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Expressive Figure Drawing: Contemporary Realism, Mixed Media (Online)

Instructor: Susan O’Neill

Explore hidden curvilinear elements riddled throughout the human figure with classical and contemporary interpretations. Students explore the figure and pictorial space using traditional and mixed-media materials through classical realism and abstraction in figure drawing. Lessons, in contrast, link the representational figure to the abstract. This term focuses on capturing lively, expressive figurative drawings while understanding essential anatomy for the artist. In this class, students are encouraged to push their boundaries and limits. Each week, while working from a live model, emphasis is placed on careful observation of gesture and anatomical structure, line quality, and composition using traditional and contemporary materials. Included are themes to inspire, discussions of historical and modern works of art, instructor demonstrations, and focusing on understanding skeletal and muscular anatomy while creating a dynamic finished drawing. Model fees are extra.

Students need to purchase supplies for this class. A kit of supplies is available for purchase online below, and can be shipped for a fee.

For more information, contact The Art League School at 703-683-2323.

All Dates & Times

Class Supplies

Expressive Figure Drawing: Contemporary Realism, Mixed Media Kit

This kit of supplies is available for purchase here, and can be shipped for a fee, or picked up from the school store. The kit includes the underlined items. Please indicate in the notes section of your order if you would like to schedule in store pick-up, or if you need your kit mailed to you. Please contact us at store@theartleague.org if you would like to purchase a selection of items different than the kit. The store hours are 11am – 5pm, 7 days a week. Call here: 703-548-8127. 

Expressive Figure Drawing: Contemporary Realism, Mixed Media with Susan O’Neill

NOTE:  If you have previous materials you can start there, no need to purchase all new.  We will discuss materials and paper during the first class and why certain choices may be useful. It is not necessary to have all the materials on this list, especially NOT the first day. Pace your introduction of new materials if you are not comfortable. This class will present suggested techniques to get you started with mixed-media work.  You will discover your own unique techniques and marks through the experimentation with the material discussed in class.

  • Drawing board 23” x 26” or larger depending on your paper of choice.
  • Newsprint paper 18” x 24” for warm-up gestures each week
  • Drawing paper – Any quality sturdy drawing paper.       You may want 4-9 sheets of paper depending on how you work.  Papers vary depending on your style/touch. Experimentation is encouraged.

General Paper suggestions:

  • 1. Canson Mi-Teintes paper – white, light grays such as “pearl gray.” 2-3 sheets, or off white. This is a heavier multi-purpose drawing paper. Make sure to use the side that is less rough.  This is my first choice of a good all-around drawing paper.
  • 2. Hanhemuehle Ingres paper—This is a nice drawing paper but does not work well with mixed-media materials and water.
  • 3. Stonehenge paper – heavy, great for water and mixed media
  • 4. Strathmore 500 Series Charcoal Pad  – 18″ x 24″ Assorted Tints, 24 Sheets or single sheets.
  • 5. Or another inexpensive white drawing pad other than newsprint

  • Box of SOFT vine charcoal –
    Generals brand or Nitram brand charcoal sticks: (green or yellow box). You can also purchase various sizes of loose SOFT vine charcoal.
  • Medium & Hard & Soft compressed Charcoal pencils – Generals Charcoal pencils:  2-3 of both hard (HB), medium (2B), and soft (4B)
  • Compressed charcoal sticks
  • Black Conté crayons – 2 pack
  • Red Conte’ crayons – 2 pack
  • Brown Conte crayons – 2 pack
  • White charcoal – stick and pencil.  
  • Char-KOLE brand – 2 sticks 
  • Red chalk (pencils) – Faber Castell  PITT Pastel Pencil #190 Venetian Red or #188 Sanguine AND / Or NuPastel chalks (sanguine or burnt sienna) or Conte Sanguine Pencils.
  • Water-Soluble graphite crayons – (Lyra Graphite Crayon  – 2B, 6B, or 9B)
  • Water-soluble charcoal (Derwent XL Charcoal Blocks OR Water-Soluble colored Charcoals by Art Graf Artist- set of 3 or 6)
  • Chamois (pronounced, Shammy)
  • (optional) Stump (Tortillion – twisted paper to blend charcoal)
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Other Erasers:  Great for hatching and small details:  Tombow Mono Zero refillable eraser and/or General’s Factis Mechanical Eraser
  • Any 1-2” Hog Bristle brushes to blend charcoal – (large inexpensive craft brushes or old worn house painting brushes) and smaller bristle brush. Can be any old bristle brushes
  • Inexpensive watercolor brush. Or a variety of brushes to apply water

The kit includes the underlined items.
Cost is $111.03 plus sales tax of $6.66 for a Total = $ 117.69
Please contact us at store@theartleague.org if you would like to purchase a selection of items different than the kit.

How to Register

To submit enroll, please click the Add to Cart button to select this course. Add as many classes and workshops as you like, and then proceed to the Checkout page to submit your registration. Online registrations must be confirmed by office staff in order for your enrollment to be completed. You will receive one notification when we have received your form, and another when we have confirmed your enrollment in a course.

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