23 September 2009

Madison Artists from the Leff Collection

Our first Furlong exhibit of the academic year:

Madison Artists from the Leff Collection 1950-1990
Opening Reception
Thursday, September 24th
5:00-7:00 p.m.

This event is open to the public, free and refreshments will be provided.

21 September 2009

Freed(Draw)ing: Some of my work

see it on youtube!

Check out this Type in Motion project by Andrew in Life Drawing I, Section 2 (11:15 class)! I love it.

Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction -- New York Magazine Art Review

blog this!

Here's a great bookmarklet for all you bloggers.
  • Click on the link and then drag the "blog this!" link up to your bookmark toolbar.
  • Then when you come across something you'd like to share on your blog, all you have to do is click on your bookmarklet and it creates a post for you.
  • One drawback--it only creates links to images, doesn't actually display the image--but it's a nice way to start a post.

muscle study, richard morris

Found this drawing ar Richard Morris Gallery. A lot of the work I find to be too academic in the sense that it is quite accurate and even beautiful, but has little uniqueness or life to it beyond that.

However, this drawing of the muscles from a sculpture is nice and shows the muscles of the posterior body that we will be learning via clay and drawing.

20 September 2009


If you do not have a good quality digital camera, check one out from the UW-Stout library:

or the Visual Resources Center just down the hall and around the corner from the Life Drawing room:

Aimee Sue Mikl is in charge of the Visual Resources Center. Here is some VRC info:
323A Applied Arts, (715) 232-1187
MF 7:45-12:15, W 7:45-5:15, TTH 1:45-5:15

Equipment may be reserved ahead of time by either Art & Design faculty or students by coming in, calling, or emailing mikla@uwstout.edu

Take advantage of these two resources.

photo edits

I'm using Emily's example from her blog here––not because she is the only one with this issue––but simply because she was top on the blog roll tonight as I checked back into Life Drawing I.

I've got before and after photos here from one of Emily's pages of gesture drawings. The after drawing is one I cropped and edited for exposure and contrast. See what a difference it makes.

Make sure you edit your photos before you post them on your blog. You can crop and make edits for exposure, contrast, etc. on preview, photoshop, or any other online photo editing site.

19 September 2009

beginning the spinal column

We will be starting work on the spinal column next week. We will do this first by learning the four curves of the spinal column: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral; and how each of these counteract each other, how they are created, what they mean to movement of the body, and how to use the line of the four curves to create the very first line in all your drawings from now on (at least those that have some view of the back and/or side of the figure).

We will start by see and utilizing that long axis quickly, in gesture drawings and then move on to using the spinal column line and curves as the long axis for longer cross contour studies of the torso.

In a few weeks, you will have the spinal column down by memory and it will become a new habit for you to see how the rest of the body's gesture is determinate on it.

This is a great image (left) and excerpt from a forum on the website of The Society of Figurative Arts, which is a great resource. The drawing and text are both right on.

"I have heard many times in forums like these that, I hate school or I am not good in school and all I want to do is art.

Let me tell you that it is all very important. Learn as much as you can about math, (especially geometry) physics, biology, history, literature, English, music, dance, architecture, botany etc. etc. etc.

The more you know the better your art will be.

In dealing with the rib-cage remember that the important thing is its over-all form and as far as the details such as individual ribs note the insertion points the angles and fine the first, fifth and tenth ribs is probably enough for a starting point.

The rendering of detail is not as important as understanding that function creates form. 

Most medical skeletons have spinal columns that do not have as much curvature as in a live person (look at x-rays if you can) most anatomical text drawings are done from these inaccurate skeletons.

So try to make sure you understand the correct curvature/vitality of the spinal column because that vitality will put more life into your drawings."

18 September 2009

Homework Assignment, Due Tuesday, Sep. 22

Cross Contour Drawing of Shell

Due: Tuesday, September 22

Spend at least three hours doing a cross contour drawing of your shell--whatever takes that amount of time for you: an entire shell, part of one, more than one, etc.
  • Use a diagonal long axis
  • No outlines
  • Draw larger than life size, fill the paper with your drawing
  • Use conte, charcoal, conte or charcoal pencil (sharpened tool)
  • Use at least 18" x 24" white paper with a 1" margin on all sides
  • Write/sign name on BACK
  • Use value only in the context of line value: darker lines for closer parts of the form, lighter for farther away
  • Use one line (this can be made up of broken, overlapping lines to imply one line) at a time, drawn around the cross-ways of the shell
  • Draw carefully, slowly
  • Be as precise as possible
  • Exaggerate all form changes
  • Draw cross contours over plane changes to reveal 3D form
  • Look for and draw each cross contour line with variety. Each line should be different than the one before and after it.

the country teacher

thought you might enjoy this movie trailer--for the movie itself, but also for the scene where he shows the shell to the students, especially as you work on your first shell drawing.

the country teacher

amelie clavier

check out this artist's flickr photostream for more gorgeous drawings.

