The progressive nature of the curriculum demands that all Studio Incamminati artists master foundational proportions of lights and darks and blocking-in shapes before mastering the next levels of Grisaille, Color Studies and Paintings. Artists begin by learning how to see the basic human figure and by using drawing to capture the figure in a series of poses that evolve from short to longer duration. Similarly, artists work from still life to develop the ability to see graphic shapes in terms of light and shadow. Still life offers the advantage of a variety of forms, shapes, surfaces, texture, placement in space, and relation to background—all vital issues in realism. Charcoal often is used because it has a sensitivity that makes it very painterly and the ideal bridge to using brushes and oil. The strokes—though strictly straight lines and angles with no curves allowed—are taught to be fluid, driven by the kinetic energy of the pose. These lines best capture the basic "armature" foundation of the figure or object, with more complex curves and detail added later.