2022-23 TERM DATES:


Graphite Drawing from an Instructor


First Year

A designed set of studies focussing on outline, proportion and shadow shape. A step by step progression through our curriculum.
The first set of studies are intended to empower the students visual, associative language in two dimensions. This is to prepare them to confront three-dimensional subjects in life.
Through the idealised forms of the Charles Bargue Drawings, the students learn the academic approach to drawing very effectively. They develop skill in creating block shapes, reproducing and learning the effect of variation in outline, and edge quality. They also start to understand the importance of values and turning form.
Students gain the skills to truly see their subject, they gain precision through practice over many hours, as well as proficiency in the use of their tools and materials. The student begins to use these skills and concepts in drawing from the live model.
Students are required to study from the Bargue drawings in graphite pencil. The level of complexity varies from relatively simple to very dense with information. In order to progress through these studies, the student must correctly draw the subject’s outline, proportion and shadow shape. They must skilfully and effectively use their materials, see their shapes correctly and apply methods and concepts proficiently to pass.



By the end of this section of the program the student will be able to:

  • Apply the correct procedure to drawing

  • Apply the sight-size method of measurement in order to view the subject accurately and create an accurate outline

  • Translate two-dimensional form in order to later translate three-dimensional form in two dimensions

  • Draw correct values

  • Produce a clean technique

  • Upon successful completion of the program, students will have acquired a very high practical ability, together with a deep insight into the theory and historical traditions of drawing.

A Cast Drawing


1st year

Cast drawing compiles the skills gained from the first phase of the course. Students complete replicas of plaster casts in two dimensions, it sensitises the students eye to values and light found in nature.
Cast’s represent a monochromatic, simplified and unmoving form. They are usually reproductions of statuary. They help the student find similarly structured shapes in nature. Measurements however are no longer scientific, the sight size method gives students a head-start but accuracy in cast drawing relies on eye-made measurements. 
During this sequence students are instructed in how to set up their cast, this is to create a strong point of focus that should be central in the finished drawing. The fundamental concept of creating a focal point is of particular relevance here; the student draws one area in complete focus, and the peripheral area out of focus. As the eye would see in nature. Students are also instructed in how to create and design interesting shadow shapes and control lighting.




Students begin to represent the values of the cast, the impression of what they view. They learn that the value-key must be lowered in their work, this is to achieve an accurate impression of their set-up. Students learn that there is a vast range of value from dark to light in nature than can be achieved in their drawing. Whilst drawing, the students have to narrow their range and create a believable turn to the form - achieving the illusion of three dimension. 

The level of difficulty in plaster cast exercises vary from simple to very complex. To pass these studies, students must correctly draw the outline, proportion and shadow shape. They must skilfully use their materials and see their shapes correctly and use sight-size method fluently.

By the end of beginning cast drawing the student will be able to:

  • Apply the sight-size method of measurement in order to view and reproduce the subject accurately

  • Compress values

  • Translate three-dimensional form into two dimensions

  • Create a focus

  • Create the impression of depth, distance, and atmosphere among parts of the drawing



First Year

The figure is crucial to the school’s curriculum. Figure drawing 101 utilises the accuracy gained from the cast and from Bargue drawings to represent a living model. 
Students are instructed to retain three essential concerns when working from the live model: gesture, proportion and body archetype. To achieve a realistic impression students approach the drawing using two ways: line, where the student draws the outside contour and around the shadow shapes, or a mass-based approach, where the student lays in value to find the most descriptive shapes. Students also combine these two approaches. Through the drawing, students progress from simple outlines and shadow shapes and draw from their newly gained knowledge of anatomy, they give the figure realistic proportions and weight distribution. Students then address tone in their drawings and key the correct value structure. Students, when working through their drawings, also learn how variation in edge quality between shadow and light groupings can imply the form of the figure.
By considering light and value, the edge quality and proportion as well as composition and materiality, the student is now thinking more like a painter.
The models return to pose in the same position for up to thirty hours, long poses with consistent timing are essential for fully realised drawings and paintings from life.



Students may attend life drawing classes in the evenings for two hours a week. Pencil drawings during these classes strengthen the students skill in learning how to accurately record the model’s outline and shadow shape. Models are placed in a neutral background with controlled lighting. These drawings allow students to understand just how much they can push their drawings with very selected elements, a simple outline, shadow shape, gesture and accurate edge quality.

After “Figure Drawing 101” Students will demonstrate the following skills:

Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy by a sophisticated outline and well designed shadow shapes, as well as descriptive half tone shapes integrated into the big light shape

Demonstrate proportion among various forms

Demonstrate skill with dealing with the subtle changes of the living, moving form

Create edges that give the impression of form turning in space

Create a realistic impression of weight and balance

Create a realistic impression of structure and solidity

Create a realistic impression of light flowing over the form



First Year

At SSCA we believe that the best way to understand form is to draw from life regularly and to compliment this comprehension with an in-depth knowledge of the structures of the human body. Our strong insistence on drawing from life means that studying anatomy rigorously is essential to completing the program. During our studies of anatomy we give students new tools to understand the deeper structures of the figure as well as the exterior forms.

Course objectives:

  • To increase awareness of the skeletal structure

  • To instill in the mind a full image of the human figure, proportions and plains

  • To understand the proportional system and learn key points of the human body

  • To study a constructive drawing approach, properly using perspective rules in creating a 3D image 

  • To visualize complex forms in simpler geometrical layout                         



  • Skeleton in three projections

  • Skull

  • Rib cage and Spinal Column

  • Pelvic Bones

  • Major joints: Elbow and Knee

  • Hands and Feet

  • Muscles of   the Head   and Neck

  • Muscles of the Torso - front & back

  • Muscles   of   the   Lower   Limbs

  • Muscles of the Hands and Feet

  • Schematic Model of Full Figure

  • Introduction to comparison anatomy (horse, dog and etc.)

Included in the curriculum is a course on physiognomy:

  • Character creating

  • Learning about the emotional scale

  • Depicting each phase of human emotion