New visual arts course will teach everything from basic drawing skills to advanced techniques. Photo: Courtesy of Kandukuru Nagarjun.
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U of O arts department offers new learn-to-draw course this fall

To some, the ability to draw might seem like a gift that certain people are born with and others are not—but it doesn’t have to be.

Starting this fall, students from all programs will be able to register in a new course entitled “Drawing from Life: Fundamentals” (ART1900) that will teach everything from the basic skills to advanced techniques.

“This course is meant to be an introduction to observational drawing from life,” Andrew Morrow, the professor of the new course, told the Fulcrum via email. “We will be looking at how drawing has changed over time, where it is today, and reflecting this in the curriculum. Overall, our hope is that students will come away feeling an increased confidence in their understanding of drawing, both as viewers and as makers.”

The course, which is scheduled to meet from 7 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. on Thursdays this semester, will not be limited to students who have extensive drawing experience.

Indeed, Morrow believes that students will not need to have any drawing abilities when first entering the course. “Students often have much more drawing ability then they think,” he attested. “We all start out drawing, but for a variety of reasons, most of us stop. I’m hoping to inspire students to get back to it, but with new insight into the possibilities and less restrictive ideas of what this might mean for them.”

To facilitate students’ progress in this new course, Morrow anticipates using traditional teaching methods for drawing, like lectures and using models and paper, but will also feature innovative artistic methods.

“Students will also be exploring more creative media, making their own tools, working digitally, and using lots of different approaches beyond the usual paper/charcoal model,” said Morrow. “We would like to explore how the technological tools we currently have in our homes can be creatively or more directly adapted into tools for drawing.”

Unfortunately, this iteration of the class is currently full. So, students hoping to sign up for the course this semester may have to go on the waitlist. However, Morrow remains hopeful that it will be brought back next year. “Much of the curriculum emerges from my own love of drawing, my interest in its ongoing ontology, from the technical training I’ve received throughout my career, and from my ongoing dedication to passing these along.”

So, if you are a student hoping to master your drawing abilities, or even just start a new artistic hobby, this might be a course that you should check out. “I’m hoping to work against (the personal and intimidating nature of drawing),” Morrow explained, “and to guide students through a challenging, but fun and freeing experience, with an emphasis on both personal discovery and communal expression.”

For more info on the course and its contents, students can find the official description from the visual arts department on their website.