How to draw: a complete course for beginners

Course Dates: 08/05/23 - 17/07/23
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Online
Explore the creative possibilities of drawing, gain confidence and broaden your expectations and understanding of the subject. Learn and develop key drawing concepts: function of line, tone, texture, form, composition and mark making through a carefully structured approach. This course will be taught online.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £329.00 Senior fee £263.00 Concession £214.00

Course Code: VO200

Mon, day, 08 May - 17 Jul '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 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?

A series of structured experiments and drawing exercises will introduce you to ways of seeing and provide you with a real insight into what is drawing and how drawing can be used for all creative, personal and well-being purposes. You will explore line, tone, shape, form and mark-making using pencil, willow charcoal, compressed charcoal or chalk. The experience can then be applied to a range of specialist subjects that use drawing skills to support and explore creativity.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Composition and tone
- Light and shade
- Gesture and mark-making
- Putting it all together
- Simple use of perspective
- Measurement and relating the subject to eye level.

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

- Learning to look
- Composition and tone
- Light and shade
- Gesture and mark-making
- Putting it all together
- Simple use of perspective
- Measurement and relating the subject to eye level.

- Plan a composition and understand spatial relationships
- Draw more accurately from observation
- Draw using tone to establish structure and create solidity of form
- Draw using line and gesture
- Start to develop a personal approach to drawing.

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

This is a course for beginners. No experience is necessary.

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. You should be able to use the internet.

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

Handouts, presentations, demonstrations, practical work, individual and group tutoring, and group discussion. The course is taught online. You will be asked to set up simple still live compositions to support your studies. Recommendations for this will be available in advance on Google Classroom
It is a structured course build of five main units:
1: Drawing by Observation; Making a composition; Measuring, Proportion, Tone, Negative space
2: Gesture and mark making; Analytical drawing- finding geometric shapes in any object, Light and Shade
3: Perspective, Form, Foreshortening, Sketchbook use
4: Texture and mark making, Expression, Simple collage, Experimentation
5: Putting it all together, building on drawing fundamentals; Reduction tone drawing; Tone and colour.

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

You need either drawing board, not smaller than A2, 2 chairs of which one with backrest to lean the drawing board against; a table on which to place your own still lives and laptop with camera; Alternatively, a wall space and table (see above) and chair or stool to place drawing materials on. We recommend a well-lit space.

Which drawing materials do I need for the class?
- A Pad of A3 Drawing paper not less than 140gsm
- 5 sheets of A2 drawing paper. Those can each be taped together from 2 sheets of A3.
- A4 Starter sketchbook or sketch pad, paper weight around 140gms
-Pencils, should contain 2B and 3B or 4B grade softness
-Compressed black charcoal also called compressed sketching stick or black pastel, brands such as Seawhite or Daler- Rowney.
-Willow Charcoal- often available as mixed set containing different thickness of willow sticks.
-Colour pencils
-Masking tape
- glue stick to stick paper onto paper ( ‘Pritt Stick ‘or ‘UHU stick’ etc.etc)
- 1 stick of white chalk
-A4 Pad of Newsprint or 4 sheets of news-print, A1 in week 7, Alternatively thin printer paper, ca 70gms or 80gms.
- A small bottle of black or coloured ink and brushes

What computer equipment do I need for the class?
You will need the following:
A laptop, PC, or a tablet.
A smartphone to photograph and share photos of your work with your tutor
A stable internet connection
An up-to-date web browser. This is a software on your computer that helps you go on the Internet. We recommend that you use Google Chrome or Firefox.
A webcam - this is normally part of your laptop or tablet. If you are using a desktop PC, you may need to have an external webcam.
A microphone - this is normally part of your laptop or tablet. If you are using a desktop PC, you may need to have an external microphone.
Speakers or headphones.

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

This course naturally leads onto 'Drawing 2'. You are encouraged to attend both courses to gain maximum benefit. You may also wish to go on to 'Develop your Drawing' or focus your drawing skills on Life drawing or portraiture.

Chris Gray

Having completed his studies at Falmouth University of the Arts Chris devoted the next 10 years honing his traditional drawing and painting skills, focusing on portraiture, figure, landscape and still life painting across the mediums of charcoal, oil, pastel and intaglio printmaking. He received the prestigious De Lazlo Foundation Scholarship which enabled him to study at London Fine Art Studios (one of only two studios in London teaching the traditional craft of drawing and painting within the atelier setting) where he then after only 3 years because a senior teacher and has continued to teach. He also teaches extensively 1-2-1 and small to medium groups both in studio and online, a regular associate lecturer at the University of the Creative Arts and City literary institute. During his career so far Chris has: won multiple awards including the “One to watch” young artist of the year at the Federation of British Artists Futures show for outstanding British graduates, The John Purcell paper award and the young artist of the year at the Pastel society.

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.