What is the course about?
We begin with a visit to the Wellcome Collection, exploring the exhibition, artefacts and curatorial approach - taking this as a contemporary model for creative and adaptive thinking. Back at the City Lit studio, you will continue to work with ideas from the Wellcome research visit (i.e. science, life and art) using these sessions to identify and take forward a personal theme or interest.
Crucially, we will look at the contemporary sketchbook as an autonomous (stand-alone) art-form and examine ways that thinking, writing and drawing come together in the creative generation of image and ideas. We will explore contrasting approaches to sketchbook development (pace and style) including spontaneous and planned drawing techniques; we will also look at ways artists balance intimate and formal content and ideas.
Covers a range of contemporary mixed-drawing techniques (see below), encouraging personal adaptation of method and materials.
What will we cover?
- Working with gallery collections, curatorial themes and approaches
- Thinking, writing and drawing – ways to bring initial research together
- Contemporary sketchbook examples – innovative formats and concepts
- Using the creative act of drawing to review, edit and develop content
- Mixed-media techniques: including biro, acrylic, gouache, graphite, photography and collage.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Individualise your approach to working with gallery collections
- Identify useful contemporary patterns of association - ways of looking
- Demonstrate two ways that writing can inform or evolve the act of drawing
- Use a range of spontaneous and planned drawing techniques to develop visual content and ideas
- Structure a sketchbook - planning for shifts in thinking, materials and pace.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for students with some drawing experience. You should have completed an introductory-level drawing course, around 30 hours of study, and feel comfortable drawing with pencil, charcoal and pen.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Begins with an off-site visit to the Wellcome Collection – you will be sent details of the class meeting point (by e-mail) the week before the course starts. It is helpful if you can do some research or additional work on your sketchbook between sessions, but it is not essential.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
For the first session you will need to bring something to draw in - a journal, notebook or sketchbook-in-progress and a few pencils or pens. If you would like to start a new sketchbook for the course project I recommend waiting until we have discussed formats and concepts in the first session.
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at www.cassart.co.uk. *Terms and conditions apply, visit www.cassart.co.uk/students.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Depending on your starting point, you may like to take:
- Contemporary Art Sketchbook Walk
- Contemporary collage and mixed media
- One of the City Lit Drawing courses, or the one-year course Extended Drawing for Artists and Makers (advanced)
- Draw, paint, print / Introduction to printmaking.