Classical Art, Traditional Practices

This course focuses on traditional art practices using the human form to hone observational skill and manual dexterity as seen in classical painting and sculpture. The intention is to make an in-depth visual enquiry of the subject developing both drawing and modelling skills. An opportunity to benefit from the experience of a creative exploration of the relationship between two and three dimension.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate basic skills with increased confidence in drawing and modelling the human form;
  • show a basic understanding of anatomy and the techniques of drawing and modelling the figure;
  • use a variety of approaches for making drawn compositions and a sculpted representation of the model.

Classical Art, Traditional Practices

Room G.09, Thomson's land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Start date
3 days
Day(s) and Times(s)
Wed 19 - Fri 21 July, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Subject Area
Elizabeth (Jessica) Bevan
Room G.09, Thomson's land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Time of Day
  • Basic figure drawing skills such as measuring proportion, assessing balance and weight and building structure by form will be outlined, discussed and demonstrated and then practised by students in quick achromatic drawings.
  • A more in-depth study of the model will be made with reference to anatomical structure. Expression of line and rendering form with tonal value will be demonstrated with achromatic or monochromatic drawing media.
  • Discussion regarding modelling the figure. Drawn head studies will be made with reference to anatomical structure of forms of the face.
  • Building an armature and basic sculptural structure for figure modelling.
  • Figure modelling basic forms of all elements.
  • Resolutions and refining the modelling. 

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will suggest follow-up reading, research and practice to support their studies. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one-to-one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Core Readings

Schiele, E., Kallir, J. and Vartanian, I., 2003. Egon Schiele: drawings and watercolours. London: New York:Thames & Hudson

Arikha, A., 1988. Avigdor Arikha: paintings, pastel, and drawings. 1986-1988. New York: Marlborough Gallery

Lanteri, Edouard, 1985. Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure. New York: Dover

Gombrich, E.H., 1989. The Story of Art. London: Phaidon Press (or any later edition)

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.

Essentials materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

  • Cartridge sketching pad A2 or A3
  • Several sheets of newsprint type paper
  • Two sheets of thick cartridge paper A1
  • Graphite pencils HB, 2B or 4B or 6B
  • Willow charcoal
  • Eraser and putty rubber
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Fixative
  • Protective clothing
  • Water based sculpting clay
  • Spray bottle
  • Sculpting tools
  • Old fork
  • Old newspapers/magazines
  • Sponge
  • Plastic wrap   
  • Water based air drying modelling clay
  • Head and Bust Armature

Materials available to purchase during the class

  • Water based air drying modelling clay
  • Head and Bust Armature

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.