Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Assignment

Drawing prompt based on Akira Kurosawa's The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail

In front of a blank piece of paper

_What would your genuine prospectus look like?
_What would it have to say?
_To whom would it be for?
_Would it be dark, light or would light and dark not be its most pertinent aspects?
_Would it be small, large or simply medium and why?
_What would it show and what would it say?
_Would it be abstract or could anyone understand it?
_Would it be a boring revelation or would it change everything?
_Would it be a statement or a poem, a story or an idea? A song in pictures ...?
_Would you be in it or is it someone else's vision?
_Is it important or not for right now?
_Do you understand it or the reason why is because you don't?
_To whom?

What would this drawing be?

Materials: Any materials that are on the supply list
Size: Any size
Due: Next Wednesday Sept. 4th/CRITIQUE

Friday, August 23, 2013


1. What made you decide to come to Tyler?

2. What did/do your grandfathers and grandmothers do for a living?

3. If you were asked to make a mix CD for me with 10 of your favorite songs what would they be: 

1 _                                                                      6 _
2 _                                                                      7 _
3 _                                                                      8 _
4 _                                                                      9 _
5 _                                                                     10_

4. Describe your first memory

5. Describe an event, a moment, an experience in your life that truly moved you

6. Who are some of your favorite visual artists (painters, sculptors, graphic designers, fashion…)?

7. Name 3 of your favorite films/movies

8. Name one "guilty pleasure" (ie: a song you're embarrassed to like, an activity you love partaking in that you wouldn't tell anyone, etc)

9. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you believe in that binary?

10. When you dream do you dream in color?

11. What is drawing?


Rubens Ghenov
Adjunct Professor
1511 - Foundation Drawing
Tyler School of Art / Temple University
Office: Suite 230O
Available: mon-wed: 5:15 – 6:00pm 

Course # 1511 / Section 008/011
Course Reference # 6286 / 6037
Class meets: 008: 12:00 – 2:30          In: 230E     
                       011:  2:40 – 5:10           In: 230E     

Course Description:
An introduction to foundation drawing course that concentrates on developing basic formal, conceptual, and technical skills. The course examines varied media in the study of the figure, geometric composition, and landscape. A discussion of technology in studio practice is part of all Foundation courses. NOTE: Enrollment is limited to students accepted for Tyler BFA programs.

Course Objectives:
Foundation Drawing is an introduction to drawing as a basic practice that underlies all visual art making. In this course, students will investigate the basic elements of visual language (including mark, line, gesture, contour, edge, value, form, volume, mass, density, proportion, scale, linear perspective, order, pattern, rhythm, texture, and the illusion of space) through a series of observations, exercises, and projects. Emphasis is placed on drawing from observation. Computers and the role of technology in observation and visual research will be discussed. Foundation Drawing 1511 approaches these investigations in value (the expressive and spatial aspects of color are discussed in Foundation Drawing 1512).

Instructor’s Statement

Whether an artwork be conceptual, commercial, abstract, representational, political or site specific, drawing is basic in birthing ideas visually. Its fluidity gives abstract concepts a body in which limbs are linked together. Though drawing is known to occupy much of the behind the scenes work, it is also revered as some of the most interesting artworks of the past as well as the present. More and more, drawing has acquired a lot of attention today due to its flexibility with other media, its open and unedited quality and exploration of a medium that has been sensed as inferior. Drawing is political and prophetic, having the potential to recreate, transform and recontextualize art and thus history. Throughout this course students will be introduced to traditional and unconventional ways of drawing that will help them shape their practice and ideas as artists as well as serve them to explore various media. We will look at art history both past and contemporary and learn how to look at work analytically via critical discussions, readings and films. Being that drawing is a language that speaks in its own syntax, in this class we will spend lots of time articulating our ideas visually and verbally, in order to better understand media, the coordination of eye and hand, techniques, space, light, proportion, composition amidst a plethora of others. Without rigor, drawing is an activity that does not avail much. It is imperative that an artist is diligent and absorbed with much drawing, for any development will only come through painstaking rigor. Drawing is part looking, experimenting, erasing and drawing. It is training your hands to draw what you actually see and your eyes to observe intimately and meticulously, but it is also learning to draw what you want others to see convincingly.

Students will develop:
Your evaluation will depend on your performance toward the following objectives
o      The depth of the observation skills
o      The ability to create a fully-realized drawing
o      The ability to measure and find proportion using hand/eye coordination
o      The ability to think, reflect, and use time in concert with their hands and eyes in drawing
o      The ability to experiment with and use materials to their full potential
o      Verbal and critical skills applicable to the making and evaluation of drawing
o      Skills using drawing to generate ideas

Disability Disclosure
Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact each instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible. Contact Disability Resources and Services at 215.204.1280 at 100 Ritter Annex to coordinate accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  Students must present appropriate paperwork in order to receive special accommodations. Accommodations are limited to those documented by the office of Disability Resources and Services and presented in an official letter to the instructor.

