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COURSE NAME: "Drawing - Rome Sketchbook"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Pola Wickham
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TH 12:30-3:15 PM

This course makes use of the unparalleled resource that is the city of Rome itself; each class meets at a different site around the city. Students work in sketchbook form, creating over the course of the term a diary of visual encounters. Instruction, apart from brief discussions of the sites themselves, focuses on efficient visual note taking: the quick description of form, awareness of light and the development of volume in space. With practice and growing experience, students become capable of producing drawings governed by conscious intention.
Each class meets at a different site of historical and visual interest around Rome. Students make drawings from observation in their sketchbooks both in and out of class, thus creating a record of their experiences. The beginning of each class meeting is dedicated to a brief discussion of the site, and the presentation of an issue to be addressed in drawing.  Some of the basic drawing issues include: thumbnail sketches and planning, the cultivation of line, rendering form in light and dark, creating space and visual drama through various kinds of contrast, practical advice on perspective, specifying point of view, creating atmosphere, faces and figures from classical statuary, organization of the page, and so on. 
By the end of the course students should be more visually alert to their surroundings, capable of careful observation, familiar with significant sites in Rome, and capable of representing what they see in both quick sketches and longer studies.  They will have acquired skill in using various technical approaches to drawing and knowledge about some traditions in drawing and painting.

Completed sketchbook of drawings done over the termGrading is based on a judgment of the contents of the sketchbook created over the semester. Quantity of work produced is of great importance, since producing a large body of work by itself practically guarantees progress. Commitment, range of experimentation, resourcefulness, inventiveness, expressivity, acuity of observation, concision, complexity, improvement, spatial clarity, and other aspects of technical skill and artistic quality are also considered.100

AWork of this quality shows excellent mastery of the course content along with exceptional levels of technical skill, artistic awareness, originality, resourcefulness, commitment, quantity of work and improvement. There has been excellent collaboration and leadership in group projects, and there have been no attendance problem
BA highly competent level of performance with work that directly addresses the content of the course, with a good quantity of work produced.
CAn acceptable level of performance: the work shows awareness of the course content, but is very limited in quantity, quality, commitment and skill.
DThe student lacks a coherent grasp of the course material and has failed to produce much work.
FNegligent in attendance, academic honesty, engagement with the course content, or production of work.

attendance is required
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Class 1
August 31

Introduction. Meet (this time only) at JCU Art Studio, Largo dei Fiorentini, 1.
Lesson: drawing as a languages of drawing, sketching along the Lungotevere.

Class 2
September 7

Meet at Santa Sabina on the Aventino. (From school walk to the other side of the river at Tiber Island, then continue south past S. Maria in Cosmedin; after the main street leading to the Circo Massimo turn left up a little pathway called the Clivio di Rocca Savella leading from the river to the Aventine hill. Past the famous orange grove you will find the big parking lot of S. Sabina. Wait there.) No bare shoulders or shorts in this or other churches.
Lesson: solving problems of perspective.

Assignment week 1: Five sketches of perspectives.

Class 3
September 14

The Garden of the Villa Medici.
Lesson: drawing the sculpture frieze in the garden and talk about negative shapes and spaces.

Class 4
September 21

Meet at the Campidoglio (the piazza of the Capitoline Hill, up the big stairs to the south of Piazza Venezia.
Lesson: view-finding, designing and dividing up the surface or page.

Assignment week 2: Two far slower drawings that include more information.

Class 5
September 28

Meet at Santo Stefano in Rotondo (from the Colosseum, walk up the hill behind, which is called Via Claudia, about 3/4 of the way up the hill, on the left, there is a street called Via Santo Stefano in Rotondo, take this left, if you arrive at a fountain shaped like a boat you are too far, and a bit further on you will see on the right an entrance to the church).  No bare shoulders or shorts in this or other churches.
Lesson: how to measure and use measuring when drawing.

Class 6
October 5

Meet at Palazzo Altemps, a museum of classical sculpture located outside the curved end of Piazza Navona. The entrance is in Piazza Sant’Apollinare 48, just off of Corso Rinascimento. Drawing the large sarcophagus and other statues from antiquity. Entry fee 13 Euro.
Lesson: faster line drawings to begin with to slower drawings that include simple forms of chiaro/scuro (light and dark).

Assignment week 3: Five drawings with light and shadows.

Class 7
October 12

Meet at Galleria Pamphili, with ticket money which will be 10 euros aproximately.
Lesson: looking at and copying paintings in the collection.

Class 8
October 19

Meet at Guarini entry; we’ll go up the Gianicolo to draw views of the city from above fontana dell’ acqua paola
Bramante’s Tempietto at S. Pietro in Montorio.
Lesson: drawing views over the city with the problem of atmosphere and drawing round architectural forms in perspective.

Assignment week 4: Five Roman views

Class 9
October 26

Meet by the fountain of the Triton in Piazza Barberini.
Lesson: looking at the Baroque by seeing the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Bernini and San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane by Borromini, drawings of greater complexity.

Class 10
October 27

Orto Botanico; meet at Guarini entry, and we walk from there. Entry fee 6 Euro.
Lesson: suggesting forms instead of being able to describe them, observation of nature.

Assignment week 5: Drawing emphasising the complexity of vegetation in a landscape

Class 11
November 2

Ponte Sant Angelo: the ten angels by Bernini

Class 12
November 9

San Ivo alla Sapienza, inspiration of Borromini

Assignment week 6: Five expressive figure drawings/portraits in situ

Class 13
November 16

Tartarughe at Piazza Mattei

Assignment week 5: a single final drawing summing up the main topics covered in the course

Class 14
November 30

crit and show prep

Class 15
December 7

individual meetings