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Observational Drawing Short Course

Please contact us for future course dates.

Course information

Why do this course?

An exciting introduction course to observational drawing. The course will use a mixture of life model, still life and location drawing sessions to develop observational, analytical and versatile drawing skills and explore mark making and mixed media. 

Course description

This course runs for five consecutive days.

The life-model sessions will be used to develop techniques, improve skills and experiment with mixed media to produce observed drawings and further understanding of the complexity of the human figure.

Participants are asked to bring or create an object for the still-life sessions. The choice of the object is up to you but must be no smaller than an A5 square, have enough information and detail to sustain exploration and needs to be fairly easy for you to bring in to class. Some examples are: masks, dolls, plants, puppets, toys, character models, a pair of old shoes. Be inventive, look around your home and see what could be interesting to draw.

The location drawing will be at a variety of Kingston and London venues. These sessions will tackle the problems faced in drawing from real life with a focus on describing and communicating environment and atmosphere.

Course structure

Draft programme (to be confirmed closer to course date):

  • Day 1: Observational skills and still life
    The focus today will be on understanding Observational Drawing and trying out various approaches to your subject. We will set up a Still Life to study. Please bring your chosen objects to draw to this session.
  • Day 2: Life model
    We will spend the morning learning or brushing up life-drawing skills and techniques. In the afternoon recreate the poses of a master's painting to add elements of composition and narrative approaches to image making.
  • Day 3: Museum location: Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Day 4: Area location: Borough Market
  • Day 5: Gallery location: Tate Modern

This is for example only, locations may change.

What to bring

  • Paper:
    • A range of A4–A1 paper including cartridge/ sugar paper/ coloured (subtle) and/ or textured paper. No smaller than A2 for life-model sessions and please remember to bring masking tape.
    • Sketchbooks (minimum of A4 in size). You can buy sketchbooks that are pre-made with a variety of paper from any art materials shop.
    • A sketchbook or notebook (minimum of A4 size) to place research and create a reference book.
  • Media:
    • Pencils B-6B (No H or HB pencils please!)
    • Putty/plastic rubbers
    • Graphite sticks
    • Tippex
    • Charcoal sticks
    • Pitt charcoal pencils
    • Dip pen and Black or colour inks
    • Chalk/oil pastels
    • Oil bars,
    • Pen (biro, ink etc)
    • Coloured pencils
    • Stabillo crayons
    • Gouache/ acrylic/ watercolour paints
    • A variety of brushes

You may consider collage by using cut outs from old magazines and newspapers, remember to bring a Pritt Stick or PVA glue. In experimenting with mark making it often helps to use unusual materials such as an old toothbrush, a stick or comb have a look around your home to see what you could use. 

Booking information

Dates for open courses currently available will be listed in the table at the top of this page with a "Book now" link that will direct you to our payment website. If no dates are shown and you would like to register your interest for future dates for this course please contact us.

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.

Fees

The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (eg for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.

Directions

Directions to Knights Park campus, Grange Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2QJ:

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Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 4066
Contact us

Short courses
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