Paul Reuther Studio
2201 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20037




























































































































































Drawing I Syllabus : :


Drawing I (Fine Arts 041-11) Spring 2004

Smith Hall A-401   Tuesday and Thursday 1:00m-4:00pm


Professor Paul Reuther ([email protected], 202-994-8656)

Office A103: hours by appointment


Course Description


This course is primarily designed to introduce students to the discipline of drawing from life in a variety of media, prior

study in drawing is not requisite.  The practice of drawing from life implies close observation and active response to things

in the physical world, the relationship of these objects one to another, and the spatial context in which they exist. The

main focus of study will be the human figure; correspondingly, the basic principles of figure anatomy will be presented in

brief lectures. Ongoing discussion of relevant art historical and contemporary ideas pertaining to drawing and related arts

plays a fundamental role in the studio. The work of many artists from the Italian Renaissance to the present day will be

presented in slide lectures. Two visits to the National gallery will be scheduled to view and discuss drawings in the most

direct manner possible.


Required work for the course may be broken down as follows:


I. Drawing Studio (20 meetings)
: In the classroom students will draw from the life figure and still life in a variety

          of  media.

II.  Homework (6 assignments): 1 to 2 hour homework projects will be assigned (handouts)

III.   Sketchbook (20 assignments): A record of preliminary studies  (handout)

IV.   Critiques (4) : Student led critiques

V.     Museum visits (1 or 2)

VI.    Midterm Project (1) Three (3) drawings and critique     

VII.  Final Project (1): Suite of drawings and critique (handout)


Progressing in the coursework, it is expected that students will achieve increasing confidence and competence in their

drawing ability, while developing meaningful critical judgement and the capacity to articulate their views effectively. For

students continuing in fine arts study, this course should provide opportunities for portfolio development.





Attendance will be taken each class meeting. A good attendance record in this course means arriving in class prepared to

begin working at 1:00 p.m. and to continue working until 4:00 p.m. The instructor may take attendance at any point during

class time.


Due to the nature of studio arts courses it is not possible to make-up time missed, however the absent student is responsible

for work assigned during her/ his absence


Three (3) unexcused absences will be allowed. Additional absences will result in a lower grade for the course. It is advisable

to remain in contact with Professor Reuther as attendance and other issues arise.




The following are factors in grading assessment:


·       Presentation of work: all work submitted for a grade must include name, date, and assignment title in legible written


·       Attendance, promptness, and time management

·       Class participation: level of involvement in class discussions and critiques

·       Preparation of materials for assignments: coming to class prepared

·       Positive work practice: includes maintaining an organized portfolio/ folder of work  completed for the course and

         cleaning up one's area after use*

·       Comprehension of assignments

·       Completion of assignments: late work will affect grade adversely

·       Proficiency in execution of assignments


*Note: The drawing studios are multi-use areas: it is important to maintain a safe and clean working environment. Take

your rubbish with you and be responsible for your own work and materials




Week 1: Introduction to course; discussion toward a definition of drawing; preliminary remarks on composition and

pictorial structure; useful tools for developing accuracy and control in sighting; rule of thumb; construction lines;

vertical, horizontal, and center alignment; thumbnail sketches; viewfinder


                 13 January  Introduction, course materials

                 15 January  Making Marks, Rendering, Handling                                                                  

                      Materials, Measurement, Proportion (mixed media)   Still-Life


Week 2: Slow drawing: using paper collage, drawings will be produced in which the picture plane will be treated as a

seamless unity. Continued exercises in proportion and accurate sighting, composition and pictorial structure,

implied spatial effects in limited media; primer on values


                20 January  Paper Collage (mixed media) Still-Life

                22 January  Paper Collage (mixed media) Still-Life


Week 3: Fast drawing: searching for essential graphic information in rapidly executed gesture drawings: specifically

the action/ movement of the subject seen/ conceived in its entirety and the basic relationship of part to whole;

coordination and facility of hand and eye


                27 January  Gesture/Croquis (charcoal)      Figure male

                29 January  Gesture/Croquis (charcoal)      Figure female


Week 4: Approaching form in broad, simplified terms, constructing a picture from the general to the specific;

figure to ground relationship; "responding to spirit and substance before detail and surface"


                02 February  Shape-Mass-Structure (charcoal)   Still-life

                04 February  Shape-Mass-Structure (charcoal)   Figure male


Week 5:


                10 February NGA Visit (old master/ European drawing) 

                12 February Shape-Mass-Structure  (charcoal)  Figure female


Week 6: Lines don't exist in nature but are "indispensable" in drawing; contour blind and sighted; the function of line

 as a means of structure and form; the expressive possibilities of line; lost and discovered lines; the subtlety and

power of edges; the significance of a varied line; line and human anatomy


                17 February  Line (charcoal, pencil)    Still-life

                19 February  Line (charcoal, pencil)    Figure female




Week 7:                  

