The Elements of Drawing – A foundation in visual art after Ruskin

For beginners or more experienced artists with gaps in their skill set.

Tuesday mornings 9.30am-12.30pm

Spring Term 7th January – 31st March
Half term 18th February

  • Learn to draw and paint from the absolute beginning
  • Gain the skills all visual artists need for effective representation
  • Progress from simple mark making through line, shape, tone and colour
  • Work in a variety of media in a friendly group

The skills we will be studying during this foundation course are the basic currency of the image maker. We all need to be able to draw. We all need a working understanding of line, tone and shape. And most of us will also want a firm grasp of colour and composition.

This course will take you from line drawing through proportion to tonal drawing and on to colour representation in oil paint. As such it forms a complete foundation to painting and may be undertaken in an unbroken sequence or in a series of interspersed steps. Consider combining it with our drop-in groups and our Introduction to Life Drawing.

We will be following a path well trodden, even if, in this age of Instagram and high concepts, it is over-covered in leafmould and moss.

Ruskin, who by coincidence lived very near our studio, outlined the elements of drawing in “Three Letters to Beginners“. He saw the development of perception as the most important skill and all of the practical tasks he suggests go towards this greater objective.

Our course draws on his approach beginning with the most basic mark making, the vowels and consonants of the visual language. It proceeds through all of the elements towards complete fluency in image making.

Course Director

Simon Dunstan is a founder of the Dulwich Art Group and School who after a career innovating in digital image making fell back in love with analogue media. He now spends much of his time painting and running DAGAS. (Dulwich Art Group And School)

He is a respected oil painter and has extensive knowledge about the methodology of image making. He will direct the course and will be supported by other professional artists to enrich the course.

What students say about Simon’s course:

I just wanted to email to say thank you for the introduction to life drawing classes this term. It was my first time drawing since I was at school, but I really enjoyed the whole experience — despite perhaps needing a bit more practice! The atmosphere you create is very welcoming and there is no pressure, despite the fact I had no experience.

“I am a complete beginner in the drawing and painting world and found Simon’s classes to be well taught and enjoyable. The lessons were perfectly balanced between theory and practice (drawing/painting) while the atmosphere was welcoming and cozy. I have learnt a great deal during this term and would definitely sign up again”

Course fees

12 weeks £350

Registration & Payment

You can secure your place on the course by completing the booking process below and paying the course fee. On completion of the registration process you will receive an email confirmation with details of your course booking.