creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization







Ten individual four-week classes (four Thursday evenings each) focusing on
the most essential skills and knowledge to serve the beginning or novice drawer.

Try one, or take them all! (15% discount for the full package.)


Drawing Essentials

Our belief at the Manifest Drawing Center is that anyone can learn to draw, and that everyone can benefit from doing so. It is through training and practice that one is able to synchronize the eye with the mind and the hand in order to capture an idea or subject in visual form. Whether drawing is used as a means for expression, or as support for other media, it is nevertheless an invaluable skill that allows us to slow down, look, see, and understand what we observe. There is great joy in this.

Drawing Essentials is a series of courses that breaks down the act of drawing into time-tested artistic principles and skills. Classes can be taken individually, to fill in the gaps in your artistic training, or to reinforce skills. The series can also be taken as a whole, providing building blocks in an artistic foundation that can be employed with unlimited variety. Drawing is a practice that has a far reach, and whether your artistic goals are for pleasure or profession, the point remains that anyone can learn to draw, and through that learn to appreciate the world more deeply.

Series Instructor: Samantha Haring, Manifest Resident Instructor

Fee:  Individual 4-week Classes: $100

Full Series Price (all ten courses): $850 (15% discount)

Course Schedule: Thursdays 6-9pm

Minimum Enrollment: 5

Level: All levels are welcome! Drawing Essentials is geared towards absolute beginners. In this series, the drawing process will be explained and demonstrated step-by-step. Participants will have many opportunities to test out new skills and techniques, and receive feedback in a supportive classroom environment.

Looking for a more challenging and intense drawing course that will take your work to the next level? Consider Drawing Fundamentals.


Instructor Bio:
Samantha Haring is a Midwest painter from Des Plaines, Illinois. She makes quiet paintings that discuss the nature of loss and the inherent duality of absence and presence. Haring earned her MFA from Northern Illinois University (2014) and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011). She has also studied in Italy at the International School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture; it was there that she fully developed her commitment to light, color, and observational painting. Haring’s work has been shown nationally, most recently in Chicago, Cincinnati, and New York. Her work is published in issues #119 and #123 of New American Paintings, as well as the Manifest International Painting Annuals 4 and 5. She was one of the 2015–2016 Manifest Artists in Residence, and is currently Manifest’s Resident Instructor for 2016-2017. In addition to teaching at Manifest Drawing Center, Haring is a Drawing Instructor at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art & Planning (DAAP).

Hosted at Manifest's Drawing Center Studios in Madisonville at 4905 Whetsel Avenue (second floor) (see map and directions below). Manifest's facility provides two studio classrooms totalling over 3500 square-feet. The studios are outfitted with professional equipment, furniture, and study aids.



4 Meetings Per Course: Thursdays 6-9pm
(See full descriptions in Essentials menu below.)


Observational Drawing
       September 7-28, 2017

Composition and Mark Making
       October 5-26, 2017

       November 2-30*, 2017

Light, Form & Atmosphere
       January 4-25, 2018

       February 1-22, 2018

Cast Drawing

       March 1-22, 2018

Master Copies
       April 5-26, 2018

Drawing with Color
       May 3-24, 2018

Portrait Drawing
       June 7-28, 2018


       July 5-26, 2018


Questions?: Contact Adam Mysock at

Map to Studio    |   Studio Calendar    |   Darkroom Calendar




Schedule: September 7-28, 2017

Registration Deadline:
Monday, September 4

Description: Learning to draw is learning to see. The ability to move beyond what we ‘think’ something looks like, and truly translate what we observe, is a skill that requires patience and practice to develop, but reaps infinite rewards. Observational Drawing is an introduction to seeing the world through the eyes of an artist, employing specific techniques to cultivate your eye-mind-hand connection. 

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to drawing materials
  • Gesture drawing
  • Proportions
  • Corrective tools such as angling, comparative measurements, and organizational lines
  • Contour and blind contour drawing
  • Connecting hand to eye
  • Understanding of negative space
  • Introduction to line drawing

Materials List:

  • Graphite Pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Newsprint Pad 18x24”
  • X-Acto knife
  • Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad 18x24”


Schedule: October 5-26, 2017

Registration Deadline:
Monday, October 2

Description: Drawing is a language, and the mark is what we use to communicate. From the singular perfected line of Leonardo to the obsessive, dense renderings of Giacometti, the drawn line has incredible expressive potential. Understanding how the elements of your drawing interact with each other and the paper itself can give clarity to your ideas. Composition and Mark Making is an introduction to the line and the basic principles of composition.

Topics Covered:

  • Seeing spatially
  • Translating 3-dimensional objects
    onto a 2-dimensional picture plane
  • Introduction to compositional theory
  • Intuitive composition and design principles
  • Gestalt
  • Sensitive Line
  • Line hierarchy and line weight
  • Scale and placement

Materials List:

  • Graphite Pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Newsprint Pad 18x24”
  • Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad 18x24”
  • Sharpie Markers, Fine Point, Black



Schedule:  November 2-30*, 2017
*No Class 11/23 in observation of the holiday.

Registration Deadline: Monday, October 30

Description: Conveying a sense of space or depth on a flat surface is one of the more challenging aspects of learning to draw. Thankfully, artists have been honing specific methods for creating the illusion of form and depth since the 13th century. Perspective is an investigation of these methods, introducing the use of depth for a heightened level of realism in your drawings.

