Design Culture and Theory - Milestones in the Development of Drawing and Design to  1900

Billy Blue College of Design


Arachne by Marianne Elliott

The Seasons by Elizabeth Robb

Examples of a finished pen drawing (above) and a pencil modello (below) by students in  Design, Culture and Theory,  Semester 1, 2008 (click to enlarge).




 UPDATE Aug 29:

This excellent little drawing manual from 1915 has useful sections on basic drawing, human proportions, pen and ink technique, perspective and composition.

Lutz, E.G., 1915. Practical Drawing.



Some OPTIONAL reading suggestions for anyone with some catching up to do:

Timeline of Art History (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Classical Greece (ca, 480-323 BC)

Hellenistic Greece

Roman Empire (27 B.C.–393 A.D.)

Middle Ages (illuminated manuscripts)

Renaissance (Leonardo) (Renaissance drawing)

Mannerism (El Greco)

Baroque (Caravaggio) (Rubens)

Rococo (Boucher)


19th Century Academic Art

Romanticism and Symbolism

Realism (Manet)

Impressionism (Monet)



SEE just how much you can achieve in two years drawing and painting here.

DOWNLOAD (scroll down) those slides I showed you on the basic ways of seeing here.

Two early classics on drawing available as free ebooks:

 Speed, Harold. The Practice and Science of Drawing.

Guptill, Arthur Leighton,1922. Sketching and Rendering in Pencil.



Vilppu Drawing Online (Glenn Vilppu):

Here are five short tutorials selected from a series of twelve in the free online version of the Vilppu Drawing Manual.



Spherical Forms

The Box

Seeing Anatomical Masses


A Drawing Glossary (Fogg Art Museum).

Drawing Materials and Drawing Techniques - an Introduction (Michael Miller).

Printmaking techniques - short summaries with links:

Pen Illustration Technique Links

Ellwood, G. Montague , 1927. The Art Of Pen Drawing.  (read online)

or download whole book here:

Maginnis, Charles. Pen Drawing - An Illustrated Treatise. (4.9 MB zip) OR (DjVu/pdf)

Sullivan, Edmund J. 1921.  The Art Of Illustration.

Sullivan, Edmund J. 1922.  Line - An Art Study.




Poore, Rankin, 1903. Pictoral Composition and the Critical Judgement of Pictures.
Good source of ideas on artistic composition current at the start of the twentieth century.

Dow, Arthur Wesley, 1913. Composition; a series of exercises in art structure for the use of students and teachers.

Compositional Studies for Barocci's Visitation.


 Some selected diagrams on perspective (see the two Loomis links below for more)

Norman Rockwell on his use of photo reference

Loomis, Andrew, from Figure Drawing for All It's Worth.
Good section on the figure in perspective. (to 919) (index page)

 Storey, G. A. The Theory and Practice of Perspective.

Watson, Ernest. How To Use Creative Perspective. (pdf 11 MB/ DjVu 7.5 MB)

Loomis, Andrew, Perspective from Successful Drawing. (to 210) (index page)



Briggs, David, 2007. Basics of Light and Shade in The Dimensions of Colour

Loomis, Andrew, Light on the Basic Forms, from Successful Drawing. (to 230) (index page)

Week 8: COLOUR

 Briggs, David, 2007. The Dimensions of Colour.

Basic Color Theory for the Desktop (Adobe)

Colour links (efg's Computer Lab)



Your assessment for my section of the subject will be based on a written and visual report containing:

1.  One finished A4 pen and ink drawing of a mythological scene, based on a story from the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid. You are required to design and execute an original composition showing a scene chosen from one of the seven  stories listed below. Any work that is a copy of a pre-existing work by another artist will be treated as plagiarism.

2.  Preparatory work done inside and outside class, that must include:
 (1) all of your compositional studies exploring and developing alternative compositions and tonal schemes.
 (2) your original photo reference and sketchbook studies that you have used for the figures, details, landscape settings, etc.
 (3) your full-scale final preparatory study (modello) in pencil.
 (4) three reduced-scale colour roughs exploring the expressive effect of alternative colour schemes.

3. A concise written report (a) explaining your choices, successes and difficulties in each step of the project, and (b) commenting on the relevance to contemporary multimedia and graphic design of the knowledge and techniques used, particularly in connection with the rise of digital painting and animation (approximately 200 words). (Material for the latter comments might be found by visiting the tutorial sections of student and professional forums such as

 You should ensure that your choice of subject allows you to demonstrate your grasp of the topics dealt with in this section of the course.  Specifically, it must  
 (1) show an effective composition, based on demonstrated exploration of alternative arrangments,
 (2) show a minimum of two figures that look "solid", and whose psychological interaction is displayed in believable and expressive gestures,
 (3) be  set in  a consistent three-dimensional environment, with all elements of the picture agreeing with each other in perspective, and
 (4) make use of original photo reference - (i.e. don't guess anything that you can find out).

Weighting: 25% of subject


Choose your scene from one of the following seven stories. Remember, you must choose a scene with at least two interacting characters:

Book 2, lines 401-507.  Jupiter, Diana and Callisto

Book 4, lines 55-166: Pyramus and Thisbe

Book 4, lines 663-752: Perseus and Andromeda

Book 8, lines 183-235: Daedalus and Icarus

Book 10, lines 1-85: Orpheus and Eurydice

Book 10, lines 560-680: Atalanta and Hippomenes

Book 13, lines 738-788: Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus


DEADLINES (due in each case at start of class)

Week 4:  SUBMIT SCANS of  first compositional roughs

Week 7: SUBMIT PHOTOCOPY  completed full-scale pencil modello of illustration

Week 9: SUBMIT final drawing and accompanying materials




Ovid Metamorphoses (translated by Tony Kline)

Tony Kline's free, plain English translation should prove quite readable, even if English is not your first language. Furthermore, the pdf has a fully hyperlinked contents, making it easy to find any character in the text. (pdf, 4.2 MB)

or browse online at:


Images and Commentary:

OVID: METAMORPHOSES  (Hans-Jürgen Günther)

"Richly illustrated by famous artists in European history"

Achilles to Zephyr: An Alphabetical Listing of Greek and Roman Art by Topic (Lilith Gallery, Toronto).

Theoi Project (Aaron Atsma).

Images from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Visual Renderings from the Middle Ages to the Present

The Ovid Collection (University of Virginia)

The Ovid Project: Metamorphosing the Metamorphoses (Hope Greenberg, University of Vermont).

The Ambrose Collection

Engravings by Johannes Baur. 1703.

Images from the 1640 edition translated by George Sandys

Ovid's Metamorphoses (Rijkmuseum)

Greek Mythology Link  (Carlos Parada)



Flaxman's Iliad and Odyssey (pdf book)

Flaxman's Odyssey (images)

Willy Pogany's illustrations for The Adventures of Odysseus & the Tale of Troy.


For ideas for classical architectural settings, you could look at some of these paintings by Lawrence Alma-Tadema