Drawing Magazine Goes to College

3 Nov 2013

Seated Muse by James Langley, a Foundation Studies professor at SCAD.
Seated Muse by James Langley,
a Foundation Studies professor at SCAD.
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) believes certain artistic skills and techniques are fundamental for all students, whether these students happen to be filmmakers, architects, fashion designers, animators, or fine artists. The school’s approach, therefore, has been to create a core curriculum that all students are required to fulfill to earn their degree.

The core-curriculum courses within SCAD’s School of Foundation Studies include drawing basics, life drawing, two- and three-dimensional design, color and drawing theory, architectural fundamentals, and even four-dimensional design (which focuses on time-based artworks). The goal of these classes is to provide students with a strong groundwork in studio practice that will strengthen their visual, conceptual, and creative abilities.

Circulo Ambulavit by James Langley, 2009, Conté drawing, 22 x 30.
Circulo Ambulavit by James Langley,
2009, Conté drawing, 22 x 30.
John Rise is a professor in the Foundation Studies program, and at the top of his syllabus every year is Drawing magazine. “It serves as a great textbook because it endorses and supports what we are teaching the students—solid drawing abilities and compositional concerns—with instructional articles and great photos of contemporary and historical work,” says Rise.

Most of Rise’s students have technique and process in the forefront of their minds—they wonder how an artist achieved a visual effect or examine an Old Master drawing for an indication of how the artist worked. For them, seeing the high-caliber reproductions contextualized by process, history, and the artists’ own points of view in every issue of Drawing helps bridge the gap between seeing and doing. “It is the only magazine that deals specifically with drawing issues,” says Rise. “Our concern is establishing that drawing is a viable means of communication, and one that has a lot of voices to it. The magazine demonstrates that very clearly.”

SCAD students develop a foundation in drawing through a core curriculum based on extensive studio time. Courtesy of SCAD.
SCAD students develop a foundation in
drawing through a core curriculum based
on extensive studio time.
Courtesy of SCAD.

The students’ reaction to having Drawing on their required reading list has been strongly positive, according to Rise. “I find that when I pull out my copies of the magazine and lay them in front of my class—the students don’t get any work done. They spend all the time looking at the drawings there. And it’s not only great technical information, but the content serves as a talking point for conversations about cultural and art history,” he says. Students also use the magazine as a bibliography of sorts, searching out artists’ websites, galleries, and exhibitions based the works they discover within the pages of the publication.

Some SCAD students may not incorporate formal draftsmanship into their careers after they leave school. But the reality is they still get solid drawing experience and a foundation in traditional artistic pursuits, which they will always have the opportunity to adapt to their own individual creative processes in the future. In the same way, Drawing magazine gives readers from all artistic backgrounds useful information, inspiration, techniques, and coverage of significant artists in every issue. Such resources are truly second-to-none and well worth discovering, much like the students and faculty at SCAD have.


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