ART 221-001, Figure Drawing, Spring 2014
Matthew Watt
Associate Professor of Art & Design

Office Phone: 351 2502
Office Address: D025

Required Textbook

Figure Drawing: The Structure, Anatomy, and Expressive Design of Human Form,  by Nathan Goldstein
You may purchase the 7th, 6th or 5th addition. You can save money by purchasing the 5th addition on Amazon.
I want you to have it ASAP.

Course Description (Prerequisites: ART 121, 122)

This is a rigorous drawing course dedicated to the human figure. It covers the structure and anatomy of the body, as well as narrative and conceptual aspects of figurative art. Students will strive to create a portfolio of drawings that reflect a steady progression in technical skill, design and expression.

Work Ethic

Figure Drawing is demanding and rigorous. You must have a strong work ethic to succeed. it is especially important not to miss class since the model is our exclusive focus. It will be necessary to work outside of class time on a regular basis. Expect to spend up to 6 hours per week outside of class working on drawing.


This semester is divided into quarterly portfolios. Each will require 4 in-class drawings and 2 studies done outside of class. Each portfolio is worth 100 points. There are individual web pages for each portfolio with specific learning objectives.

Portfolio 1 
Structural Drawings dealing with major planes and volumes of the figure. 
Portfolio 2
Observational Drawings dealing with light and shadow. 
Portfolio 3
Observational Drawings dealing with the figure and composition. 
Portfolio 4
Observational Drawings with color media and drawings that explore content.

Weekly Master Studies

One of the time honored practices of figure drawing is a master study. You will draw from a drawing of a historically significant and accomplished artist. I will assign one master copy per week, excluding the first and last week. There will be a total of 14 studies. These will be done in a sketchbook (no smaller than 9 x 11) over the weekend. I will check them every Monday. Each will be worth 10 points. The objective of a master study is to learn from the experience. Your study must demonstrate a good deal of energy and effort to be successful. It should accurately capture the essence of the master drawing.

Quizzes on anatomy

There will be 1 quiz on skeletal anatomy and 1 quiz on muscular anatomy. There will be an additional quiz on the proportions and anatomical features of the head. Each Quiz will be worth 10 points.


There will be a total of 570 points possible.


All work must meet the portfolio deadline. Students must be present during critique to meet the deadline. Drawings must be finished. The written self-criticism must be turned in at the end of critique. Late work will only be accepted in the case of illness or emergency, with prior notice and at my discretion. Otherwise, work that does not meet the deadline will not be accepted. Missing one portfolio will seriously effect your final grade. Missing two portfolios will mean that you have failed the class.


Students must attend and participate in all critiques. A written self-criticism will be turned in at the end of each critique. At the beginning level, critiques are well-organized and constructive. I expect each student to actively engage in the discussion.

Absence Policy

Students are allowed 3 absences after which their cumulative grade is lowered 5%  for every absence beyond the 3rd. There are no excused absences, so even if one has a legitimate reason for missing a class, it still counts as one of the allowed 3 absences. A student will fail this course if they miss more than 7 class sessions. I recommend strongly that they drop the course to avoid injuring their GPA. An absence includes missing more than 1/2 hour of class time. This absence policy begins on the second week of the semester.


Lockers are available free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. Email to with your request for a locker. Due to the number of students, you will need to share the lock with someone else.

Behavior Policy

Come to class prepared with the necessary materials.
Arriving late is disruptive. If done often enough, it becomes disrespectful and will negatively effect your performance and grade.
Do not talk excessively during studio time so that you become a distraction to others.
Do not bring food into the studio or lab.
Turn your phones to vibrate in class. Do not answer unless it is urgent, and then leave the classroom to talk.
DO NOT TEXT DURING CLASS. You cannot draw without focused concentration. 
Contact me by email if you miss a class so that I may give you guidance about how to prepare for next class. 
I will withdraw any student who violates Parkland’s rules of


If you believe you have a disability for which you may need an academic accommodation (e.g. an alternate testing environment, use of assistive technology or other classroom assistance) please contact: 
Cathy Robinson
Director, Office of Disability Services 
Room X148 353-2082

Drops and Withdrawals

Around the tenth day of a full semester class (or its equivalent for a class of shorter duration), I am required to assess your attendance.  If you have not attended to that point, you will be dropped with no refund of tuition and fees.  After this census date, you should not plan on an instructor withdrawal if you want to withdraw from the course.  You are ultimately responsible for your own withdrawal by the withdrawal date.  Non-attendance after the census date will result in an F if you don't withdraw yourself.

Materials List

Students are responsible for materials listed on the course supply list.  You should withdrawal from the class if you cannot purchase these materials.  The Art & Design Department will not provide these supplies.

Drawing Paper, 80 lbs, 18 x 24, Canson or Strathmore
Newsprint, 18 x 24, 50 - 100 sheets
Strathmore Series 500 Charcoal Paper (Grey, White and Black)
Canson XL Mixed Media Paper Pad, heavyweight 98lb, 11 x 14

Graphite pencil set (B - 8B)
Compressed graphite stick, 6B
Charcoal pencils (med, soft)
Compressed charcoal (med, soft)
Willow Charcoal, Coates or Winsor & Newton, (not vine charcoal)
Black Conte Crayon, hard and medium (1 or 2 packs)
Prismacolor Nupastel Hard Pastel Set of Assorted Colors, 12 or 24
Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolor Paint Set, 14 Half Pan colors

Workable Fixative
Large kneaded eraser
Art Gum eraser
Pen-type retractable eraser
Sandpaper block
Dusting Brush
hand held pencil sharpener
X-acto knife
Drafting tape
Drawing board (minimum size 24 x 32)
Large portfolio, firm vinyl or cardboard (you may not roll your drawings). You can purchase large sheets of cardboard for a couple dollars a piece at Art Coop for turning in your Portfolios.

These supplies can be purchased mid-way thru the semester
Bright White Crescent Matboard, 32 x 40 (2 boards)
Foam Core, 32 x 40 (2 boards)
150 Lincoln square village
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 352-4562