17 September 2009

ACHTUNG: Presentation on Germany Exchange Program

"Achtung" (Attention)
HAWK Exchange Program Exhibition
Sept. 21-25
Opening and Presentation about HAWK, Hildesheim Germany
Wed. Sept. 23, 6:00pm
Gallery 209 Applied Arts Building

uw-stout link on hildesheim 

12 September 2009

first assignment, fall 2009

  1. if you do not have a life drawing blog set up yet, do so.  for those of you who do have blogs, inform me of any changes to titles, url's, etc.
  2. create an introductory post: why are you taking life drawing two, what do you hope to learn this semester, what would you like to improve upon, etc. Include a few images of your other art work to give us an idea of what you do outside this course.
  3. once you have your blog information ready, send an email to fichtera@uwstout.edu with your name, your blog's title, and your blog's url.
  4. have supplies ready to go for next tuesday, sep. 15.

weekly reflections

Your ongoing assignment this semester will be to use your life drawing blog as a tool for reflection. You will be expected to post one reflection per week. This reflection should consist of at least one image and one paragraph of writing which addresses the past week of Life Drawing II, III, or IV—in class or with homework.

Reflections should be meaningful to you personally and also be appropriate for sharing with other class members and other art & design professionals.

Reflections should consist of thoughts about your progress, what you are learning, what you are struggling with, what you notice in your work or other students' work, questions you have, links to books/websites/any other information that you have found useful or interesting in relation to that week's work in Life Drawing II, III, or IV.

Feel free to post more than once a week. Once a week is the minimum requirement and expectation for Life Drawing II.

For those in Life Drawing III and IV, the expectation is to post one reflection per week plus one post on a contemporary art issue (artist, art critic, museum show, gallery, etc.).

We will take time during class each day to present these reflections/blog posts.  Each of you will be asked to do this twice during the semester. I will choose students to present each day, not in any particular order (to keep you on your toes!).

Quality and thoughtfulness of reflections and other blog posts will be reflected in your midterm and final grades, as will the quality of your presentations.

10 September 2009

syllabus, fall 2009

Life Drawing I
Applied Arts 303

ART 301-002

Tuesday/Thursday • 11:15 – 2:20 pm

ART 301-001
Tuesday/Thursday • 2:30 – 5:35 pm

Amy Fichter
Associate Professor
Applied Arts 306B

Office hours:
Fridays, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
& by appointment
ext. 5335

Students must have completed Drawing I (ART 100) and Drawing II (ART 200) before participating in Life Drawing I (ART 301).

Course Objectives
Through participation in Life Drawing I, you will:
• Understand and use a structural approach to drawing
➢ Perceive three-dimensional form and translate this form to the two-dimensional picture plane
➢ Comprehend a subject’s planar make-up and correctly prioritize primary and secondary planes
➢ Use a linear, as opposed to painterly, approach to drawing the figure, including value

• Develop a working knowledge of artistic anatomy through lectures, drawings, and clay modeling
➢ Draw a structural representation of the human figure utilizing long axis, cross contour, and muscle attachment lines

• Practice gesture drawing and contour drawing separately, in order to, ultimately, achieve a synthesis of the two
• Become aware of your own kinesthetic sense and its ability to teach yourself about the body and about drawing
• Build on line quality and mark-making skills
• Be responsible to yourself and the other students in the class for having meaningful class discussions and becoming better artists through those discussions
• Keep a class blog that will serve as space for posting images, text, responding to other students, and reflecting upon your learning in the course

Evaluations & Expectations
• I expect you to complete:
➢ In-class drawings.
➢ Assigned clay building on your Maniken, both in-class and for homework. Maniken assignments will be graded on the quality of clay building, accuracy of form and attachments, and completeness of work.
➢ Homework drawings. Homework will be graded on the quality of the drawing and the demonstrated understanding of the topics covered in that particular assignment.
➢ Blog assignments/weekly reflections.
➢ Final exam drawing(s).

We will meet during the following final exam times:
ART 301-002 (T/TH 11:15 – 2:20 class): Thursday, December 17, 2:00 - 3:50 p.m.
ART 301-001 (T/TH 2:30 – 5:35 class): Monday, December 21, 2:00 - 3:50 p.m.

Field Trip
There is a mandatory field trip for this class. You must make arrangements with other professors and/or work obligations to be gone from 8:30 am - 5:30 pm on the field trip day. I am planning a trip for us to visit the Bell Museum of National History on the University of Minnesota campus and the Minnesota Institute of Arts. This will fall on a Tuesday or Thursday in mid-November. I will give you a definite date as soon as I have confirmed reservations with the museums and with bus transportation. The only cost of the field trip for you will be food.

