• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Visual Arts
  • Areas of interest Visual Arts, Design Arts, Creative Arts
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Erica Seccombe
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

With a focus on drawing the human form in a studio environment, Figure & Life enables students to develop an understanding of the principles of observational drawing. Relevant to students with any level of experience and from all visual arts and design disciplines, this course introduces a range of skills and concepts to support future specialised practice-led research. Each week students are presented with different tasks and approaches to seeing and drawing the human body by identifying space, shape, form, line, gesture, expression, movement, colour, tone and composition. The experience of drawing is broadened by testing a variety of drawing mediums and techniques through haptic exploration. In class students build up a substantial portfolio of work for assessment. A deeper knowledge of drawing in context of historical and contemporary art and design practices is furthered through weekly tutorial slide presentations and critical reflections. Additional weekly activities also assist students to demonstrate progressive development and gain confidence through guided drawing projects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify and apply a range of processes and approaches to seeing and drawing the human form from life;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of observational drawing in context of historical and contemporary practices in the visual arts and design;
  3. utilise a variety of drawing mediums and techniques to explore space, shape, form, line, gesture, movement, colour, tone and composition;
  4. clearly show progressive development of drawing skills and conceptual ideas through guided drawing projects;
  5. articulate a developing visual literacy through creative works, verbal discussion and written critical reflection.

Other Information

All classes are expected to be attended in person as there are no recording of lessons online. Classes are delivered in a studio environment using professional life models. This course is fun, challenging and rewarding. Figure & Life is designed to build confidence and provide invaluable foundational drawing skills. This course is extremely popular and is taken by undergraduate students from many programs across the university.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Portfolio of studio work (50) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Guided drawing projects (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Critical reflections, 500 words (10) [LO 2,5]
  4. Participation (10) [LO 4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 48 hours of contact over 12 weeks: lectures, tutorials, critiques and supervised studio practice; and b) 82 hours of independent studio practice, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you are enrolled in, or have previously completed, ANUC1123 or ARTV6020 (Figure & Life).

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Assumed Knowledge

No previous knowledge or skill in drawing required. Recommended to students of all levels of experience.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3120
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4800
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4497 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9475 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person N/A

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