Sketchbooks: observation to abstraction

Course Dates: 18/01/24 - 15/02/24
Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Keeley Street
Using a sketchbook as an experimental place in which to explore ideas, take risks and reflect, you will embark on a 'visual journey' of transformational creative processes from observational drawing towards abstraction.
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Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £167.00 Concession £136.00

Course Code: VH026

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Thu, day, 18 Jan - 15 Feb '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

You will use a variety of drawing materials and techniques to help you move from observation of both manmade and and natural forms towards a more personal abstract response.

What will we cover?

- An understanding of the formal elements within a drawing; exploring line, tone, colour, texture, pattern, composition and how to manipulate and abstract them.
- How artists use the creative cycle in the development of their ideas and concepts.
- The key concepts and artists behind 20th century abstract art including contemporary artists.
- drawing materials and techniques to develop a personal abstract response.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the concepts and techniques behind abstract art.
- Draw with increased confidence and experiment developing your drawings inspired by abstract approaches in a variety of media.
- Use your sketchbook as an experimental place in which to explore ideas, take risks and reflect.
- Incorporate the creative cycle to take a more explorative, open-minded approach to your artistic practice.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a course for students who have some drawing experience (ie have completed at least one course of 'Drawing 1' or equivalent). Come with an open mind and a willingness to try new techniques.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Using a variety of techniques designed to help you break out of old habits and develop your confidence taking creative risks. Practical work will involve drawing from observation, using a variety of materials including charcoal, chalk and ink. There will also be demonstrations, group discussions, one-to-one tutoring, and hand-outs regarding artists and current exhibitions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Bring your sketchbook, all other materials will be provided.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencil to printing services, at 15% off.

To get an LGC discount card, students will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment of them being a student at City Lit. You can apply for our card in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. The student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may wish to continue your exploration into abstraction by joining one of the following courses that will run in the next academic year: Abstract drawing, Ways into abstract painting, Exploring and explaining abstract painting.

We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.