Information on Cancellation of Classes due to Inclement Weather
Information about class closures is prominently displayed on the Temple University homepage ( The University participates with the City of Philadelphia and local radio stations such as KYW (1060-AM), WDAS (1480-AM, 105,3-FM), WIOQ (102.1-FM), WUSL (98.9-FM) and WPEN (950-AM), which broadcast code numbers indicating when classes are closed because of snow or other inclement weather.
373            Day Class Cancellation (classes that begin before 4pm)
2353            Evening Class Cancellation (classes that begin at or after 4pm)
The most accurate and up-to-date information on class cancellations can be obtained by calling the University’s hotline at 215 204 1975, by listening to Temple’s radio station, WRTI 90.1-FM, or by referring to Temple’s website at:


Attendance Policy
You must attend every class. Absences will negatively affect your grade. When absent, you must contact your teacher to find out what occurred in classes you’ve missed.  Work should be completed upon your return to class.

Excused absences
For medical reasons and/or family emergencies only and require documentation; medical absences require note from a doctor or nurse (use Temple Health Services).  You are allowed a maximum of three excused absences after which, you must see the Academic Advisor to withdraw from the course.
Unexcused Absences
One: Deficiency notice will be given to the student.
Two: Deficiency notice + drop of one letter in your final grade.
Three: Three absences are grounds for failure of the course.
Withdrawing from a Class
Please review the Temple University policy of Withdrawal from Classes. You are financially responsible for classes from which you withdraw. Withdrawing from a class may greatly delay your time to graduation. Please consult with an academic advisor before withdrawing from a course. See the University policy at:
Lateness Policy
Arriving any time after class is scheduled to begin is considered late. Even if you are late, you should always come to class. It is better for you to be present for some of the information than to miss an entire class.
Lateness is recorded: 2 latenesses = 1 absence.  It is possible to fail a course based upon lateness alone.  If you have a class that ends when another begins, let both teachers know so they are aware of your individual situation. 

Final grades in all Foundation classes are awarded based on the criteria described in each course’s rubric. The detailed rubrics for all Foundation classes can be found at

Coming to class prepared means being on time, bringing all of the materials for class unless I make specific changes, hanging work up on critique days at the beginning of class, being ready to verbally participate in either a critique, watching and discussing a film and physically working in class.

Late and incomplete work will lose one grade.

In either class or home assignments you will be asked to work to your full potential in which grades will demonstrate accordingly.

Grades will not be given to each project. A group critique at midterm will look at people’s work up to that time and a letter grade will then be posted on Blackboard. I will only let you know your standing grade wise if indeed you are deficient in assignments and/or attendance.

It is expected that you give yourself ample time to work in drawing outside of class. Besides class work you are expected to do home assignments that require a lot of hard work. The work assigned for home will be discussed the next class during our group critiques. Assignments not completed or unfinished will lay heavy at grading time.

Plan out the times you can come to the studio outside of class for projects due to the fact that they are not available 24 hours.

You are also expected to keep a sketch book that will come into our conversation during crits and which I will periodically be looking at during the semester. Please purchase one for the beginning of the semester.

During the semester I will be assessing your participation in class in the following ways:
. Verbal participation during critiques
. Level of commitment to projects both in and outside of class (including sketchbook)
. Paying attention to lectures and films
Foundation Lecture Series is a component of your first year. Presentations begin at 10:30 am in the Auditorium, Room B04. During the first semester, lectures focus on the studio as it is now used by artists and designers.
 Foundation SketchBook

All Foundation classes participate in the Foundation SketchBook, a journal of the first year experience. You must complete the assignments for each course as part of your final evaluation. Sketchbooks will be bound in 2D Foundation Principles.

Deadlines and other information

Deadlines and critiques are very important for the class providing continuity and the flows of ideas to be linked.

If you miss a class (critique, assignments, film, lectures) you must bring a doctor’s note in order to be excused. As stated previously, work should then be completed upon return to class. Critiques and lectures cannot be refabricated thus it is vital that you make it to class every week. In the case a student misses a film, he/she needs to watch it in his/her own time before the next week of class as they relate to specific assignments. Without watching it, the student will not be able to complete the assignment.

