Syllabus, etc.

Drawing and Painting - Investigation Based on Observation
The Sketchbook As An Esssential Companion


Course Description and Objectives

In this class we will explore principles of the drawing and painting process through observation of objects, people and spaces, as well as through conceptual means. You will be guided through learning how to describe with quick execution and simplicity, while focusing on information and structure. We will explore seeing and drawing, translating space, capturing gesture and mood, interpreting value through light and shadow, and we will extend our traditional preconceptions about the parameters of drawing and painting. This course is designed to allow students to gain further experience in developing personal drawing toward greater creative flexibility, technical ability, and a high degree of expression.

A good portion of the work we do will take place “on site,” or, on location. We will break our habit of engaging in art making only in traditional spaces that are convenient or well appointed. We will give up only being able to make art when we are comfortable.

The experiences and processes presented to you will be a means to get you thinking and working, and you will experience being an artist in your environment, at all times. This approach is intended to trigger further artistic exploration on your part. This will be accomplished through building, on a weekly basis, work that takes place outside our studio time.

Making images as an act and as an end has many functions- documentation and recording, communication and expression, storytelling, extended thought, and more. Your experience in Florence will broaden your ideas of how and why you make images, thereby increasing your abilities to generate your own creative space. The objective of this course is to provide you with the time, space and points of departure upon which your basic skills will evolve, your drawing vocabulary will increase, and your definitions of drawing and painting will be expanded and become more fluid and more wholly integrated into your daily practice.

Assignments to Augment Studio/Class Work:
Additionally, sketchbook and experiential assignments will be ongoing activities that will require you to record, and make extended work from these beginnings - Themes and subject matter will be assigned, but you will be expected to develop and expand the images and the ideas.

The semesters’ work will be categorized by these groupings:

·       Drawing and painting on site: landscape, architecture, people and activities.
·       “Sketchbook Extended”- drawing, painting, photography, collage, (ongoing assignments)
·       Final mixed media works as noted.

For the Final You Will Have:
1)     Two full, completed sketchbooks, with work in pencil, ink, watercolor, marker, and collage, and utilizing other materials if you brought or purchased them (i.e. acrylic, pastel, etc.)
2)    1 multi-media piece (could be multiple pieces) based upon “100 Faces, 100 Places” activity
3)    5, 11” x 15” images (series or sequential) resulting from the “Something New” activity
4)    “Draw on Your Walk Home” assignment
5)    “One Week, One Theme” assignment
6)    “Letter as Object” assignment
7)    Other finished work as conceived of by Prof. Lucchesi, coordinating with class and homework activity.
8)    Two full blog posts featuring photographs and writing reflecting on your experiences, as well as some examples of your work and/or process. You will consult with the instructor regarding the artwork images before posting them. These postings will be entered, according to schedule, at

At the end of the semester you will exhibit some of your work at Palazzo Rucellai. In the spring semester you will exhibit selected works at in the Art and Art History Building in Storrs.

Participation/Critiques/Due Dates:

You are required to attend each class, including arriving on time and being prepared to work. Participation in studio days, critiques (which means being both present and contributing in an articulate way to discussion), finishing work by the due dates, and cleaning up the studio space (regularly) before leaving is mandatory.

The course is experiential, and missing class is not acceptable. Absences cannot be made up and assignments will not be extended. Emergency absence may be necessary due to illness or emergencies, but these must be serious occurrences.

After two absences, your semester grade will be lowered by ½ a letter, and so on.

Grades are based on the following:
·      Your comprehension of concepts, formal issues and techniques discussed and practiced
·      Your growth in terms of understanding the content of the course
·      The competence and quality of your work combined with a reasonable volume of work completed in this semester-long session
  • Input and involvement during discussions and your participation throughout the course.
  • Your ability to challenge yourself and to remain self-motivated both during studio and in between studio sessions (outside assigned work)

A = Assimilating concepts & principles exceptionally well; utilizing them with outstanding creativity, imagination, and comprehension; demonstrating inventiveness; active and engaged in studio sessions; demonstrating outstanding self-motivation
B = Assimilating concepts and principles well; utilizing them with creativity and imagination; active and engaged in studio sessions; demonstrating solid self-motivation
C = Assimilating concepts and principles; utilizing them with limited creativity and imagination; active in studio sessions; demonstrating average self-motivation
D = Limited assimilation of concepts and principles; inconsistent engagement in studio sessions or outside work; lacking strong self-motivation- must be consistently pushed to work
F = Unable to grasp concepts and principles; lack of engagement in studio sessions or failure to participate; lacking completion of outside work; lacking self-motivation

Schedule (subject to change depending upon weather and access):

Week 1: Aug. 31- Sept. 4: Introduction. Reviewing the basics of observational drawing: Composition, perspective, color, value, texture, light and shadow, color theory &… practice. Piazza della Repubblica

Week 2: Sept. 7-10: Drawing along the Arno + “100 Faces, 100 Places”

Week 3: Sept. 14-17: Giardini di Boboli + Pitti Palace

Week 4: Sept. 21-25: Giardini di Boboli + Pitti Palace/Mercato Centrale; Introduction to “Something New” homework assignment

Week 5: Sept. 28- Oct. 1: Mercato Centrale + “One Week, One Theme”

Week 6: Oct. 5- 9: San Marco, church, convent and museum

Week 7: Oct. 12-16: Piazza Santo Spirito (church and neighborhood) + “Draw on Your Walk Home”

Week 8: Oct. 16-25:  Mid-term Break

Week 9: Oct. 26-30: “Something New” in studio work

Week 10: Nov. 2-6: Piazzale Michelangelo/San Miniato al Monte

Week 11: Nov. 9-13: Basilica di Santa Croce; Discuss “Letter as Object”project

Week 12: Nov. 16-20: “Letter as Object” project

Week 13: Nov. 23-27: La Specola. Prof. Deibler attends

Tues. Nov. 24, Community Dinner.

Week 14: Nov. 30- Dec. 4:
Thursday, Dec. 3, Last Day of Classes

Week 14: Dec. 7-10: Final Exams/Final Crits
Thursday, Dec. 10, Farewell Reception

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