since 1965  (really?)

Human Anatomy for Artists

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
Art Practice 98 / 198
3 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

UPDATE: Still waiting to hear back from the department about scheduling and room assignments, but right now it looks very likely that the class will be held Fridays 4-6PM. 

    This course is designed for aspiring artists who wish to build strong foundational skills in figurative art.  Though a great deal of the class work will be rooted in traditional pencil drawing, the experience gained in this class applies to any rendering-intensive medium (drawing, painting, animation, sculpture etc.).
     The first part of the course investigates the human figure from the scientific and art historical perspectives.  Homework will familiarize students with musculoskeletal organization, which grounds the student's art practice in the empirical realities of the human body.  During class time, students will discuss different historical styles of figure rendering, the limitations and advantages they afforded the artist, and the communicative purpose each style served.  These discussions will sensitize the student to the communicative relevance of style.
    In the second part of the course, students apply their anatomical knowledge through a series of self-directed exploratory projects.  Class discussion of student work will examine the interplay between rendering process, stylistic interpretation, and conceptual content, and how the student's decisions in all three of these levels affect each other.  
    The ultimate goal of this course is to improve the student's sophistication and sensitivity in creating figurative work, and thereby expand the student's expressive range.

    Turn in assignments on time.  Assignment worth is determined by how many weeks you are given to work on them; for example, a one-week's assignment is worth 1 point, a two-week assignment is worth 2 points.  Since the anatomy quiz sums up 4 weeks of anatomical studies, it is worth 4 points.  Approximately 18 points total. If you miss 7 or more points, you will receive an automatic fail.
    More importantly, BE EXCITED.  This course is designed for people who love the arts and wish to move forward with their own work.  Like most decals, it does not fulfill major requirements.  So, personal interest is the only reason to take this course.  Please be generous with your enthusiasm and creative energies in class.  You will have absolutely nothing to worry about, so long as you are making friends, making art, and having fun.

How to Enroll:

FIRST OF ALL: Only enroll if you are interested in improving as an artist!  As stated in the class description, this course does not fulfill major requirements, and is fairly work intensive relative to other DeCals (hence why it's worth 3 units). Your personal desire to improve is the only reason to take this course.  Once again, you will have absolutely nothing to worry about, so long as you are making friends, making art, and having fun.

Drawing will be our lingua franca to think and learn with, since it is comparatively cheap, fast, and efficient.  This class focuses on anatomy, so unfortunately we won't have time to cover drawing fundamentals.  Prospective students should have at least intermediate skill in drawing.  Please send 3 work samples to, demonstrating basic competence with graphite or ink drawing.

 If you are unfamiliar with drawing, but have some other native medium that you know well (e.g. sculpture), then I am still very interested in having you participate in this course. Be aware that you will be expected to produce one finished piece a week, including "anatomical drawings," whatever that might mean for your medium.  You will also be expected to take part in group drawing activities.  Please send 3 work samples demonstrating competence in the medium of your choice to

 Besides the prerequisite skill requirement, this class is first come first served! Apply soon if you are interested, there are only 16 seats.

Course Contact: patxu AT

Faculty Sponsor: John McNamara

Time & Location:

section 1Patrick Xu
16355 KroeberF 4p-6p1/22full

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: anatomy syllabus.rtfNov 2030kbRTF (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified November 24, 2009. This page has been viewed 3836 times.

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