                24 February  Line (charcoal, pencil)   Figure male

                26 February  Line (charcoal, pencil)   Figure female


Week 8: Consideration is given to the inner forces objects: their "structural condition", weight, and solidity; surface

attributes of  objects de-emphasized


                02 March  Volume and Planes (charcoal, pencil) Still-life

                04 March  Volume and Planes (charcoal, pencil) Figure male


Week 9:


                09 March  NGA Visit (20th C. and later/American)

                11 March  Midterm Critique 3 drawings and sketchbook




Week 10: ------ SPRING BREAK MARCH 15~19 ---------




Week 11: Approach to the form of objects as a function of light effect; duality of light effect in creating and dissolving

form;  surface form; gradation and tonality; modeling; rendering


                23 March  Light-Value-Modeling (mixed)    Still-life

                25 March  Light-Value-Modeling (mixed)    Figure female


Week 12:  Final project drawing for remaining meetings    

                30 March  Open Drawing/ Final Project    Male Figure 1 0f 3 consecutive

                01 April     Open Drawing/ Final Project    Male Figure 2 0f 3 consecutive


Week 13:


                 06 April  Open Drawing/ Final Project    Male Figure 3 0f 3 consecutive

                 08 April  Open Drawing/ Final Project   Female Figure 1 0f 3 consecutive


Week 14:


                 13 April  Open Drawing/ Final Project    Female Figure 2 0f 3 consecutive

                 15 April  Open Drawing/Final Project    Female Figure 3 0f 3 consecutive       


Week 15:                

                 20 April  Critique / Final Project I

                 22 April  Critique / Final Project II


Week 16:


  27 April  Make-up Day


Suggested Reading




Betti, Claudia and Teel  Sale, Drawing: A Contemporary Approach, New York:Holt-Rinehart and Winston, 1980.

Bro, Lu, Drawing: A Studio Guide. Norton: New York, 1978.

Chaet, Bernard, The Art of Drawing. New York:Holt-Rinehart and Winston, 1970.

Goldstein, Nathan, The Art of Responsive Drawing.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973.

Goldstein, Nathan,  Prentice Hall, 1981.

Hale, Robert Beverly, Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1964.

Mendelowitz, Daniel M., Drawing. New York: Holt-Rinehart and Winston, 1967.

Mendelowitz, Daniel M., and Wakeham, Duane A., A Guide to Drawing. New York: Holt-Rinehart and Winston, 1988.

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




Bridgman, George B., The Human Machine. New York: Dover, 1972.

Bridgman, George B.,  Bridgman's Life Drawing.  New York: Dover, 1971.

Bridgman, George B., Constructive Anatomy. New York: Dover, 1972.

Albert, Calvin and Seckler, Dorothy Gees, Figure Drawing Comes to Life. New York: Reinhold, 1957.

Farris, Edmond J., Art Student's Anatomy. New York: Dover, 1961.

Hale, Robert Beverly and Terence Coyle, Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1977.

Peck, Stephen Rogers, Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist. New York: Oxford U.P., 1951.

Thomson, Arthur, A Handbook of Anatomy for Art Students. Oxford: Oxford U. P., 5th ed., 1915.






Doerner, Max, The Materials of the Artist and Their Use in Painting. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1934.

Mayer, Ralph W., The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques. New York: Viking Press, 1970.

Watrous, James, The Craft of Old Master Drawings. Madison, WI.: U. of Wisc. P., 1957.




Barnet, Sylvan, A short  Guide to writing About Art. New York: Longman's, 1997.

Dondis, Donis A., A Primer of Visual Literacy. Cambridge, MA.: M.I.T. Pr., 1973.





(01) 18X24 All-Purpose White Drawing Paper Pad

(01) 24X36 Newsprint Pad

(01) 18X24 Charcoal/ Pastel Pad

(01) 9X12 Sketchbook (larger format is acceptable)

(04) 22X30 Sheets Rives BFK or Cover (will advise when to purchase)

(04) Sheet Neutral Toned Drawing Paper: Grey, Tan, Blue:Artagain Strathmore (will advise when to purchase)



(01) Box Vine Charcoal (soft or medium)

(01) Box Soft Compressed Charcoal

(01) Thick Charcoal Stick (optional)

(01) Charcoal Pencil: Soft, Medium

(01) Set Drawing Pencils 6B, 2B, H, 2H

(01) Conte Crayons:  Sanguine (or terra-cotta), White, Black

(01) Colored Pencils: Sanguine (or terra-cotta*), White, Black

* Try to match closely your "red" conte crayon


Aqueous Media

(01) Reed Brush, Reed Pen

(01)2" Flat Bristle Brush

(01) Watercolor Brush: #1, #6, #10, 1" Wash Brush

(01) Palette (glass), Pair of Media Jars

(01) Watercolor Tubes: B. Umber, B. Sienna, Yellow Ochre,

Raw Sienna, Ivory Black





Kneaded eraser

Plastic eraser

Pencil loaded eraser

Masking Tape

Straight Edge Razor


Chamois Rag

Combination Lock

Drawing Board


Art Suppliers

The Art Store  (202) 342-7030      3019 M Street, Georgetown

Pearl                 (703) 960-3900      5695 Telegraph Road, Alexandria