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ART 97 — Portrait Drawing: Three Portraits, Three Techniques

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—May 29
Time: 6:30—9:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Units: 2
Tuition: $600
Instructor(s): Yvette Deas
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
6:30—9:30 pm
Apr 3—May 29
9 weeks
Drop By
Apr 16
2 Units
Yvette Deas
In this portrait drawing course, the focus is not just on accurate depiction, but on what makes a portrait truly capture the “essence” of a person. This essence always requires the artist’s hand and gesture, emotive response, and an analytic dissection of the subject. We will explore the drawn portrait through charcoal, with its loose, smoky, painterly application; through graphite and its photorealist uses; and through mixed media, incorporating ink, bamboo pen, and twigs with and without charcoal on surfaces from smooth paper to crumpled paper bags. This approach emphasizes anatomy over simplified formulas and “sighting” (measuring the thing against itself and using hand-eye coordination) over gridding or projection. We will also discuss common errors in portrait drawing and how to avoid them.

For beginners, this course is useful for building skills, trusting one’s hand, and discovering one’s preferred process. For advanced drawers, this is an opportunity to try overlooked techniques, and to refine or loosen favorite ones. Although portraiture can be frustrating, it can also be intimate, intuitive, and magical.

This course is open to students of all levels. Students must purchase their own art supplies for this course and can expect to spend an additional $100–$200 on these materials.

Yvette Deas, Lecturer, Art & Art History, Stanford

Yvette Deas’s work focuses on the idiosyncratic and personal, and the metaphoric potential within the human form. She received an MFA from Stanford, as well as the Centennial Teaching Award. Recently, her work was part of the traveling group exhibition With Liberty and Justice for Some. . . . Her “Dissection Series” is on view at Stanford’s Division of Clinical Anatomy. She also has an exhibition in San Diego at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center. Her work can be viewed at yvettedeas.org.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.