Drawing I: Basic Techniques and Fundamentals

Instructor: Robin Adair
Tuesdays 5:30-8:30pm
8 weeks: July 6 to August 24
Location: Online
$300 (supplies not included)
Prerequisite: None

Students will explore the foundational techniques, concepts, and materials of drawing two-dimensional images. Each class will focus on techniques that develop and integrate the analytical and intuitive sides of the creative brain. Students will develop heightened observational skills through still-life drawing, self-portraiture, and working from human models. They will also learn and apply some of the fundamental principles of design – rhythm, balance, positive and negative space, light and shadows, form, surface, and line – through collage techniques, chiaroscuro studies, contour drawing, gesture drawing, and pen and ink works. 


  • Line and gesture: contour drawing; gesture drawing; exploratory mark making.
  • Shading and value: Introduction to still-life drawing.
  • Composition and design: Studies in rhythm, balance, and positive and negative space.
  • Cubist abstraction: Introduction to collage techniques using found materials and recycled drawings.
  • Symbolic representation: Creating visual analogues and narratives with gestural line, value, shape, and pattern.
  • Self-portraiture: Introduction to anatomical structure; techniques for rendering a human face with line and shading.
  • Figure drawing, part one: Introduction to anatomical structure; gesture drawing; working from multiple perspectives.
  • Figure drawing, part two: Building towards a sustained work in multiple mediums. Drawing from a live model.
  • Independent work

Please note that this outline is subject to change in response to class dynamics and development.


  • Vine Charcoal
  • Graphite Sticks
  • Pencils (2B to 8B) Staedtler Mars Lumograph brand is recommended
  • Erasers: 2 kneaded and 1 gum
  • Conte (brown, black, and white)
  • 2 bamboo ink brushes
  • Container of India Ink
  • Roll of rice paper
  • Pad of newsprint (18” x 24” or larger)
  • Bulldog clips (two)

During the first class, we will discuss options for other drawing papers.