Art 1 | The Heights School

Art 1

Course Description and Objectives

The Art 1 Course seeks to introduce students to the basics of drawing. Many aspects will be explored including composition, line, value, edges, as well as a brief introduction to color in the second half of the course. These technical aspects will be used to understand what makes a beautiful picture and to understand how light falls on three-dimensional form. Overall this course seeks to offer students a deeper understanding of the basics of drawing and through this process also lead them to a greater understanding of art and beauty.


There are no texts for this course.

Outline of Topics Covered

Pencil Drawing– a good deal of the course work will be done using pencil as the primary medium

  • Basic Shapes: outline and proportion, envelope method
  • Basic Shading: methods of shading and correct layering of pencil strokes
  • More finished Still life drawing
  • Sketching different things: small things to outdoor scenes

Grid Drawing Method – Copying a photograph very carefully

Charcoal subtractive work – most drawing is additive—the artist puts pigments onto the paper- this project offers students a different way of thinking about making pictures- by erasing

Drawing the Human Form – Learning how to draw it well is a great achievement in art.

Drawing the Human Face – students start with one or two features from copying master artists, then move on to copying profiles and finish with a self-portrait

Quick Gesture Drawings – students make general drawings of the clothed human form from life and photographs using charcoal. They finish by copying a classical nude statue or a photograph of a clothed figure.

Color Still Life – the introduction to color starts with some basic color mixing exercises dealing with the three basic attributes of color: hue, value, and intensity. From here students apply what they learn to a colored still life. Students work with colored pencils.

Copy of a Masterwork – the final project for the class is copying in colored pencil a painting that depicts light on form from a famous artist


Materials needed:

Each student should bring a pencil and an art pad (9″ x 12″) to every class.

All other materials will be provided by the school. Portfolios are on loan and must be cared for and returned at the end of the day.


  • 25% Take Home Project
  • 25% graded class assignments (5)
  • 25% Mid-term take-home project
  • 25% Portfolio Evaluation

Brian Coyne '94

Faculty Picture
B.A. University of Dallas
Phone: 301-365-0227 Ext.244

Brian Coyne returns to the Heights this year to teach Art for grades 7 through 12.