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COURSE NAME: "Drawing - Rome Sketchbook"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Peter Flaccus
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: T 9:00-11:45 AM

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 addressed in specific lessons 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.

Additional information:
1. The course involves working from direct observation. Working from photographs is not permitted.
2. The course may include visits involving an entry fee.  These visits are held to a minimum and should not cost you more than a total of 25 euros over the semester.
3. The core activity is drawing directly from observation. You will not be able to meet the requirements of the course without working many hours outside of class.
4. The class meets rain or shine.
5. The course is meant to be a framework allowing very free individual artistic choices. The lessons are meant to help students get started, but there is always room for creative alternatives.
6. Students must come to class on time because that is when the site is explained, and the day's drawing problem and other announcements are given.
7. Students need to dress appropriately: proper footware, no bare shoulders in churches, hats and sunscreen, warm clothing when the weather turns cold. Decorous behaviour in public spaces.
8. No earbuds allowed during class time, as they diminish concentration and impede communication.
9. Be sure to plan your morning itinerary in order to arrive promptly at the site at 9:00. Be alert for announcements of changes to the preliminary schedule below.

Students buy their own art supplies. You need a bound (not spiral or glued) notebook not less than 24 x 34 cm. The drawing instruments are up to you, but most students use a variety of pencils, or soft, dark graphite. You need erasers and a pencil sharpener. Ink, pens and brushes are fine, but optional. I don’t recommend your using soft charcoal or pastel, as the image quickly degrades in the sketchbook, even when you use fixative. Don’t use ball-point pens, magic markers, or colored pencils.

There is no textbook.

Art supply stores: Poggi (two locations, one in Trastevere on Via Merry del Val, just off Viale Trastevere, and the other on Via Pie’ di Marmo, near the Pantheon), also Vertecchi, a chain with many branches, including one near Piazza di Spagna. Drawing supplies are also commonly found in stationary stores (cartolerie).
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 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, expressiveness, acuity of observation, concision, complexity, improvement, spatial clarity, and other aspects of technical skill and artistic quality are also considered. Note that attendance is required, and excessive numbers of missed classes will inhibit the quantity and quality of the work submitted.100

AWork of this quality shows excellent mastery of the course content along with exceptional levels of technical control, 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 problems. The student has the capacity to initiate and carry out artistic projects that communicate specific intentions.
BA highly competent level of performance with work that directly addresses the content of the course, with a good quantity of work produced.
C An acceptable level of performance: the work shows awareness of the course content, but is very limited in quantity, quality, commitment and skill.
D The student lacks a coherent grasp of the course material and has failed to produce much work.
F Negligent 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.


PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE by week, but stay alert for changes:   
1. (Tues., Sept. 3) Introduction. Meet (this time only) at JCU Art Studio, Largo dei Fiorentini, 1. Lesson: two opposed languages of drawing, line vs. tonal value.
2. (Tues. Sept. 10) Meet at the Campidoglio (the piazza of the Capitoline Hill, up the big stairs to the south of P.za Venezia.) Entry fee if bad weather. Lesson: view-finding, thumbnail sketches.
3. (Tues. Sept. 17) Meet at Santa Sabina on the Aventino. (From school walk to the other side of the river at Tiber Island, then continue south past Sta. 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 Sta. Sabina. Wait there.) No bare shoulders or shorts in this or other churches. Lesson devoted to solving problems of perspective.
4. (Tues. Sept. 24) Meet at Ponte Sant’Angelo, under the Castel Sant'Angelo. Drawing focuses on the Baroque, the figure.
5. (Tues. Oct. 1)  Meet at the entry to S. Peter's Square. Lesson involves the panorama, depicting a large outdoor urban space.
6. (Tues. Oct. 8)  Meet at 9:00 at the bus stop for the 23 bus just upriver from Ponte Sisto on the Trastevere side; we will go by public transportation to the Centrale Montemartini, in Via Ostiense. Bring bus tickets. Lesson regards light and dark contrast. Entry fee.
7. (Tues. Oct. 15)  Meet at Palazzo Altemps, a museum of classical sculpture located in the block just north of Piazza Navona. The entrance is in a piazza off Corso Rinascimento and parallel to Via Zanardelli. Drawing the large sarcophagus and other statues from antiquity. Entry fee 13 euros if there is a special exhibition, 7 euros if not. 
8. (Tues. Oct. 22) Orto Botanico; meet at Guarini entry, and we walk from there. Entry fee 4 euros. "Scribble drawings"; observation of nature.
9. (Tues. Oct. 30) Meet at Piazza Mattei (the “Turtle Fountain”). Off Via Arenula, near Largo Argentina, take Via dei Falegnami. A series of figure drawing exercises.
10. (Tues. Nov. 5) Meet at Trajan's Market. Past P.za Venezia, past Trajan's Column, and up the steps. Drawing lesson on clarifying point of view: looking up and looking down. Entry fee.
11. (Tues. Nov. 12) Meet at Guarini entry, and we walk from there to Tiber Island. Problems in cityscape, landscape, riverscape, water, atmosphere. 
12. (Tues. Nov. 19) Meet at Guarini entry; we’ll go up the Gianicolo to Bramante’s Tempietto at S. Pietro in Montorio. Drawing architecture, round forms in perspective, also views over the city.
13. (Tues. Nov. 26) Meet at Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza, on Corso del Rinascimento, one block east of P.za Navona. Drawing Baroque architecture.
14. (Tues. Dec. 3) Final meeting at JCU Art Studio, Largo dei Fiorentin, 1. Group critique. Appointments made for individual meetings that take the place of a final exam.  On Thurs, Dec. 5 we will hold a student art exhibition.