Augsburg’s Drawing was a “three book system designed to teach form and color in the public schools” published in the early 1900s. The drawing instruction series included a teachers’ handbook to be used to teach first through third graders drawing and color, a textbook for students in fourth through eighth grades, and finally a complete course in drawing after the rudiments had been taught. All three books are in the public domain and available for free download.
Beginning with Book I, the first year of drawing covers:
- Drawing from memory and the imagination.
- Illustrating stories and bits of poetry.
- Drawing representing action.
- Drawing trees.
- Two-handed exercises (to develop coordination).
- Beginning exercises in perspective drawing.
- Color work.
The second year covers most of the above and adds:
- Place and relation of objects.
- Relative size of objects.
- Object drawing.
- Study of a tree.
- Study of a bird.
- Study of an animal.
The third year includes the above and:
- Illustrating language exercises.
- Action drawing.
- Teaching proportion.
- Unity in drawing.
Once this foundation has been laid, the author suggests several different routes forward depending on the purpose of the instruction. You can read his suggestions beginning on page ten of Book II.
Book III is a short but “complete” course in:
- Brush drawing.
- Wash drawing.
- Watercolor drawing.
- Pen drawing.
- Drawing the human head and figure.
- Decorative design.
- Constructive drawing.
Some will also appreciate several books that were published a few years later that broke each grade into an individual volume. Those links are also provided below.
As you can see, if a student finishes the entire set they will have amassed a great deal of drawing skill!
Excellent resources for art instruction — and they are free!
Volume 1: First Through Third Grades
Volume 2: Fourth Through Eighth Grades
Volume 3: Fourth Through Eight Grades and High School
Individual Graded Years