Name of Project: Introduction To Figure Drawing
MCAD Teaching Artist: Nathalie Pedracine
Teacher(s)/ School: Pat Undis & Kimberly Schenk, Blaine Senior High School
Age or Grade Level: High School (grades 9-12)

Visual Arts Content / Standards

Grades 9-12 1. Artistic Foundations
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of the arts area. Visual Arts
1. Analyze how the elements of visual art including color, line, shape, value, form, texture and space; and principles such as repetition, pattern, emphasis, contrast and balance are combined to communicate meaning in the creation of, presentation or response to a visual artwork.

Overview of Project

Day 1: Students will view examples of different levels of resolution. After a quick demo on mark making and gesture, students will begin to work on 3-4 two minute drawings of the model on newsprint. Next, students will move up to 2-3 five minute drawings, incorporating more materials if they choose. The class will wrap up with 10 minute poses and then clean up once the session is over.

Day 2: Powerpoint presentation to begin talking about proportion of the human body, guiding lines, and other foundational drawing techniques to consider. Students will then get started on an extended drawing that lasts (most) the duration of the class. Short crit preferred after the session is over.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential Question(s)

How will students accurately represent the figure, while implementing their own artistic hand?
How can the students give each other helpful feedback on their process and work?
How can I, personally, engage with them as they are working on their projects?
I know from my own experience of figure drawing classes, it’s difficult inserting a teacher who will give you feedback as you are working—we see things from different perspectives, so how can I give them helpful feedback as they are working without overstepping my boundaries?
Student Outcome Objectives

Remembering – I want the students to retain the knowledge I’ll be presenting to them and show their Understanding of the concepts presented. Through their own artistic process, I want them to be able to Create their own approach to drawing the figure. Through a short critique, I’m hoping they will be able to Analyze their own work and the work of their fellow classmates. 

Prior Knowledge

Line variation, value, mark making, gesture, basic human figure proportions (covered in presentation).

Lesson Preparation Timeline

1/28 - Meeting with Lynda about materials and lesson plan
1/29 - 1/30 Complete lesson plan prep & gather other materials
1/31 - 2/1 Gather previous works for display, create presentation for students
2/4 Present lesson to students (Day 1 activities)
2/10  Continue project (Day 2)

Examples of Artwork: coming soon

Gesture drawing from Figure Drawing - 5 minute pose (MCAD sophomore year, 2015)

Extended drawing from Figure Drawing - 4 hour pose (MCAD sophomore year, 2015)

Extended drawing with charcoal and ink from Drawing II - 4.5 hour pose (MCAD freshman year, spring 2014)


Observing student work will make evident students learning. Looking for evidence of gesture, process and application of line weight & variation, composition (rule of thirds, triangular, perspective/point of view)
Feedback and critique the following week.

24 x 36 folded newsprint (12 x 18 folded)
Vine charcoal
Compressed Charcoal
White Charcoal pencils/white chalk
11 x 14 drawing paper (canson)
Various other sizes and surfaces (smooth, cold press, etc)
Kneaded erasers
Artgum erasers
Soft paper towels

Learning Activities and Timing
Day 1: ~7 minutes - Welcome students to the classroom, providing a short demo on drawing the figure and different mark making techniques with various materials. Invite students to use the provided materials as well as their own and allow them time to set up.

~10-15 minutes - 4 individual drawings based on 2 minute poses from the model
~15 minutes - 3 five minute drawings from the model pose
~20 minutes - 2 ten minute drawings from the model pose

Day 2: ~10 minutes - Brief presentation on the figure and drawing concepts, followed by the students getting set up with their drawing boards and selecting materials.
~35 minutes - Give the students work time from a single extended pose while providing help when needed.
~10 minutes - Short crit & clean up

Teacher Reflection

During the lesson, I was very happy with the work that the students produced! Both days of the project I noticed that the students were considering the information I had presented to them and were thoughtfully drawing and experimenting with materials. In hindsight, I wish that I had allotted more time for critique.