Drawing: History and Practice - HART6660

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


This module will pursue three interrelated aims through the use and study of drawing:
Firstly, it will introduce students to the range of drawing techniques used by artists, the different types of drawings they produce and their function in the process of designing and executing works of art. It will equip students with the tools for analysing and identifying drawings, and provide foundations for effective connoisseurship..
Secondly, it will equip students with a practice-based understanding of the role of drawing in artistic training and of its importance as a tool for creative work. Students will participate in drawing seminars where they will carry out exercises modelled on artistic practice. To give some indicative examples, these may begin with rudimentary conventions for drawing eyes and ears, through copy drawings to mechanical drawing methods like perspective and shadow projection, tracing and the use of the grid. The exercises may then build on these simple beginnings and develop towards portrait drawing informed by anatomical analysis of the skull, drawing from sculptural casts, from the draped and nude figure, sketching the landscape, and finally working towards the compositional drawing and methods for enlarging it. Drawing exercises will clarify for students the processes of artistic visualization and design, and make available to them an important tool of visual and art historical analysis.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 48
Independent learning hours: 252
Total Study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay (3000 words) - (40%)
Critical analysis of a drawing (1000 words) - (30%)
Drawing portfolio - (30%)

Indicative reading

Ames-Lewis, F., Wright, J.(1983). Drawing in the Italian Renaissance workshop. London: Victoria and Albert Museum.
Ames-Lewis, F. (2000). Drawing in early Renaissance Italy. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.
Bambach, C. (1999). Drawing and painting in the Italian Renaissance workshop: Theory and practice, 1300-1600. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cennini, C. and Thompson, D. V. (1960). The craftsman's handbook: The Italian "Il libro dell' arte." Translated by Daniel V. Thompson. New York: Dover Publications.
Chaet, B. (1983). The art of drawing. Belmont CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomson Learning.
Olszewsk, E. J. (1981). The draftsman's eye: late Italian Renaissance schools and styles; Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art.
Rockman, D. A. (2000). The art of teaching art: A guide for teaching and learning the foundations of drawing-based art. New York: Oxford University Press, USA.
Vasari, G. (2011). Vasari on technique. Trans. Maclehose, L.S. New York: Dover Publications.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- demonstrate a good understanding of the important role of drawing in the design and execution of works of art.
- identify techniques of drawing used by the Old Masters, and have acquired some knowledge of the technique of connoisseurship with respect to drawings.
- have a practical understanding of the role played by drawing in artistic training and creative design through completing a series of drawing exercises.
- practise the generic skill of visual analysis through the processes of visualization and formal analysis opened up by the use of drawing as an art historical tool.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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