Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) [in Art]






Figure drawing -- Study and teaching (Secondary)



Physical Description

1 online resource (45 leaves, mounted ill.)


Life drawing presents some of the most difficult problems in the school art program: the difficulty of securing models, the necessity of using only the clothed model, and the resistance of many students to this particular discipline. The students’ confidence in their own drawing abilities is at its nadir during early adolescence, and they become easily discouraged when faced with a live model as a subject. This thesis represents an effort to deal with these problems in a manner suited to the age and maturity level of the students. In order to build their self confidence, basic drawing skills and techniques are emphasized and the work is designed to afford them maximum success. Based on the premise that the quality of student art work will show greater improvement if they enjoy what they are doing, much effort is made to present interesting and challenging projects. Emphasis is shifted away from the figure itself at first, and placed upon the clothing instead. The more difficult aspects of figure drawing are approached gradually as the need arises. The work was designed for secondary and junior high school elective art classes. It was tested on a group of eight grade students on the assumption that most of the problems involved are somewhat magnified at that level. The entire unit involved nine weeks of class work. In some areas the results were successful. The more visually minded students exhibited much improvement in perception and drawing skills. Those less visually minded displayed enthusiasm for several of the projects which had been planned specifically for them, but they generally showed less improvement. Nine weeks proved to be rather a long period of time for such a unit, and enthusiasm lessened somewhat during the last two weeks. It was concluded that although the project generally accomplished its goals, perhaps the goals themselves should be re-evaluated. Few students seemed to sense much relevance in learning to draw the human figure as an end in itself. This experience seemed to suggest that the use of life drawing as a vehicle for the expression of ideas and feelings might provide a wider base of motivation.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


Portland State University. Dept. of Art

Persistent Identifier