Topics Covered:

  • Horizon line, vanishing points, converging lines, diminution
  • One point, two point, three point, and isometric perspective
  • Atmospheric perspective
  • Interiors and exteriors
  • Objects in space

Materials List:

  • Graphite Pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Newsprint Pad 18x24”
  • Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad 18”x24”


Schedule:  January 4-25, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, January 2

Description: The world is revealed to us through light and shadow. Developing sensitivity to the quality of light upon a surface or in a space can make your drawings come alive. Light, Form & Atmosphere is an introduction to value structures and shading.

Topics Covered:

  • Additive and reductive charcoal techniques
  • Introduction to value structures
  • Introduction to temperature
  • Edge quality and surface quality compared to line weight and line quality
  • Working from simple to complex forms
  • Atmospheric Perspective

Materials List:

  • Soft vine charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Strathmore paper
  • Toned charcoal paper 18x24” (Canson Mi-Tienes or Arches or Rives BFK)
  • White charcoal or white conte


Schedule:  February 1-22, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, January 29

Description: Drawing is a physical act. Grand sweeps of the arm over a body-sized sheet of paper differs in experience from the minute movements of the hand employed in a thumbnail sketch. Scale is an introduction to drawing small and drawing large.

Topics Covered:

  • 6 inches to 6 feet: miniature drawings to large scale drawings
  • Introduction of scaling technique
  • Exploration of mark making at various scales
  • Exploration of material and subject matter

Materials List:

  • Graphite Pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Soft vine charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad 18x24”
  • Roll of butcher paper (either white or brown, minimum width 24”)
  • White or colored chalk


Schedule:  March 1-22, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, February 26

Description: To draw from plaster casts of classical sculptures is to enter into a rich tradition, practiced by artists like Michelangelo and Peter Paul Rubens, and championed by the contemporary atelier movement. This is an entry point for drawing the figure, through the use of compositionally beautiful forms in controlled lighting environments. Cast drawing is an introduction to drawing from 3-dimensional human forms onto a 2-dimensional surface.

Read more about Cast Drawing here.

Topics Covered:

  • Accurate observation
  • Tonal value relationships
  • Light and shadow shapes

Materials List:

  • Graphite Pencils (2H, HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Soft vine charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Charcoal pencils (light, medium, hard)
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper Pad 18x24” or Charcoal paper such as Canson Mi-Teintes, Rives BFK, Arches



Schedule:  April 5-26, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, April 2

Description: The master copy has been an artistic exercise connecting artists to the classical past and to each other. By studying masterworks, we begin to break down the process of the masters, analyze their artistic choices, and attempt to duplicate their techniques. Master Copies is an introduction to the study and emulation of masterful drawings from art history. 

Topics Covered:

  • Mark-making, shape, value structure
  • Relationship between the study and the original
  • Deconstruction of the master study

Materials List:

  • Conte (black, sanguine, bistre)
  • Conte pencils (black, sanguine, bistre, white)
  • X-Acto knife
  • Toned paper (Canson Mi-Teintes or equivalent- tan and gray)


Schedule:  May 3-24, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, April 30

Description: As Stephen Sondheim has written, “Color and light, there is only color and light.” We see the world in color. Understanding the building blocks of color, as well as the effects of light on objects, is essential to duplicating the colors we perceive. Drawing with Color is an introduction to color theory and practice.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to color materials
  • Color wheel, color scales
  • Color systems: monochromatic, analogous, complementary, split-complementary, triad
  • Psychology of color

Materials List:

  • Chalk Pastels (24 set of NuPastels)
  • Colored pencils (Prismacolor set of 24)
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Kneaded Eraser
  • Chamois
  • Blending stump (optional)
  • Charcoal paper such as Canson Mi-Teintes, Rives BFK, Arches


Schedule:  June 7-28, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, June 4

Description: We have been drawing ourselves for 30,000 years, which may be part of the reason why drawing the human form is such a rewarding experience. Capturing the presence of an actual person is an act of empathy as much as it is a demonstration of technique and training. Portrait Drawing is an introduction to the human figure through an understanding of the structure, proportions, and expressions of the human head.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to working from a live model (clothed)
  • Proportions and human anatomy
  • Characteristics of facial features and landmarks
  • Expressions
  • Value, tonal relationships

Materials List:

  • Soft vine charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Chamois
  • Chalk pastels (NuPastels- optional)
  • Newsprint pad 18x24”
  • Charcoal paper such as Canson Mi-Teintes, Rives BFK, Arches (at least 4 sheets, minimum size 18x24)


Schedule:  July 5-26, 2018

Registration Deadline: Monday, July 2

Description: How do we communicate a sense of self or identity through drawing? Historically, artists have used the self-portrait as a way to experiment with new techniques and styles. Viewing these portraits we get a glimpse into their artistic process, struggles, and achievements. There is a sense of time and place in a self-portrait, and when successful, an intimate revelation of whom we are. Self-Portrait is an introduction to expressing one’s own likeness through drawing.    

Topics Covered:

  • Human anatomy and proportions
  • Range of emotional expressions
  • Narrative and storytelling potential
  • Viewpoint
  • Introduction to using props in
    figurative drawings

Materials List:

  • Soft vine charcoal
  • Compressed charcoal
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Chamois
  • Chalk pastels (NuPastels- optional)
  • Newsprint pad 18x24”
  • Charcoal paper such as Canson
    Mi-Teintes, Rives BFK, Arches (at least 4 sheets, minimum size 18x24)

Manifest's 14th season is funded in part by an impact grant
from ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council, and the generous contributions
of individual supporters who care deeply about the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri noon-7pm, sat noon-5pm
(or by special appointment)

closed Sun and Mon

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map
4905 whetsel avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45227



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