Ann McMillan Art
Fine Art in Color

People Art Skills

People Art Skills
Draft* Syllabus



Please join Ann for a survey course in drawing and painting people. This class will introduce a challenging subject with playful and mindful discipline. We will explore several ways of drawing humans: field sketching, caricatures, self-portraits, and working from on figure and portrait from clothed and nude models. Students are welcome to work independently, or to follow the exercises and guidelines offered each week.  All media are welcome: pastel, acrylic, oil, watercolor, markers, watercolor pencils, etc. You are welcome to choose a medium to use and stick to it for the quarter, or to play around with different media throughout the quarter.  The first couple of weeks we will start by drawing on paper with a model.

Model Fee between 50-70/person, depending on enrollment (more people=lower model fees: bring your friends ;).  Payable with cash, check or paypal to  Non-refundable and due on second day of class. 

*Draft, in this case, means that students and teacher discuss and can change the projected course of the class during the class.

Please look in my menu for recommended supplies for each favorite medium. If you have questions about media not listed, or just questions, please send me an email.  

Course Overview

Week 1  (model)
Armatures, and basic anatomy-- drawing humans accurately. tips and ideas for getting it right quickly,  a confident line.  Angle drawing and something useful to do with trigonometry. 

Week 2 (model)  
Two-tone drawing and basic shading.  Toned paper, with black, white and red conte crayon.  Drawing tonally for a quick finish.  One step up to color drawing.   Probably also working on portraits this week. 

Week 3 ( clothed/costumed model)
Shadow shapes and light shapes-- finding proportion from inside out.  Value studies of the figure. Grayscales and how to make and use them.  

Week 4  (clothed/costumed model)
Bringing color into it.  Sketch painting and quick painting with the figure.   How color and value work together and complement one another. 

Week 5 (model)
Exploring the portrait.  Drawing from a human, using light and shadow to get a likeness.

Week 6  (no model)
Self-portraits and why. Painting yourself with accuracy and patience. 

Week 7 (no model)
Painting from photographs, how to choose a photo to paint from, stylizing your paintings, composing from photographs, what not to paint. 

Week 8  (model)
Revisiting the Basics-- Classic Model drawing with short poses developing to long poses.  

Week 9  (clothed model)
Matisse-like painting-- setting up a model pose to look like a Matisse painting.  

Week 10 (no model)
Long pose figure painting, abstracting the figure. Working from sketches or photos to make a larger painting. Separating painting from the source materials. When does the painting stop being a study and start being Art? 


Drawing Supplies for People Drawing (other supply lists in menu above):  

  • 1 each of HB and 6B pencils  (i.e. a semi-hard and one super-soft pencil.
  • White eraser.
  • Micron Pigma pens, 1 and 3.
  • Pencil sharpener with a reservoir built in for the shavings.
  • A little satchel or tool box to carry your supplies in.
  • 16 x 20 or 18 x 24 newsprint pad
  • 16 x 20 drawing paper pad
  • Red, black and white conte crayons.  (they usually come in a three or four-pack at the art store.)

Optional but fun: 

  • A color set of conte crayons, a set of 12, 18 or 24 would do fine.  
  • Any other paint or art making kit you would like to bring. 

Happy Figure/Portrait sketching!