scheduled Critiques count as an extra absense.

Bear Drawing

CLASS INVOLVEMENT 40% This includes attendance, sketchbook, vocabulary quizzes, and all class-time participation.
PROJECT ASSIGNMENTS 40% This includes class exercises, assigned projects, homework, and Mid-term Research
CLASS FINAL 20% This includes oral presentation, professionalism and complete-ness in matting of finished work.


Alberto Giacometti


Students complete all assignments on time and present them neatly in critiques. They miss few if any class sessions. They participate verbally without being called upon, and their independent work is vigorous, original and consistent throughout the term. Their work in all respect goes beyond the minimum, the expected, and the required. Their cumulative portfolios show growth and a thorough understanding of the concepts covered.


students complete all assignments competently and on time. They present their work neatly in critique sessions, where they participate when called on to do so. They miss few classes. Their independent work is a bit spotty but overall exhibits commitment to surrounding issues with which they struggle. Their cumulative folio shows growth and above average achievement.


students complete most assignments on time, though some of their work maynot be improved after critique. They may display their work in critique with minimal attention to presentational standards. They participate only when called upon in critiques. Attendance may be a problem. Their independent work may not be consistent and their cumulative folios may show only minimal growth.


students do not complete all assignments on time. Portfolio is minimal. Attendance and participation is a problem.


students do not complete the exercises and miss class often.

Drawing is a Verb

Mel Bochner - Solar System and Rest Rooms

Drawing is...

Richard Serra



Please have these materials with you at all times. You will be dropped from the class if you do not bring these materials on a daily basis.

Art Bin, Mesh Bag or similar large container for your supplies
Large portfolio (Must have handles, must measure at least 20” x 26”)

Sketchbook minimum size: 8”x11”
Newsprint Pads Minimum two 18”x 24”
Drawing paper pad - 18”x 24”
Tracing Paper Pad - Minimum 9” x 12”
Various drawing paper - as needed
Charcoal, Compressed - (suggested: Char-Kole or AlphaColor Brand) 12-Pack, squares
Conte Charcoal Sticks - white and black
Brushes - Sumi-e Brushes, soft bristle, Small and Large
Pencil Assortment - one each: 6b thru 6h
Kneaded and White Plastic erasers - four each
India Drawing Ink 1oz bottle
Pen quill/holder + Nibs Type: Speedball Caligraphic C-5/6
Various Other Pens such as ball-point, markers…etc.
Glue stick
Masking tape

Drawing board – Large, Holds 18 x 24” paper - * handy but optional

The following are per-project materials. They too are required, but do not need to be brought to each class.

Workable Fix
Five Large Matte Boards - approx. 30" x 40", for Matting the Final Presentation
Artist tape
Xacto knife. 1 small and 1 large
One roll 36 exposure color film or disposable (or access to digital camera and printer)
Galvanized wire (18 and 24 gauge)

Studio Cleaning - Paper towels and cleaning material such as Simple Green. These are required as it is your constant responsibility to clean up after each class. This includes both your individual workspace and the classroom. Clean-up is considered part of your participation grade.

Other materials will be added as necessary.

Charcoal Sticks - CharKole



There is no required text. Handouts and lecture notes will be available on the class Blackboard.

The following textbooks are merely suggestions for further instruction:

Sale, Teele and Betti, Claudia. Drawing: A Contemporary Approach. Hardcourt Brace Press, Fifth Edition, 2007

Enstice, Wayne and Peters, Melody. Drawing: Space, Form, and Expression, Second Edition; Prentice Hall Publishers. ISBN 0-13-304643-5

Nicolaides, Kimon. The Natural Way to Draw. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1941

Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti