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Gordon School of Art

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The New Masters™ Foundation Course: Levels 1 - 4

Foundation | Levels 5-6 | Levels 7-8 | Levels 9-10

The New Masters™ Foundation Course
is the entry-level program for all students. It covers the first four levels of a 10 level curriculum. In this course, you will learn the most important skills you will ever learn as an artist: the basic hand postures, drawing movements, drawing strategies, and perceptual/motor skills that form the basis of the drawing process.

If you successfully complete this course -- which you will be able to do -- you will eventually be able to master anything in the curriculum. To put the importance of the Foundation Course skills in their proper perspective: of the approximately 195 technical skill groups covered in the entire New Masters™ curriculum, approximately 110 of them are Foundation Course skills. In addition, all the remaining skills in the curriculum are dependent upon Foundation Course skill proficiency. This is why all students, even those with college degrees in studio arts, are required to enter the program on this level. Experienced students can expect to move more quickly through the Foundation Course material than beginning students, if they have not developed too many bad habits during their uninstructed years. If you have done a lot of drawing but are not satisfied with your performance, this course will provide you with a diagnostic analysis of your drawing problems and prescriptions for correcting them.

The emphasis of the Foundation Course is on line drawing. In this course and the Level 5 course, all drawings are done with the aid of a grid, a rectangle divided by evenly spaced lines. The purpose of the grid is to postpone the problem of proportion in order to concentrate on the problems of location and shape. You will learn how to position lines correctly in the grid, how to shape them, and how to do so quickly and accurately. You will also be learning, both in this course and Level 5, the component skills for drawing without a grid - which will prepare you for your first free-hand drawing on Level 6. One of the most important of those skills is sketching: the process of quickly approximating the location of the lines and shapes that comprise a picture.

A step-by-step summary of the Foundation Course

All New Masters™ courses are divided into steps, small groupings of carefully selected worksheets and drawing projects. Step one is composed of a series of preparatory worksheets covering the pencil hold, the two basic drawing strokes, the drawing motions (the movements of the hand), the drawing of lines, the positioning of lines, the straight line sketching process, and the line correction and erasure and beauty-of-the-line processes. On the Step 2 worksheets, you will learn how to draw simple regular curves. On the Step 2 projects, you will learn how to draw pictures composed of straight lines. On the Step 3 worksheets, you will learn how to draw compound regular curves, on the Step 3 projects how to draw pictures composed of simple regular curves. On the Step 4 worksheets, you will learn how to sketch and draw simple irregular lines, and on the projects how to draw pictures composed of compound regular lines. On the Step 5 worksheets, you will learn how to sketch circles and ovals, how to draw irregular shapes and compound irregular lines, and on the Step 5 projects how to sketch whole pictures in a matter of minutes and draw pictures composed of simple irregular lines. On the Step 6 worksheets, you will learn about negative shapes and how to sketch them, how to execute the end-to-end drawing method to attain line precision, how to ink lines of uniform thickness, and how to shade uniform values with a pencil. On the Step 6 projects you will learn how to take a sketch through two stages and how to draw pictures that contain irregular shapes and irregular lines. On the Step 7 worksheets, you will practice sketching actual images and learn how to change the direction of your shading stroke without changing the position of your hand on the page. On the Step 7 projects you will draw pictures using an advanced technique - working in stages from rough sketch to refined line. You will also learn how to draw pictures composed of small shapes and details and how to ink in the lines of a picture. On the Step 8 worksheets, you will learn how to ink lines that vary in their thickness from place to place and practice the skill of free-hand line location. On the Step 8 projects you will learn how to draw pictures composed of lines with subtle changes in their contours and pictures that contain lines of high complexity.

John Gordon
Director, Gordon School of Art

For more information please visit our curriculum summary page.

N651 Norman Road, Kewaunee, WI 54216 • 1-800-210-1220

Email: gordon@newmasters.com

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