Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit

Unit rationale, description and aim

Drawing is a fundamental foundation of all visual art practice that will inform future practical areas of study.

In this foundation unit students be will introduced to the essential skills and methods of creating two-dimensional artwork. Emphasis is placed on the development of drawing skills in a range of mediums such as charcoal, pencil and ink through studio-led projects. Students will also develop a critical awareness of contemporary drawing practices and explores the content and context of art internationally and in Australia.

This unit also aims to emphasise reflective critical thinking and the development of confidence in visual art making. Presentations and discussions surrounding art processes and ideas are also undertaken in order for studetns to make critical insights about their own work and that of others.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 -  Identify and develop skills and techniques that exist in a range of media in the creation of 2D-based artworks (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Make evident an understanding of skills-based practical proficiency through studio-led research, reflective practice, and the use of variable media in the creation of 2D-based artworks (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Articulate the way in which the historical and contemporary contexts of art and design can inform students’ own practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media


Topics may include:

Students will be introduced to the fundamental experience of working in a range of two-dimensional art media through project-based tasks. The unit will lay the foundation for the development of the students' individual approach to the production of artworks in their continuing studies in the discipline. Students will be directed to reflect on the way in which art and design historical and theoretical contexts can inform their own emerging practice, broadening their awareness of contemporary drawing. Students will experience various media, techniques and skills in areas such as: still life, observational drawing and perspectival drawing through skills-based studio-led research practice.

There will be a focus on Workplace Health and Safety for the professional artist.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy for this unit focuses on fostering a sense of belonging in the art studio as a place where core competencies such as skills-based drawing techniques, critical and reflective thinking and research investigations occur. This is implemented through weekly lectures and practical demonstrations and exercises/clinics that contextualise the assessments in relation to contemporary two-dimensional practice and their historical lineage. This unit also will introduces students to a variety of art mediums, drawing techniques and processes, as well as historical and contemporary practitioners. Group discussion about the artworks in progress will promote critical thinking about how cultural production contributes to society and the ethical perspectives associated with exhibiting artwork publicly.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy involves exploring practical and technical skills through studio-based lectures and practical sessions for the development of a portfolio of work. The journal documents the application of self-directed research into art practice and techniques, and encourages critical reflection and assessment of practice.

Assessment items have been carefully considered for this unit to reflect the overall approach of assessment standards for this university. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome. Learning outcomes based on acquired knowledge through lectures, workshops, and practical exercises, as well as through individual study and practice, will contribute towards an expanded knowledge in this subject area, as well as helping to attain the graduate attributes set out within this unit outline.

  • The Portfolio of Drawings A assignment assesses skills and techniques acquired during lectures/demonstrations and studio practice in the use of the medium. This meets LO1 and LO2.
  • The Portfolio of Drawings B assignment assesses skills and techniques acquired during lectures/demonstrations and studio practice in the use of the technical applications and use of variable media. This meets LO1 and LO2.
  • The self-directed artwork plus research documentation task ties together skills in competency developed throughout the lectures and practical sessions and tests skills in the documentation of Visual Arts research processes and an understanding of contemporary art practice and how this informs students' own practical work. This final assessment task meets LO1, LO2, and LO3.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Portfolio of drawings A


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Portfolio of drawings B


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Self-directed artwork plus research documentation


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Butler, C. (2010). On line: Drawing through the twentieth century. Museum of Modern Art.

Dexter, E. (2021). Vitamin D: New perspectives in drawing. Phaidon.

Dorling Kindersley. (2017). Artist's drawing techniques: Discover how to draw landscapes, people, still lifes and more, in pencil, charcoal, pen and pastel. DK Publishing.

Dunn. A. (2015). Pen and ink drawing: A simple guide. Three Minds Press.

Keeler, C., & Couzens, V. (2010). Meerreeng-an: Here is my country: The story of Aboriginal Victoria told through art. Koorie Heritage Trust.

Ah Kee, V. & Institute of Modern Art. (2009). Borninthisskin. Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.

Martin, J. (2018). The Encyclopedia of pastel techniques: A unique visual directory of pastel painting techniques, with guidance on how to use them. Search Press Ltd.

Petherbridge, D. (2014). The primacy of drawing: Histories and theories of practice. Yale University Press.

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