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Classical Art, Traditional Practices

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

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. Here is an opportunity to benefit from the experience of a creative exploration of the relationship between two and three dimension.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Suitable for both beginners and those with some drawing and painting experience.

Special Information

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      

Materials and equipment available for purchase during the course:

  • Water-based air-drying modelling clay

  • Head and Bust Armature

Content of Course

The course teaching is delivered in six sessions of 2 hours 45 minutes, two sessions per day for three days.

Day 1

1. 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 practiced by students in quick achromatic drawings.

2. 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.

Day 2

3. Discussion regarding modelling the figure. Drawn head studies will be made with reference to anatomical structure of forms of the face.

4. Building an armature and basic sculptural structure for figure modelling.

Day 3

5. Figure modelling basic forms of all elements.

6.  Resolutions and refining the modelling.

Teaching method(s)

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.

Learning outcomes

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.


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.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.