Course Title: Investigate drawing materials and processes

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: VE 2016

Course Code: VART6234C

Course Title: Investigate drawing materials and processes

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5308 - Diploma of Visual Arts

Course Contact: Jennifer Cabraja

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4472

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Anthony Riccardi

Sharon West

Kathleen McCann

Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop skills and knowledge required to research and explore selected drawing materials and processes and integrate their use into creative practice.
This course relates to drawing as an art form where you will explore a diverse range of drawing materials, process and techniques. Drawing is a means of creative expression and this course allows you to use drawing as a means of discovery.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUVDRA502A Investigate drawing materials and processes


1. Research drawing materials and processes

Performance Criteria:


1.1. Research the detailed physical properties and capabilities  of different drawing materials 

1.2. Investigate the safety issues  associated with different materials and processes prior to use

1.3. Collate and store safety and technical data  to meet safety requirements and inform future practice

1.4. Investigate the relationship between materials and drawing processes 

1.5. Explore the relationships between ideas and materials or process

1.6. Determine cost and supply parameters 


2. Select drawing materials and processes for in-depth exploration

Performance Criteria:


2.1. Assess the creative and professional opportunities  offered by different drawing materials and processes

2.2. Determine limitations and constraints  of particular materials and processes

2.3. Select particular materials and processes that suit own practice


3. Integrate drawing materials and processes into own work

Performance Criteria:


3.1. Explore different ways of working with materials and processes  to achieve desired outcomes

3.2. Challenge and stretch the capabilities and uses of different materials and processes through experimentation

3.3. Develop own ways of working  with materials and processes

3.4. Engage in informed discussion with others about the characteristics and opportunities of particular drawing materials and processes

3.5. Establish and follow safe work practices 


4. Manage drawing resources in professional practice

Performance Criteria:


4.1. Establish a sustainable supply  of drawing resources

4.2. Develop ways of working with resources that minimise waste

4.3. Maintain the quality and life of drawing resources through appropriate handling and storage 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have acquired the skills and knowledge to produce figure drawings that represent and communicate ideas linked to your elective practices.

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities will take place in a studio using industry standard tools and resources. You will complete exercises and industry style projects. You will also be required to undertake independent study.

In class activities may include:

class exercises to review discussions
practical demonstrations


Teaching Schedule

Semester 1
WeekTaskMediumVisual Diary TasksElements

No Class



Overview of course structure and introduction



Investigate Drawing-overview of ways to look at the figure

Formal elements of drawing

Protocols in the Life drawing studio


Drawing form observation-The studio skeleton


Focus on the basis for understanding the human figure

Clips, willow charcoal. soft and hard erasers conte and compressed charcoal/pastel

Use anatomy books or internet sources to draw form the skeleton. In particular familiarize yourself with the skull and overall shapes made by the skeleton


Drawing from observation;The live model

Short poses (1 min up to 20mins)

Focus on space-positive and negative space and basic issues of perception (drawing what you actually see rather than what you think you see)

Blind drawing, contour silhouette, figure/ground relationships axis/alignment lines, simplified shape, drawing mass and systems

As above


Use live models, photographs or other sources such as existing artworks, sculpture or paintings as a reference to draw the figure in a realistic way

4Tonal rub back drawing technique:Use of tonal grounds to rub back to the light and charcoal to develop the darksClips, willow charcoal, soft and hard kneadable rubbers. Conte and masking tape Concentrate on drawing quick sketches of the figure from any source. Focus on representing the forms in different ways :Silhouette, line only, line and tone, using positive and negative space etc.



