A Twelve-Week Online Programme delivered live on Zoom for you to explore and learn Leonardo’s approach to drawing. You will discover how Leonardo used drawing to develop and reflect his enquiry into the fabric and structure of the entire natural order. This course will show you Leonardo’s approach and process to drawing and you will learn how to apply his drawing methods and techniques from the beginning to completion of a drawing. We will explore his use of various drawing media and learn how he combined them to create bold, striking and dynamic artworks on paper.
You will learn how Leonardo approached drawing:
- The human body and how to express its dynamism
- Human Anatomy and Proportion
- Three Dimensional Objects in Perspective
- Organic Life in the Form of Plants
- Natural Phenomena such as Water, Storms, and the Flight of Birds
- Mechanical Devices and Inventions
Week 1: The Dynamic Sketch | The Action of the Pose and Dynamics of Figurative Design
In the first session we learn about how Leonardo approached drawing the figure. Where did he begin the drawing? What were the first lines he draw? What did he establish at the start? We will analyse how he built his drawings up beginning with a sketch of the dynamics of the figure which assembles the whole of the figure out of its distinct parts. Drawing in Pencil or Silverpoint on White or Toned Paper.
Week 2: The Principal Design | Building on the Sketch and Modelling the Form
In the second session we learn how to lay the principal design of each of the parts and the whole figure with outline, shading and detail. You will learn how Leonardo used and applied line to simplify and express the human form with economy and effective naturalism. We will uncover how Leonardo achieved his remarkable tonal effects with hatching. Drawing with Pencil or Silverpoint on White or Toned Paper.
Week 3: Human Anatomy | The Mechanics and Dynamics of the Skeleton
The Third session takes you beneath the surface of the body to uncover its skeletal framework so that you learn which parts of the skeleton to target and emphasise when drawing the figure. There are primary visual landmarks on the skeleton which convey a clear and effective sense of the body and it’s movement. Learning these will give you a deeper understanding process of Leonardo’s approach of drawing because they provide a structural basis for the design of the figure.
Week 4: Human Anatomy | The Tension and Transitions of the Muscles
The Fourth session illuminates how the muscles express the movement and tension in the body. Understanding the forms of the muscles and how they connect throughout the body is fundamental to learning how to deepen the shading on your drawing to create a striking sense of three-dimensionality and relief in your drawing.
Week 5: Objects in Space | Situating forms in Perspective
In the fifth session we delve into Renaissance design from a theoretical and geometric approach. Understanding the full capacity of the line on paper to generate a visual experience of three-dimensional space will show you how to enhance the depth and aesthetic richness of you compositional and figurative drawing.
Week 6: The Mechanics of Flight | The Wings of Birds and their Action on Air
The sixth session takes you above the clouds where your lines soar to the heights of your imagination. Leonardo’s fascination with the phenomenon of flight motivated his enquiries into the mechanics of flight and the structures and dynamics which could lift beings off the ground.
Week 7: The Living Earth | Symbol and Narrative in Organic Forms
In the seventh session we turn to the beauty of the organic forms in nature. The sense of natural motion, lightness and volume in Leonardo’s drawings of flowers, trees, branches with leaves will be your focus and you will learn how tone and line can work together more effectively. You will also explore the symbolic, allegorical and narrative meaning to be conjured through representation of organic forms.
Week 8: The Dramatic Landscape | Nature in Action
The eighth session takes you on an exploration of nature and the phenomenon which mobilise and animate it. The landscape drawings in dry media and watercolour of Leonardo show his artistic experimentalism which sought to illuminate the mysteries of the natural order. You will learn about how Leonardo’s ideas on the workings of nature translate into his representations of nature in his landscape drawings.
Week 9: Inventing Machines | Harnessing the Power of Natural Law
In the ninth session we work from the natural phenomena and their principles to how they can be utilised to purposeful intent through machines. You will learn about how Leonardo designed machines to harness the same natural laws which underpin the mysterious phenomena of the natural order. Learning to invent and design machines will unlock the inventiveness and creative intuition required to maximise your potential in all your work.
Week 10: Playing Animals | The Movement and Joy of Noble Beasts
The sixth session teaches you how to capture the structure, action and expression of animals. In Leonardo’s rapid sketching process, he was able to sketch the main visual elements of an animal to be worked up into a clear drawing. Learning how to sketch the main shapes and points with swift execution will enable you to start drawings more directly and intuitively, giving you more opportunities to develop sketches into refined designs.
Week 11: How to Draw a Portrait | The Physiology of Emotion
In the eleventh session we return to the human form and bring the full capacity of Leonardo’s approach to drawing to the human head and face. Beginning with the dynamics of the head and the preliminary sketch, you will learn Leonardo’s process and step by step method of drawing the head from the very beginning. The first marks that Leonardo would make would establish the direction of the drawing. Learn what these were to really understand how the Old Masters drew.
Week 12: How to Draw a Portrait | The Dynamics of Shadow and Light
Rendering the portrait is largely about chiaroscuro. We conclude the journey with an emphasis on one of the most important aspects of Renaissance drawing and Leonardo’s understanding of optics: shadow and light. You will discover how Leonardo gave volume, mass, roundness and light to his portrait drawings to give them a degree of finish while leaving the mysteries and ambiguities of nature pulsating through.