The Drawing Concentration allows students to create their own pathway across identified courses throughout the College. Each year, a course listing is generated of all recognized Drawing Concentration eligible courses and published on the Drawing Concentration website. This provides a guide for students as they register. Students can request that the Drawing Concentration Coordinator recognizes courses that are not included in this listing. This could occur due to late announcements, new courses, or if students take relevant courses at Brown University.
(courses will be added each semester)

In addition to the courses offered by the Concentration listed below, see the list of pre-approved courses offered across campus here.

Drawing Concentration-Sponsored Courses, 2018-19 :

HAVC: History of Drawing 
(offered Fall 2018 by Susanne Scanlan)

In this course we study the history of drawing as a practice and art form in its own right.  Working chronologically, we focus on developments in technology and materials, shifting relationships between patrons and artists, and the impact of institutions such as art academies, galleries and museums on the methods and significance of drawing.  We consider issues that determine(d) what a drawing was, is and can be, both in and outside the artist’s studio. Students will look closely at works from the museum’s collection during scheduled visits, and will be expected to write about what they see in relation to assigned readings and class discussion.

DRAW: The Materials of Drawing: Technical Research and Practice in Historical Methods and Contemporary Applications
(offered Spring 2019 by Andrew Raftery)

Over thousands of years, the materials and methods of drawing have evolved in response to the needs of artists and designers. Technical manuals, patents and other texts record specific drawing techniques. Research into these sources will lead to making actual drawing materials – inks, quill pens, grounds for metal point, chalks, etc. – which will be tested through a range of personal drawing projects and copies of historical works. Trials of newly available drawing materials will yield information about potential uses and permanency. Best practices for care and display of drawings will be covered throughout the course.

DRAW: Independent Drawing Project


(offered Fall 2018 by Deborah Zlotsky and Norman Paris)


The goal of Independent Drawing Project is for students to develop a distinct, carefully conceived, and self-directed body of works through a process of investigation, critical assessment and production. Through a rigorous studio practice, students are expected to identify and develop their own conceptual interests and material approaches.  Individual and group critiques support, facilitate, and intensify this process. While drawing concentrators will be given priority, interested students outside of the concentration and beyond the sophomore level may take this course. For the drawing concentrator, the work created for the Independent Drawing Project serves as the culmination of the Drawing Concentration program. Critiques will run from 6-9 pm, followed by independent studio work.

Open to juniors, seniors and 5th-year students

Graduate students by permission of instructor

DRAW:  Diagrammatic Inquiry: An Epistemology of Line
(offered Spring 2019 by Ken Horii)

A typical characterization of diagrammatic thinking is that it is a non-discursive methodology for dissection and certainty. While there are diagrams that serve the purpose of reduction to ways and means, diagrammatic thinking is also discursive reflection. Diagrammatic thinking is an inquiry- the many forms of which expand the familiar visual and object predominant exposition of relationships, to a search rather than a declaration- to a condition of thought where a line can be territory, trajectory, topology, iconography and spatial genesis.

In this course, methodologies to be explored will include orthographic projection, cross- section, exploded views, sequence imaging, and scale–shifting among other concepts and techniques. The first part of the course will include hand-drafting tools and methods, where students will have opportunities to produce works from different modes of observation in a range of media. Some exercises will use objects sourced from technology, nature, and design. The second part of the course will support experiments by students to develop new projects that feature diagrammatic concepts and representations or integrate the same into ongoing personal practice.

In addition to studio work, there will be lectures and discussions on the history and concepts of diagrammatic thinking, exercises and experiments including applications in mechanics, logic (mathematics), systems theory, idea/process diagramming, and an overview and some operations with currently available diagramming software. Readings will include selections from Mark Greaves, The Philosophical Status of Diagrams, and Alexander Gerner, Diagrammatic Thinking, among others.

Estimated cost: $100

Wintersession 2019 Drawing Concentration Courses:

[NEW] NMSE-1530-01: Drawing Your Spatial Sensation
(Offered by Karen Schiff)

This course is about drawing space in full dimensions, so that your own perspective can be brought out most vividly. How do we inhabit and perceive space, how do we imagine space, and how can those experiences and conceptual paradigms be conveyed through visual forms? Academic drawing techniques often presume a flattening of space in order to transcribe the haptic, visual field onto a 2D surface. Instead, we will try to track the complete, embodied perceptual experience as we strive to arrive at drawing approaches that can record and convey individual senses of space. The final, independent project will transfer these practices into media and ideas that are individual and inventive. 

DRAW 1106-01: Drawing and Collage
(Offered by Alfredo Grisholt )

This course will explore drawing and collage using various methods, materials and subjects. Students will use a variety of media, including their own drawings, found objects and photographic images. Students will be encouraged to instigate intuitive and open responses to perceptual and conceptual sources. The form of collage will give students the opportunity to build, develop and reprocess their drawings. Scale, subject, abstraction and materiality are some of the visual elements addressed in the course. Estimated material cost: $75.00

DRAW 1509-01: Drawing Marathon 
(Offered by Gwen Strahle )

Intensive, perceptual drawing class meets from 9am to 9pm, Monday-Friday during the first two weeks of Wintersession and on Schedule B thereafter. A rigorous investigation of drawing from the model and/or large set-up sprawling across classroom. Deeper contact to the drawing experience through sustained exposure. Opportunity for re-invention, change. Confront problems of drawing, build on strengths. Emphasis on drawing consolidation, concentration, stamina, persistence. Regular critiques, slide talks, RISD museum trips. The goals of this course are to facilitate and maintain a continuous flow of drawing energy and examination. Students will re-examine the way they make drawings, in a progressive drawing environment. Through sustained contact with their drawing(s), students will make personal advancement.

HVAC H682-01: Leonardo Davinci Drawings
(Offered by Matthew H. Landrus )

The course will explore the approaches and contexts of Leonardo da Vinci's draftsmanship. Studying primarily some of his surviving 6000 drawings and notes, the course will locate his aesthetic and analytical processes and contexts for a broad range of projects, such as paintings, sculptures, treatise literature, machines, weapons, maps, festivals, built environments, and studies of natural philosophy. We will also examine theoretical pursuits in the liberal and technical arts by Leonardo and his contemporaries, and their assessments of visual art as a science, and studies of natural science as a systematic art. Particularly informative will be Leonardo's responses to contemporary trends, to artisanal traditions, to the antique, to members of princely courts and republics, and more generally to investigative and inventive strategies.