Volume:creating volume using tonal rub back drawing technique

Use of tonal ground s to rub back to the light and charcoal to develop the darks

As above

Make small tonal rub back drawings in the visual diary based on figures from any sources aiming for realism

6Head studies, hand and feet studies:Considering the structures and common issuesAs aboveUsing varied sources including your own reflection, your hands and feet, make multiple studies. these can be quick gestural thinking drawings or more finished sustained drawings1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/3.1

Head studies, hand and feet studies:Considering

the structures and common issues 

As aboveResearch two contemporary artists who work with the figure (still working , exhibiting and referenced in either art journals or books)1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/3.1/3.2

Focus on depicting form:Consideration of planes, shape, convex and concave, and how light and shadow can be used to create the allusion three dimensionally


Individual Tutorials

As aboveUse a photographic image of a body use the tonal rub back technique to make a drawing in your visual diary1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
9Focus on composition:Placement of elements within the picture plane and figure on the page, considering the use of framing devices, foreshortening, cropping and scaleAs aboveMake a series of small 'thumbnail' figure drawings with a picture plane/frames from any source. Experiment with alternative versions of composition, cropping tonal emphasis etc 1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
10Focus on proportion:Relationship of form, overlapping, scale foreshorteningAs aboveMake a series of small drawings focusing on proportion and foreshortening1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
11Focus on gesture , tension and rhythm in the figure and drawing.' Contraposto'(counterpose , twisted body pose) and realismAs aboveFind examples of contrapposto in classical sculpture and draw from these1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
12Focus on implementing and consolidating the skills learnt so farAs aboveConsidering the drawing skills that you are good at and those that need improvement. Make some drawings in the visual diary practicing your least strong skills1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
13Focus on implementing and consolidating the skills learnt so farAs above as above1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1

Focus on implementing and consolidating the skills learnt so far


Discussion of how to select works for a folio

as aboveAs above1.1/1.4/1.5/2.2/2.3/3.1
Semester 2


Portraiture: Red/black/white conte or pastel-demonstration

Examining aspects of portraiture life drawing including profile, side view three quarter view  face poses

Red/Black/White conte or pastelMake a series of small portrait studies of friends and/or family members1.1/1.4/1.5/2.1/2.2/3.1/3.2
3Portraiture continued As aboveAs above1.1/1.4/3.1/3.2

Torso 1 (including hands)


Examining the volume, shape and structure of the human torso through various poses

 As aboveUse live models , photographs or other sources as reference to draw the torso in a realistic way1.1/1.4/1.5/2.1/2.2
5Torso 2 As above1.1/1.5/2.1/3.1/3.2
6Ink, pen, brush, pencil demonstrationInk, Pen, Brush, PencilUse live models, photographs or other sources to the figure in a realistic way1.1/1.5/2.3/3.1/3.3

Pelvis/Abdomen 1


Examining the volume. shape and structure of the abdomen and pelvis 

 As aboveAs above1.1/1.3/2.3/3.1/3.3
8Pelvis/Abdomen 2 As above1.1/1.3/2.3/3.1/3.3
9Pastel demonstrationPastelAs above1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3



Review of the arms and hands through further studies using tonal  pastel work

 PastelSmall studies of your own hands1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3



Review od the legs and feet through further studies using tonal pastel work

 PastelSmall studies of your own feet1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3
12Personal exploration of the figureMixed media Use live models, photographs or other sources such as paintings as a reference to draw the figure in a realistic way1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3
13Personal exploration of the figure Mixed mediaAs above1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3
14Personal exploration of the figure Mixed mediaPrepare folio for assessment1.1/1.4/1.5/2.4/3.1/3.3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Library Subject Guides:  Drawing


  • Garrett, C (Commissioning Editor), 2013, Vitamin D2, New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon Press Ltd, London
  • Barrett, R. 2008, Life Drawing, how to portray the figure with accuracy and expression, North Light Books, Ohio
  • Barcsay, J., 1973, Anatomy for the Artist, Octopus Books Ltd, London
  • Simblet, S., 2001, Anatomy for the Artist, DK Publishing, New York
  • Hill, B. (Editor), 2003, Prints and Drawings in the international collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria





You will be encouraged to attend exhibition openings and visit public art projects/sites outside of your learning environment. RMIT School of Art has two galleries and an ongoing exhibition program.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through completion of a body of work that demonstrates concept development, understanding of materials and adhering to the guidelines of working in the life drawing studio.