It’s important that you are in class—for access to the model, to hear comments I make, and to experience drawing in a studio setting. The class happens because all of you are here working together.
Let me know via e-mail if you can’t make it to class.
Rely on your classmates to show you drawings and notes you may have missed.
After 3 absences, your grade may be lowered.
After 7 absences, you may fail the class.

Grading Policy
• Your grade will be based primarily on your final e-portfolio in which you showcase your learning over the semester and best examples from the class. This e-portfolio will include gesture drawings, long-pose drawings, maniken work, and blog summaries.

• A mid-term e-portfolio will be graded to give you an idea of your standing in the class at that point, but may be overridden by the quality of your final portfolio. In other words, the two grades will not be “averaged” for your final grade.

• Your grade will also be affected by such “subjective” qualities as these:
1. Are you present?
2. In mind as well as body?
3. Open to suggestions?
4. Helpful in class discussions?
5. Awake during lecture time?

It is part of my job—my responsibility—to give you a grade that lets you and other art “authorities” (other professors, employers, grad schools, gallery owners, etc.) know how your final portfolio and overall attitude during class measure up to given standards.

One useful way to think about grades is to consider them guides as to how other art professionals (besides me) would view your portfolio. How would a design firm see your work? A graduate school acceptance committee? Other professors in the Art & Design department? Gallery owners?

If I imagine I am an employer of designers, an A would mean you could start right away, a B would mean you might get hired if you get some more experience and refine your portfolio, a C would mean you are not ready for the job.

Likewise, if you are considering graduate school, an A would mean your work is of the quality that would get you accepted into a grad program, a B would indicate that you might get accepted if you worked on your portfolio some more, a C would mean you are not ready to apply for graduate studies (in Drawing/Life Drawing, anyway).

Save all your drawings from the semester.

Newsprint 18" x 24" or 24” x 36”
Canson "Biggie" white drawing paper (Biggie pad) 18” x 24” or larger
Strathmore drawing pad, 80 lb. (24 sheets, I think)
Drawing board
Charcoal pencils
Conte pencils
X-acto knife
Pencil sharpener
White plastic eraser
Clic eraser (refillable)
Masking tape
Clay tools

Atlas of Human Musculature in Clay (volumes 1 – 5), Jon Zahourek, ed. Kenneth Morgareidge, Zahourek Systems, Inc., 1994.

In addition to the texts, each student will be checked out a half Maniken for his/her use during the semester. The Manikens are property of UW-Stout Instructional Resources Services. You are responsible for the Maniken checked out to you. If any part of the Maniken is missing, lost, damaged, etc., the student will be financially responsible to replace it through IRS.

World Famous Lectures on Artistic Anatomy & Figure Drawing
Robert Beverly Hale

Lecture 1 Rib Cage 78 Minutes
Lecture 2 Pelvis 81 minutes
Lecture 3 Leg 74 minutes
Lecture 4 Foot 72 minutes
Lecture 5 Shoulder Girdle I 77 minutes
Lecture 6 Shoulder Girdle ll 68 minutes
Lecture 7 Arm 76 minutes
Lecture 8 Hand 80 minutes
Lecture 9 Head/Skull 80 minutes
Lecture 10 Head and Features 97 minutes

These are available for checkout in the library.

Art Education Artifacts
The course objectives of this course meet:
• Wisconsin Standard 1: The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches.
• UW Stout School of Education Domain 1a: Demonstrating knowledge of content and pedagogy.
• Wisconsin Standard 9: The teacher is a reflective practitioner.
Portfolio Artifact: best work as determined by student and professor
• Art education students will be required to reflect in writing on this artifact.
• Art education students will be required to upload papers and digital images of their studio works into their e-portfolios.

16 June 2009

intercostales interni

Intercostales interni, originally uploaded by czarita.

nice image of muscle fiber direction:

intercostales interni

The Intercostales interni are also eleven in number on each side.

Their attachments:
  • commence anteriorly at the sternum, in the interspaces between the cartilages of the true ribs;
  • and at the anterior extremities of the cartilages of the false ribs,
  • and extend backwards as far as the angles of the ribs, where each is replaced by an aponeurotic layer named the posterior intercostal membrane, which is continuous with the superior costotransverse ligament.
Each muscle arises from the floor of the costal groove and the corresponding costal cartilage, and is inserted into the upper border of the rib below.

Their fibers axe also directed obliquely, but at right angles to those of the External intercostal muscles.

06 February 2009



show at
a clean poorly lighted space
applied arts, 1st floor

6 february 2009
7 - 9 pm

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