Start drawing

Course Dates: 20/10/20 - 03/11/20
Time: 18:30 - 21:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore traditional and less traditional methods of drawing simple objects. Using structured activities, we will introduce key concepts such as line, tone, composition and mark making. Ideal if you have little or no drawing experience; a great way to learn the basics or prepare for longer courses.

This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit


What is the course about?

This course enables students with little or no experience to explore the activity of drawing at a basic level, from initial experimental mark-making to simple use of tone and composition.

What previous students liked most about their course:
"A great start for a beginner! Felt encouraged and supported."
"Atmosphere. Ability to try something new in a safe environment."
"Learning something creative and getting plenty of encouragement."


What will we cover?

The course starts with experimental forays into mark-making and its effects. You will move on to explore the representation of basic forms and the effect of light on them, considering basic tone and composition in the process.

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

- Show a basic understanding of the use and effects of a variety of drawing materials.
- Show a basic understanding of tone and composition.
- Use drawing to investigate varied subject matter.

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

The course is aimed at those with no or little previous drawing experience.

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 discussion.

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

Demonstrations, group and one-to-one discussion, individual guidance.

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

All materials are included.

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 *Terms and conditions apply, visit

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

The course will enable you to embark on the next level drawing courses such as 'Drawing 1', 'Complete drawing course part 1: beginners', 'Drawing: focus on tone', 'Beginners drawing intensive' or our new drop- in and pay as you go 'Drawing club'.


Customer Reviews 29 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

The tutor was very helpful and enthusiastic. The pace of the course was slow and we primarily learnt to draw and shade standard shapes. This is a good foundation for learning to draw, but a bit tedious, and not very inspirational or varied for a beginner on a short course.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 29/01/2020)
Do it
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 26/01/2020)
Enjoyable and useful introduction to developing drawing skills
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 21/10/2019)
The Start Drawing course is a fun and enjoyable introductory course to drawing, which helps you build skills and confidence. It is good for beginners or people with a little experience who would like build more confidence.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 14/10/2019)
A supportive, motivating and engaging learning environment
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 13/10/2019)
Great, pacey and energising introduction to drawing.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 04/10/2019)
Luke is a brilliant teacher . You will learn to draw, and enjoy it
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 03/10/2019)
TRY IT! What a lovely introduction to drawing, the classroom , teacher and materials were all fantastic. Its just a shame that the course isn't longer.
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Review by Steph / (Posted on 01/10/2019)
This course is great if you have never drawn or haven’t done so for a long time. It is well structured while relaxed. The tutor was positive and helpful.
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Review by Lynda How / (Posted on 30/09/2019)
It meets all the requirements it says it will in 3 weeks
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 30/09/2019)
Lovely, accessible course - fun and informative.
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Review by anonymous / (Posted on 12/05/2019)
This a good confidence building introduction to drawing.
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Review by Marian / (Posted on 21/02/2019)
The course was impressively comprehensive and compact for such a short introductory series of classes. Very enjoyable and good encouragement to pursue one’s own study afterwards.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 16/02/2019)
This is a course that will make you feel like your imagination has come to life again. Fantastic tutor who cared about all of us and gave proper guidance in the art of drawing in a relatively short time. Very enjoyable course and it was somewhat intense which made it even more enjoyable for me.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 11/02/2019)
The course is broken down well and you will feel more confident at the end about drawing
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 11/02/2019)
Great start if you have never drawn before. Really freindly environment
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 10/02/2019)
The teacher's enthusiasm & skill was inspiring - he was also sensitive to & very encouraging with difficulties for the beginner & created a lively atmosphere for the class which was important as it's a long, intense day!
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 16/10/2018)
If you are like me and were reading reviews and researching ..Just join the course this will be a start of your adventure, a new door in your life and mind will be opened.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 15/10/2018)
Definitely do it! It helped me rediscover my creativity and curiosity in drawing, and we all improved loads over the 2 days. Highly recommended!
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Review by Natasha / (Posted on 15/10/2018)
Great fun, and opens your brain (and your hands/ eyes) to a whole new approach to learning. Absolutely no pressure - the emphasis is on learning via the journey, as opposed to judging and valuing the end result only. Go for it - if I can do it, anyone can!
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Review by Judith / (Posted on 14/10/2018)
Great course for beginners, well organised and structured
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 08/10/2018)
It was a relaxed, highly enjoyable class where I felt confident to have a go and got helpful feedback and learnt a lot
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 02/10/2018)
It’s a 3 week Course so not a major commitment. Unusually for a Beginners’ Course, we were all pretty much the same level. Over the 3 weeks, we covered more ground than I expected. We experimented with charcoal, compressed charcoal, Graphite sticks, pencil, washes and ink. Plus learning the use of erasers and tissues in art terms. I think everyone on the Course was going to book up for longer courses in a variety of drawing/painting classes including portraits, life classes etc. Our tutor sat with us for coffee every week and gave us lots of good advice as to how to move forward. I was very happy with my first experience at City Lit.
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Review by Susan. / (Posted on 01/10/2018)
An excellent course - empowering, surprising and fun
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Review by Tamara Javid / (Posted on 06/10/2015)
Excellent course. Very encouraging teaching in a non threatening, relaxed atmosphere. We all made rapid progress and covered a huge amount. Wish I'd done it years ago.
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Review by Caroline Brown / (Posted on 06/10/2015)
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Review by Kathryn / (Posted on 06/10/2015)
Such a great course. I learnt so much in a really friendly environment
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Review by Helen Greaves / (Posted on 06/10/2015)
This two-day course was perfect for me. I found it liberating, encouraging and great fun. I came away uplifted. I've even surprised my family with my bolder attempts at drawing. The teacher had great energy, was very supportive and created a very friendly atmosphere.
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Review by Ospreycamwatcher / (Posted on 19/06/2015)
Very supportive and friendly atmosphere
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Review by Brendan / (Posted on 20/03/2015)
Tutor Biographies
Mario Lautier Vella Tutor Website

Mario Lautier Vella is a cross-disciplinary, award-winning artist who began his art career at City Lit. After completing a number of short courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles, Mario went on to do the two-year City Lit Fine Art course before going back to university to gain his Masters degree. Mario regularly exhibits in the UK and abroad and his work can be found in private collections around the world. Mario has enjoyed teaching at City Lit since 2011. For more info go to

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VH777

Please choose a course date 

Tue, eve, 20 Oct - 03 Nov '20

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Full fee: £109.00
Senior fee: £109.00
Concession: £55.00

Note: Course starts today, check start time

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Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

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