Academic Progress in Lower Division Courses

As part of a University program to alert students to problems with performance, your progress in each course will be assessed during the 5th week of classes. If you receive notice of unsatisfactory performance, you must meet with your teacher to discuss your situation.
Academic Integrity
Please refer to the University’s statement on Academic Integrity at:
The Student Code of Conduct considers the following to be a violation of academic integrity: 
1. Academic dishonesty and impropriety, including plagiarism, fabrication and academic cheating. This includes helping, procuring or encouraging another person to engage in academic misconduct;
2 Interfering with or disrupting the conduct of classes or any other normal or regular activities of the University


Original Work
All work submitted for a class must have been made by you, specifically for the course it has been submitted to. A specific project may not be submitted in multiple classes. Submitting work not generated for a specific course constitutes academic dishonesty. The penalty for academic dishonesty is an automatic "F" in the course in which the offense is committed and a report to the Dean. Subsequent offenses are referred to the University Disciplinary Committee.

Week by Week Schedule of Class Events:

syllabus is subject to change

Week 1

Monday, August 26

Wednesday, August 28
Watch the film “The Man who Tread on the Tiger’s Trail”
First Assignment: Drawing based on film prompt

Week 2

Monday, September 2: NO CLASSES – LABOR DAY

Wednesday, September 4:
CRITIQUE: First Assignment

Week 3

Monday, September 9:  LAST DAY TO DROP A COURSE
Folded Paper Still Life (Composition, Mark, Scale, Value)

Wednesday, September 11
Folded Paper (Composition, Mark, Scale, Value)
Second Assignment: Folded Paper with one object

Week 4

Monday, September 16

Wednesday, September 18

Week 5

Monday, September 23
CRITIQUE: Second Assignment

Wednesday, September 25
Still Life 1
Third Assignment: Still Life (vine charcoal on a 24x36 paper)
Read Georges Perec’s “Life, A User’s Manual” Chapter 2, Beaumont 1

Week 6

Monday, September 30
Still Life 2

Wednesday, October 2
CRITIQUE: Third Assignment

Week 7

Monday, October 7
Figure Drawing (Blind Contour, Opposite Hand, Foot)
Fourth Assignment: 10 Blind Contour drawings on a 3x3 ft paper with woodless graphite pencil, overlapping each other

Wednesday, October 9
Figure Drawing (Line/woodless)


Monday, October 14
Figure Drawing (Layer)
Fifth Assignment: Two figures in a room

Wednesday, October 16
Figure Drawing (Reductive)

Week 9

Monday, October 21
Figure Drawing (remix)


Wednesday, October 23:  Registration for Spring Semester Begins
CRITIQUE: Fifth Assignment

Week 10

Monday, October 28
Lecture on Final Project
Final Project

Wednesday, October 30
Perspective Drawing

Week 11

Monday, November 4

Wednesday, November 6
Figure Drawing with Still Life 1

Week 12

Monday, November 18
Figure Drawing with Still Life 2

Wednesday, November 20
Figure Drawing Collab

Week 13

Monday, November 25

Tuesday, November 26: Calendar adjustment for Thanksgiving: Attend class as if it were


Wednesday, November 27: Calendar adjustment for Thanksgiving: Attend class as if it were


Thursday, November 29 – Sunday, December 1: Thanksgiving Recess – Studios and Shops are


Week 14

Monday, December 2
Wednesday December 4 Last Day of classes – studios and shops close at 5pm

Thursday, December 5: Department-wide Clean up – ATTENDANCE MANDATORY

• BFA Freshmen 11 – 1

• VS/AE Freshmen 1 -3

* Final Exam schedules are set by Temple University, Tyler School of Art, and cannot be altered. 
   Classes must meet at designated times only!


1 masonite drawing board 18 x 24" with clips

1 pad newsprint 18 x 24" (100 sheets)

1 18 x 24" tracing pad

2 18 x 24 pads of Strathmore Medium Drawing Paper

2 each drawing pencils: 8B, 6B, 4B, 2B, HB, 2H

1 roll 36” x 10 yard Drawing paper
Strathmore 400 or similar recommended
1 hand-held steel pencil sharpener

2 each Conte pencils: Black, white, sanguine

Conte Crayons: 6 Black, 4 white 4 sepia

Graphite Sticks - 4 (soft)

1 box compressed charcoal (soft)

1 box soft vine charcoal

2 charcoal pencils

2 white plastic erasers

1 chamois cloth

1 blending stump

3 kneaded erasers

1 plastic pen eraser

1 large portfolio

1 bristle or hog hair brush, 1” flat
Also for 2D
1 bottle black India ink, 8 oz. minimum
Also for 2D
1 roll masking tape or white drafting tape
Also for 2D
1 sable or imitation sable brush, 1” flat
Also for 2D
Tube 43 x 2.5 inches

Come to class with stocked tackle box each week! This includes all drawing supplies. Arriving without your materials is equivalent to being tardy (and you’ll have to beg)

The course fee for this class provides the following:
o     Model Fees

These materials are intended to demonstrate techniques and provide sufficient resources for basic Foundation Drawing investigations. It is likely that students will wish to make more ambitious projects than can be paid for with the budgeted fees, and each student is responsible for obtaining materials for such work.