Undergraduate Degree




DN1001 Foundation Drawing I

[Studio Contact Hours: 52 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To deliver to students a practice-based introduction to the basic principles of drawing from observation. To introduce to students the beginnings of an ability to compose and organise a drawing and to reflect upon its content and form.


This course will introduce to the students the basic principles of drawing from observation. The effective consideration of such elements as point, line, shape, tone and form will be developed. Techniques and approaches for evaluation of these elements through comparative analysis will be introduced. A study of the human figure will form a key component of this teaching. The course will progress from line drawing to tone (lightness) drawing and end with a basic introduction to non-observation drawing. Slide talks covering figures and ideas in art and design history will be delivered and the students will be expected to be able to place their work under the beginnings of a critical scrutiny.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• The basic skill set of observational drawing: 

• Relative judgments and how to gauge: 

- Angles, distance, form 

• Design elements: 

- Line / shape / form / value / space / texture, balance,, scale/proportion, movement, unity, contrast, emphasis, 

• Organic / geometric: 

• Tonal (light / dark) drawing.

- Light / dark, edge blend, shape, drawing on dark paper 

• Composition intro

- Centre, edge, corner, overlap, 

• Basic perspective

- Architectural drawing, landscape drawing

• Figure drawing

- The life room, surface anatomy / relative proportions, foreshortening


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Portraiture: 

- Facial Anatomy / Facial expression 

• Composition:

- Point of view, composing of forms (foreground, background etc.)

• Experimenting with media 

- Ink, conte crayon, wax crayon etc 

• Thematic and narrative content: 

- Figure and environment, sequenced drawings, drawing from photographs, sourcing reference materials, drawing without reference


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

The student will have an introductory knowledge of drawing techniques and strategies with a special emphasis on observational skills. The students will have the beginnings of an ability to critically analyse and discus their drawings. The students will have the beginnings of a knowledge of key figures and terms in drawing practice.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 20%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 80% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. George B Bridgman, Bridgman's Life Drawing, Dover Publications

  2. Howard J Smagula, Creative Drawing, McGraw-Hill