Thinking through drawing: National Gallery

Course Dates: 29/07/21 - 12/08/21
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Location: OS - Off Site
Work from a fascinating range of artefacts and objects in the National Gallery while developing your drawing skills. Explore the challenges and pleasures of sketchbook drawing methods using a variety of drawing materials under expert guidance from the tutor.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £95.00

Course Code: VM070

Thu, day, 29 Jul - 12 Aug '21

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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?

This short course provides an opportunity to get started with a sketchbook and is a great introduction to the collection of worldclass painting in the National Gallery. You will draw directly from a variety of iconic paintings, and be shown different methods of working in a sketchbook with a variety of media, eg different types of pencil, charcoal etc, using both light and shadow, and colour.
You will need to bring an A5 size DRAWING sketchbook, ideally hardback.

What will we cover?

Drawing from an exciting variety of paintings from different eras gives you the chance to explore some of the effects that can be achieved in drawing with pencils: such as use of light/shadow to create volume, types of mark-making and a short introduction to colour. We will look at structure and composition of paintings, while creating our own sketches.

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

- investigate and understand composition and structure of painting through drawing
- Investigate three methods of drawing
- Achieve confidence to start using a sketchbook in a public space
- Learn about different eras of painting through history by studying them in the flesh.

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

No. This course is for you if
- you are a beginner to drawing in a public space
- you want to learn more about the history of painting first hand
- You want to learn more about drawing methods
- You have not used a sketchbook before
- You need more confidence drawing different things
- You’d like to explore different ways of sketchbook drawing.

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

You will receive individual guidance with some demonstration and group discussion, to enable you to develop your practical work in the sketchbook throughout the course. You will be encouraged to do some work in the sketchbook between the class sessions.

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

Please bring an A5 Sketchbook - preferably hardbacked

Some drawing materials - ie pencils will be provided.


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

You can progress on to more advanced drawing courses or other courses within the Art and Design department - please see the Drawing and Painting section of our course guide and website for more details.

Charles Chambers

Charles is an artist, designer and theorist with over twenty-five years experience; initially as a freelance illustrator working for major publishers and magazines, and for two decades as Creative Director of an award-winning west-end design agency. Greatly experienced himself as an adult learner, he was an art and design graduate first in the 1980’s but then returned to university – whist working full-time – to gain a First Class degree in architecture followed by a Master’s (with distinction) in architectural theory. He now divides his time between printmaking, small architectural projects and since 2011 teaching a range of subjects at CityLit: including cultural history and theory to creative practitioners, interior design and drawing. He says: “Teaching is the most rewarding experience I have had in a long career in the world of art and design. There is really nothing to compare with the complete engagement of a group of learners in full spate!” Summer also finds Charles afloat, teaching sailing and racing his own small boat. For more information go to and

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.