You will be assessed on the following:

  • Practical tasks
  • Direct observation including exploration of and experimentation with techniques
  • Completion of an portfolio including personal reflection and observation of the figure.

An assessment charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment .

Since this is a year long course over two semesters there is no formal assessment at the end of Semester 1 however a selected folio of works made in class are asked to be submitted


Semester 1:
Assessment title: Visual Diary
Studies in notebook from life , photos, painting sculpture, both full length figures and body parts.

Semester: 2
Assessment title: Folio:
Description: Presentation of required drawings representative of the workshop program.

10 long poses

6 short poses

Drawings are to be presented flat and not rolled up
Week 16

Grade                             Outline Grading                                            Criteria (see table below)
CHD                               Competent with high distinction 80 - 100     Highly developed
CDI                                 Competent with distinction 70 - 79               Well developed
CC                                  Competent with credit 60 - 69                      Developed
CAG                               Competent achieved - graded 50 - 59          Sound
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did not submit for assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency.
These a


Unit title

Create works of art for public spaces

RMIT Unit code


National code


Assessment task

Elements/ PCs

*Required knowledge


*Required skills


*Critical aspects of evidence





1. Research Essay




1.1 - 4

2.1 - 3

3.1 - 5

- Potential research opportunities for individual cultural practice

- Range of historical and contemporary critical writing relevant to individual research focus

- Conventions for the presentation on information and ideas

- Intellectual property issues and legislation and how they relate to the research process.

*communication skills to:

  -articulate complex


  -participate in debate

   and discussion of

   cultural history and


*analytical and literacy

 skills to:

  -examine the nature of

   own practice and its

   place in the wider


- analyse varied

  information sources

  dealing with complex


* initiative and enterprise

  skills to seek proactive

  involvement in cultural


* planning and organising skills to set up and undertake a research process

* learning and self-management skills to extend individual research capability through self-directed projects

* technology skills:

   - present information in appropriate formats

   - use the web as a research tool.


 Evidence of the ability to:


*interrogate own practice to a depth that allows the candidate to make connections with the broader cultural contexts


*develop a professional research capability in the area of cultural history and theory


* articulate and present complex ideas following appropriate conventions.

re available through the course contact in Program Administration.

Other Information



Other information



You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work.  This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.



RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.


Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1 (unresolved);



Reasonable adjustment

In assessing whether a particular adjustment is reasonable consideration should be given to:

·         the student’s disability and his/her views

·         the effect of the adjustment on the student, including effect on his/her ability to achieve learning outcomes, participate in courses or programs and achieve independence

·         the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students

·         the costs and benefits of making the adjustment.

As a result, what constitutes "reasonable" varies on a case-by-case basis and the balance is sometimes difficult to strike.  However, it is clear that education providers are not required to lower academic standards or disregard the needs staff or other students. In more complex cases discussion with the disability service will be useful. It may be useful to examine previous judgements in relation to the DDA.


An RTO needs to fit LLN into the delivery of its training and assessment as it has an important role in:

·         redressing any deficiencies in its students’ key LLN skills

building the generic skills of teamwork, communication and problem solving that are highly valued by employers.

Employability skills

In addition to developing skills and knowledge for a particular job, this program also aims to help you to develop broad work skills, known as Employability Skills. There are eight employability skills.

Employability Skills which feature in the Diploma of Visual Art include:

• Communication

• Teamwork

• Problem solving

• Initiative and enterprise

• Planning and organising

• Self management

• Learning

• Technology

Employability skills are embedded in the units of competency in your program. When you demonstrate that you are competent in your particular job skills and knowledge you are also demonstrating that you have developed relevant employability skills. Further information about the employability skills you will develop in this program is available at: chapter/EmpSkillsMandText


Course Overview: Access Course Overview