Drawing at the College of Charleston begins with Drawing I. The drawing area accepts all students, with or without any previous art experience, into the drawing I course. Because drawing I is the pre-requisite course for all other studio art courses except Sculpture I, the drawing area is where most students are exposed to their first studio art experience.
The major focuses of the drawing area are learning drawing literacy by identifying and putting into practice basic 2-D formal elements and concepts; utilizing fundamental and advanced drawing techniques and materials; learning how to draw accurately from life, using subjects such as the landscape, the portrait, and the human figure, and then applying this experience to more conceptual themes; and learning to appreciate the history and evolution of drawing as a separate and unique medium in the history of art. The Drawing area offers four levels of classes which change as they progress by incorporating more advanced formal and conceptual problems and more challenging media and formats. There are 18 drawing courses of all levels offered every semester.
After a student has completed all levels of drawing (I through IV), he or she may choose to work independently on an original drawing project with the approval and mentorship of a full-time faculty member. Recent independent study projects have included an illustrated children's book, an animated video, and a graphic novella. In the spring of 2009, nine students enrolled in independent study projects converted one of the drawing classrooms into a gallery where they displayed their final projects of the semester and even held an opening. In addition, during the Maymester, special topics in drawing are offered. Two recent course sections were "Life-sized Life Drawing" and "Process and Presentation in NY" which involved a two-week trip to New York City.
The drawing area features two large, high-ceilinged classrooms that are accessible after hours, weekly open drawing sessions with a model, studio spaces for students enrolled in independent studies in drawing, and opportunities for student exhibitions. Every professor who teaches in the Drawing area uses drawing as a primary medium in his or her individual artwork.