|The Columbia University class at work|
Course Description: Academic Cast Drawing
Students will connect with the very heart of the Western Art tradition, engaging in this critical activity that was the pillar of draftsmanship training from the Rennaissance on through the early Modern Era. This pursuit is the common thread that links artists from Michelangelo and Rubens to Van Gogh and Picasso. Rigorous studies will be executed from plaster casts of antique sculptures and pedagogical engravings. Students will confront foundational issues of academic training; assessing proportion and tonal value, structure and form. Hours will be spent on a single drawing pushing to the highest degree of accuracy in order develop a means for looking at nature. There is a focus on precision and gaining a thorough understanding of the interaction between light and a surface. This approach emphasizes drawing by understanding the subject and the physical world that defines it. While this training has allowed great representational artists of the past to unlock the poetry from the world around them and continues to inspire a surging new realist movement, it can also serve as a new way of seeing and a launching point for achieving creative goals.
|Instructor Edward Minoff's demo sphere drawing|
The class runs through the entire semester, from February to April. The students began with the basics of measuring and shape relationships through copies of the block-in Bargue feature plates, soon moving on to the figure plates. They then switched to block-ins from the actual feature casts; while becoming introduced to form concepts by rendering spheres in graphite. When I visited, the class was just beginning to render their block-ins, which they will continue to do for the rest of the semester. We look forward to their continued progress!
|Columbia University student drawing|