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ENVS 195 Z6 July 17 - Aug 11

CRN 61927 9 am - 12:45 pm
Lafayette Hall L300
Instructor: Libby Davidson (libby.davidson@uvm.edu)


The core of this course will be spent drawing in the field, noting the special qualities of the Vermont
landscape. We will cover a wide range of methods for translating what we observe into meaningful
graphic form. This practice will be informed by the study of the prints and drawings of naturalists and
landscape artists, from eighteenth through twentieth century Eastern and Euro-American traditions to
the contemporary. Students will be guided in basic drawing techniques with which they will produce a
portfolio of drawings and a final graphic project.

Course Purpose:
To lay a foundation for the confident practice of field drawing.
To engage questions of meaning regarding our views of the natural world.
To explore the distinctive pictorial conventions in landscape art traditions.
To encourage an attentive receptivity to the natural world.

Course Text: Nature Drawing Clare Leslie Walker (Kendall Hunt, 1995, ISBN 0-7872-0580-X)

Course Materials:
Graphite (lead) pencils (2B, 4B)
Both pink and kneadable erasers
Black ink pens (steel-tip)
Two 11x 14 drawing pads (Homework assignments must be completed on
11 x 14 paper)
Book Bag or small water-proof portfolio for transportation and storage
of completed work

Field Materials:
Drawing Materials, pencils, pens
Snacks, water
Hat, sunglasses, sun-block, bug repellant
Rain gear and waterproof sitting mat (or tough, padded, plastic bag)
Optional (if necessary for comfort); sling-able, camp-style folding chair

Course Meetings:

We will meet each day at the start of class at Lafayette Hall L300. It is imperative to be on time and
always be prepared with both field and art materials. Class will debark to both on-campus and off-
campus sites for field drawing. Our daily schedule will include visits to field sites from the following

Centennial Woods Natural Area Red Rocks Park

Ethan Allen Homestead (Winooski Valley Park District) Shelburne Farms
Salmon Hole and Winooski Falls Redstone Quarry
Perkins Geology Museum UVM Greenhouse
Whenever an on-site class needs to be postponed due to inclement weather we will attempt to re-
schedule that visit and substitute another on-campus (indoor) site for that particular day.

Topics and Techniques for study will include:

Flowers, seeds and fruits Sketching for essentials

Trees; leaves, buds, bark and branches Drawing-to-scale
Farm fields, fencerows and woods Compositional principles
Birds and other animals Pencil rendering and shading
Rock forms and stones Ink drawing
Clouds and skies Stipple, hatching and cross-hatching
Water, watercourse and the lake Surface textures
Natural landscapes and human marks on the land Panoramic screens

Assignments and grading:

Daily hand-outs and posts on Blackboard will list drawing assignments, related readings and topic
areas to be covered. Unexcused absences will unfortunately reflect negatively on your grade.
Permission from the instructor must be received in order to consider an absence excused. In the case
of religious holidays that fall at the time of class, submit a written request to the instructor at least 1
week prior to the date that you plan to be absent. You should plan on attending all classes and handing
in all work on time. Missed-class information must be obtained from fellow students. Late
assignments may be made up at the discretion of the instructor. Grades will be based solely on your
portfolio of drawings, demonstrating increased proficiency in each area of study, as well as two
informal written essays on assigned related topics, and a graphic project due at the end of the course.

Mid-term review: 30% Due July 25

End-term review: 30% Due Aug 8
Graphic Project 30% Due Aug 10
Attendance/participation/effort 10%

A+ 98 - 100 B+ 87 - 89 C+ 77 - 79 D+ 67 - 69 F 0 - 59
A 93 - 97 B 83 - 86 C 73 - 76 D 63 - 66
A- 90 - 92 B- 80 - 82 C- 70 - 72 D- 60 - 62

Mid-term Review: 30% of Final Grade On July 25, you will be handing in your sketchbooks and
all artwork completed up to that point, including both in-class and out-of-class assignments. Essay 1
will count toward this Mid-Term Review as well. Instructor evaluation and grades, along with your
art, will be handed back to you on July 27.

Essay 1: Compare and contrast drawings of Eastern and Western landscape artists of your choice (18th
century artists or their 20th century counterparts). 2 page paper double-spaced plus 1 page of cited
images and bibliography. More details for this assignment will be posted on Blackboard.

End-term Review: 30% of Final Grade On August 8, you will be handing in your sketchbooks and
all artwork completed from Mid-term until 8/8 including in-class and out-of-class assignments. Essay
2 will count toward this End-term Review as well. Instructor evaluation and grades, along with your
art, will be handed back to you on August 10.
Essay 2: Describe your artistic style and that of a professional artist you admire. 2 page paper double-
spaced plus 1 page of cited images and bibliography. More details of this assignment will be posted on

Graphic Project: 30% of Final Grade You will be creating a unique Event Map, with a theme of
your choice relevant to Nature Drawing, including new drawings that you will create in addition to the
other assignments. Color may be added. (We will be covering Event Maps in class ahead of time.)
More details of this assignment will be posted on Blackboard. Your Event Maps will be due August
10, when you will present and describe the process of creation to our class.

Your Artwork on Display: Throughout the four weeks of this course we may be exhibiting artwork
from our class in the Bittersweet conference room and hallway. All art will be labeled and protected in
clear 11 x 14 plexiglass frames and will be returned to you at the end of the course.

To help facilitate effective guidance and feed-back for your work, we will follow three practices:
Group sharing of drawings with questions and discussion
Sharing of written observations, questions and discoveries
Personal conferencing in class as needed

Keep your portfolio with you throughout the class with your current sketches and field-work, as well
as a fresh supply of 11 x 14 paper. Be sure to have all materials with you at all times. For both the
mid-term and end-term reviews, hand in all your drawings from the field sites and in-class exercises as
well as any sketches youve practiced on your own.

**Always identify each and every drawing with the date, topic, location, and most importantly,
your name. **

If you feel that you are falling behind in your courses, seek assistance to help get back on track.

Dean of Students Office 656-3380

Academic Success Programs 656-4075
Counseling & Psychiatry Services 656-3340
ACCESS (Disability Services) 656-7753
Womens Center 656-7892
Catamount Recovery Program at UVM 656-0236