What is the course about?
The course is all about how to use and work in a sketchbook and will equip you with the skills and techniques on how to develop ideas in painting and drawing through using different sketchbook formats.
What will we cover?
• How Artists use sketchbooks to develop painting(s) and work
• How to make basic different sketchbook formats
• Creation of painting studies using sketchbooks
• Plein-air painting - working in a sketchbook outside
• Using a sketchbook for research in a museum collection
• Ways of manipulating and capturing effects and qualities in paint using large format sketchbook
• How to develop own response through selection and refinement using existing sketchbook work(s)
• Review and discuss ideas and work in own completed sketchbook work(s).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
You will learn how to create and use different sketchbook formats through a sequence of practical activities and demonstrations.
How to capture ideas in painting and drawing through trial and error, paint manipulations, plein-air painting and many more using your sketchbooks.
• Create and make different sketchbook formats to work in
• Create painted studies from landscape including plein-air techniques and methods.
• Create personal responses to the outside landscape environment
• Create personal responses and research working from a museum collection
• Refine and develop own ideas using a large sketchbook format.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for any level from beginner to Intermediate and beyond but an interest and enthusiasm in using a sketchbook would be useful.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught trough a sequence of planned and targeted practical activities with the opportunity to share
and discuss sketchbook work and ideas as they develop.
You will be taught through practical demonstrations and tuition, help and support reinforced with learning handouts. Although there is no formal set homework you will be encouraged to develop and work on ideas, painting and research.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There will be two field trips one outside and one inside a museum but these are free
We provide basic painting and drawing equipment but it would be advisable if you have other relevant painting and drawing equipment to bring this with you to the course.
You will need to bring
• One A4 to A2 size sketchbook
• One portable set of paints these can be water colour and or any other to be used outdoors.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
When you have finished this course there are many other courses you can enroll for, including other sketchbook and or painting courses for a list of these please visit
the following link:
Sketchbooks, offsite and studio development.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details