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.

Whilst you may consider taking this course in isolation it is can also be seen as the first part of a painting course which continues as Skills II on Friday mornings, most students will continue on to Skills II.

Course Tutor

Paola Minekov comes from a family of artists and attended an academic art school from the age of twelve in her native Bulgaria. She continues to paint and produce mosaics whilst juggling being a young mother and teaching.

What students say about this course:

I was slightly apprehensive before attending the skills course, Skills 1 in spring 2019 and Skills 2 in summer 2019. I shouldn’t have been worried. Although I have attended courses in the past I really felt that I had never learnt as much as on these two short courses. Simon, our tutor, was patient, kind, keen to impart his knowledge and made all of us felt valued from the most experienced to the most inept. Best thing however, it was a huge amount of fun. I recommend this course to anybody wishing to brush up their skills ” -Annette Chapman

“This is a great course for someone, like me, who is just developing their interest in drawing. Starting with basic mark making using pencil and inks we were able to gain confidence and explore the possibilities of using both mediums. then given an introduction to painting with water colours and oils.” – Libby Hawkins

“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” – Julianna Lima

Course fees

12 weeks £350

Registration & Payment

You can secure your place on the course by completing the booking process below and paying the £50 deposit or full course amount.