WEEKEND SKILL CLINICS
Strengthen and Organize Visual Vocabulary

Overview

Designed to isolate and analyze critical visual thinking, the first four skill clinics, Drawing I through IV, do not utilize posing models, yet these intensive two-day guided surveys relate directly to better figure and portrait drawing. After years of experience with art instruction, Rebecca Alzofon has come to recognize a conspicuous absence in the baseline vocabulary of draughtsmanship -- even among professional artists. It has become clear to Rebecca that without an understanding of certain key issues, artists cannot solve their graphical problems. Rebecca identifies another key barrier to understanding: the overwhelming presence of the posing model. She finds that, for a time, students can better "get it" while in the absence of the model. Offered in logical progression, each skill clinic serves as a foundation for the next; thus, prerequisites are enforced (read more about prerequisites). Skill clinics do not replicate material offered in the 5-day workshops; the 5-day workshops cannot cover the in-depth specialized topics learned in skill clinics.

Make the most of your 5-day workshops by taking Drawing I through V. These skill clinics give you a distinct advantage.

See Calendar for current offerings

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Light on Form Practical: Cast Drawing

This skill clinic is key to the development of the representational artist, and is strongly recommended for those who plan to take Academic Figure I. After attending the detailed lecture and demonstration the night before, students reinforce lessons in the interaction of light with forms through practical application. Using an easy to learn charcoal technique, students identify and render the tonal phases of illumination and reflection. Periodic mini demonstrations introduce each phase in the tonal development. A wide variety of inspiring casts for all skill levels will be provided. Students may use this skill clinic to assess their measuring ability. Please note: in-depth measuring method is not taught in this class. Students will receive help setting up their outlines, if needed. One-on-one guidance is available throughout this skill clinic.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite: The Parts of Light on Form Lecture See Details
Fees: $200
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Drawing I: Efficient Critical Accuracy

Need to draw quickly and to the point? Inventing stuff out of your head? Want your work to look more convincing? Give yourself a jolt with this essential skill clinic. Many art schools never emphasize certain classical ideas that permeate all good drawing, from figure to landscape. Learn intuitive ways to embed these sound concepts in this tough but essential skill clinic. Fun drawing exercises are intermixed with theory. Never boring.
Topics covered: Graphite pencil on white paper. Checking your drawing, angles, symmetry, forms derived from the circle (sphere, cylinder, cone), and ellipses. The class culminates in drawing the structures of the eye with special attention to controlling gaze.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite: None
Fees: $200
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Drawing II: Shape Drawing

Tough & essential. Never boring. Finding the outline of a variety of subject matter. Height to width ratio, measuring, perception of masses, checking your drawing.
Strongly recommended for students planning to take: Academic Figure I, Parts of Light Practical, Portrait Sketching & Drawing. Graphite pencil on white paper.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 12
Prerequisite: None
Fees: $200
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Drawing III: Basic Hatching

Typically skipped by college art programs, you can learn it here! A commonly botched skill is hatching. The key to good hatching is knowing planar and elliptical pathways.
Topics covered: Simple shading techniques. Direction, rhythm, introduction to crosshatching.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite: Drawing I:Efficient Critical Accuracy OR Pass a Quiz
Fees: $200
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Drawing IV: Form Conceptions

Artistic form conceptions: box, torus, soft forms, merges between these as well as with spheres, cylinders, cones (introduced in Drawing I: Efficient Critical Accuracy), and forces. Contour and form modeling.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite: Drawing III:Basic Hatching
Fees: $200
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Drawing V: Portrait Sketching & Drawing

The head and face complex is connected in organized volumes. Our natural attraction to the features leads us to pursue portraiture, but difficulties integrating them with the head can be confusing. Good portrait drawing requires comfort with orchestrating the entire set of structures, not just the features. The first two days of this two weekend long class covers form conceptions of the head, neck and face. Students will learn to quickly set up the head, neck and features from different angles of view, and add essential line contours to the portrait sketch. On the second weekend, students will execute one two day tonal portrait drawing in charcoal. Two Models.
Duration: 4 days (28 hours)
Class Capacity: 12
Prerequisite: Drawing IV:Form Conceptions; Parts of Light on Form Practical. (Drawing II:Shape Drawing is strongly recommended, but not required)
Fees: $425
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Drawing VI: Gesture Figure Drawing

There are plenty of classes that offer gesture figure drawing around the bay area. This class is different, since it requires preparation with prerequisites: Anatomy Studies, Drawing IV: Form Conceptions, and Parts of Light on Form. With these, students may explore elegant treatments that empower their drawings to reach potentially higher levels. Topics of focus will include form conceptions of the figure, simplified light and shadow, line quality, action, tension, and atmosphere. The relationship to the prerequisite material will be a dominant theme.
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite:Gesture Figure Drawing Lecture/Slide Show; Drawing IV:Form Conceptions; Parts of Light on Form Practical; Anatomy Studies
Fees: $200
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Drawing VII: Cafe Sketching

Grab your skills and supplies and put them to use in real situations. Start in class with a pep talk and a few exercises; then head out for adventure at the local cafes. Help will be offered as needed. Fun!
Duration: 2 days (14 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisites: Drawing VI:Gesture Figure Drawing. [Drawing V:Portrait Sketching & Drawing is recommended but not required]
Fees: $200
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Advanced Drawing: Hatchure & Wash Drawing

The hatchure theory you learned in Drawing IV: Basic Hatching, as well as tonal knowledge from Parts of Light on Form, will be applied with a new skill, wash drawing, in this three day class. This class is designed to help you find methods that suit your temperament as you explore line and tone to control volumes, depth and story. Students will sample several projects during the first two days (Saturday & Sunday), then continue with a homework assignment to present on the following Saturday. In-class projects utilize still life and (weather permitting) outdoor subjects. Homework projects must be executed from real subject matter (not photos). There will be mini demonstrations and one-on-one consultations throughout.
Duration: 3 days (21 hours)
Class Capacity: 15
Prerequisite: Drawing IV: Form Conceptions; Parts of Light on Form Practical
Fees: $290
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LECTURE SERIES
Informative; No Sketching Involved

No prerequisites.
Class Capacity: 20.
Fee: $10 Each Lecture.
  • The Parts of Light on Form Strongly recommended for everyone! Levels of illumination; reflection; shadow: form & cast shadow, core, reflected lights, cave, half tone. 3 hours.
  • Line Slide lecture. 3 hours.
  • Gesture Figure Drawing Lecture/Slide Show Nowadays, most figure drawing and painting involves short poses. A solid background in extended (15 hours and up) as well as short poses is essential for good artistic development. If you don't have the prerequisites for Gesture Figure Drawing, but are interested in making the most of your quick studies, join us for this lecture. Topics include form conceptions of the figure, simplified light and shadow, line quality, action, tension, atmosphere and more. This lecture is required for those enrolled in Gesture Figure Drawing. 3 hours.
  • Portrait Foundations Anatomy, form conceptions of the head; center line and symmetry; the face: feature by feature. 3 hours.
  • Landscape Blowout Slide lecture. 4 hours!

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