Drawing to See with Margaret Krug

Observe the world more deeply by drawing what you see. Learn the skills and devices to draw what you see in the natural and built environment. Discuss the roots of drawing and its changing and enduring function while viewing historical examples. Consider the broad definition of what a drawing can be. In response to the observation of the visual material presented, work with a variety of early techniques and materials as well as experimental materials and processes.

Each material has a unique identity and response to your motive and action. Working with silver point on paper prepared with China white can demand a slow, deliberate response to visual material, and it can result in great delicacy in the nuances of light and dark. Experimenting with iron gall ink (used by Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt van Rijn), allows for exquisite precision as well as rapid, loosely expressive marks and planes to articulate the fluctuating environment.

Work in relationship with the materials by letting them inform you on how to use them to represent your experience of seeing. Create notes, sketches, studies, and preliminary cartoons for more finished works as well as exploring and expanding on doodles to produce a series of works with a conceptual framework. Experimenting with erasing, tearing, reassembling, and combining media and techniques or just by switching to a new, unfamiliar medium may lead to revelatory breakthroughs in your creative vision.

While working in grey, black, and white or monochromatically and then with handmade watercolor, you will explore the vocabulary of drawing, including line, delicate gradation, volume, composition, movement, perspective, color, light, the element of time, and abstract motifs. Line, color and light will translate into experience and thought.

Day trips with art historical discussions to sites such as San Gimignano, the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena, and the Etruscan Guarnacci Museum in Volterra (as well as observation of the natural surroundings at Spannocchia), will encourage the blending of history with the present as you draw to see.

Making Watercolor

Drawing classes at Castello di Spannocchia will meet at the Limonaia studio for three hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon Monday through Friday with the exception of one or two all day excursions. Sunday is open for studio time with instruction or free time. On Saturday, we will meet in the studio for three hours in the morning, and there will be an afternoon/evening excursion. All meals are included, except for Saturday evening and lunch on the days of excursions. Land transportation for excursions is included. Transport to and from Spannocchia on the first and last day is not included. The tuition includes private room and private bath, shared studio, art exhibition and reception, most art materials, and instruction.

Textbook: An Artist’s Handbook: Materials and Techniques, Margaret Krug

Contact Margaret for more information!

Margaret Krug

Margaret Krug MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, painter, author, associate professor, School of Art, Design, History and Theory at Parsons School of Design, former senior lecturer at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Contributing writer for Artists Magazine. Artist Mentor at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Lesley Art + Design, MFA in Visual Arts Program, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 2019 Artist/Scholar Resident at the American Academy in Rome. Exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Painting Center, The National Arts Club, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Willa Cather Foundation and elsewhere throughout the United States and internationally. Author of An Artist’s Handbook: Materials and Techniques, published by Harry N. Abrams, New York, Laurence King, London. Spanish, German, Chinese, and Russian editions published. Director of a painting, drawing and art history program at Friends of Spannocchia in Italy. At work on a forthcoming book on color and composition.

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May 15 - 27 2023

For More Information

Visit Margaret Krug's website


Tenuta di Spannocchia, Chiusdino, Siena, Italy
Margaret Krug

Program Coordinator

Margaret Krug
Visit Margaret Krug's website