Expressive life drawing

Empower your creativity and draw more freely, intuitively and expressively.  Explore the mystery of the human figure and extend your life drawing skills through drawing from a life model, photographic images and your imagination.
Suitable for all abilities. Everyone is welcome.

Choose between a Monday evening course or a Weekend intensive course.

What can I expect

You will be encouraged to find new expressive ways of drawing the human figure and portrait.  You will be encouraged to create emotionally charged, images using the human figure as your starting point.  Working with innovative drawing processes, gestural mark making, printmaking and mixed media techniques will enable you to find increasingly freer, expressive and intuitive ways of working.  

This is not a traditional life drawing class as observational drawing of the human figure and portrait is just your starting point.  Your drawings will be further developed through a variety of processes and techniques to inspire you to make images that express your creativity, passion, and search for new and unexpected images that reveal the emotional connection you have with the human figure- not simply accurate representation.

Choose this course is you want to loosen up your drawing and painting, be more
and creative, and have a fascination for the human figure.

  • “Great camaraderie. Fantastic introductions to processes and materials previously alien to me.”
    “It brought me to the edge of murder, but it brought out an ability to create images I did not know I had in me.  It has been inspiring and I now paint/draw obsessively at home.”
    Vicky W | 2013

    “Challenging course, pushing levels/techniques every week.  Very rewarding and enjoyable.  Teaching very inspiring, learnt to look at things differently.”
    Stuart M | 2013

    “Very stimulating! Very challenging, distressing at times, eye opening and a great learning and creative experience.”
    Steve R | 2013

    “I am aware of many more different styles and techniques and i feel more ‘free’ in expressing myself on paper”
    “It’s been quite tough at some times, i wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do, sometimes confused 🙂 But in the end I was quite pleased with the results and happy during the process, so thank you, Brian.”
    Irina G | 2013

  • Evening Courses: 6.30 – 9pm
    Weekend intensive: 
    Fri eve 6.30 – 9pm, Sat + Sun 10 – 5pm
    Tutor: Brian Raymond


    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced, adults

    Group Size
    Min 6 – Max 10

    Course includes tea, coffee & biscuits. Please provide your own lunch on full day courses and workshops.

  • Please bring the following items with you
    Pencil: 4B, 6B, 8B or 9B
    Kneadable ‘putty’ rubber
    Drawing paper:
               Winsor & Newton, Medium Surface Cartridge Pad – A2, 220gsm   or
               Daler Rowney Fine Grain – heavy weight drawing pad – A2, 200gsm
    Baby wipes (hand cleansing tissues)
    Rag (old cloth) for smudging charcoal or paint when drawing
    Wear old clothes or bring an apron
    Pen and notebook for taking notes during the course (optional)

    The following items are provided
    Drawing boards
    Charcoal (willow & compressed)
    Chalk & oil pastels
    Drawing inks
    Acrylic paints
    Collage materials
    Masking tape
    Bulldog clips
    Newsprint paper
    Drawing paper (large format)
    Brushes, palette knives and other drawing/painting tools
    Other materials & equipment as well

Course structure

This course is divided into six 2.5 hour sessions and focuses on drawing the human figure – from a life model, photographs and your imagination.  You will be encouraged to explore, experiment, use your intuition and free your imagination to develop a looser, more expressive style of drawing and painting.  

Session 1
The course begins with some free drawing, making experimental head studies, beginning the process of encouraging you to use your imagination and experiment with different materials.  This is followed by exercises in creating expressive self portraits in a variety of media that will help you start making emotionally charged expressive drawings – not simply life-like portraits.

Session 2
You will be drawing from a life model to find inspiration for expressive drawings and paintings.  This session is about careful observation and creating drawings that will be further developed during future sessions.  You will be encouraged to be playful and expressive while making large-scale well observed drawings.

Session 3
How much do we need to draw before we can recognise a face?  This is the theme we explore in this session as well as different ways of making drawings.  You will use print making and other materials today in a very busy and creative session trying really hard to make new, intriguing and expressive figurative images.

Session 4
Creativity is closely related to music and we begin by discovering the connection between expressive mark making and music. This session will also give you the opportunity to make large-scale head studies using charcoal like you’ve never used it before, before developing expressive figurative paintings using acrylic paints.

Session 5
We will be trying different ways of getting ideas for making images of the human form during this session.  I will take you through an exercise to encourage you to use your imagination and we will be using your preliminary drawings to make images inspired by other artists work.  You will leave realising that there are many different and creative ways to stimulate your imagination that lead you to making unexpected drawings and paintings.

Session 6
Working in acrylic paint, collage and mixed media you will spend the majority of this session on one creative, expressive figurative image putting everything you have learnt into practice.  I will give you plenty of ideas and stimulus to keep you inspired.


You will have the opportunity to come away each week with a series of experimental drawings that will track your progress to a more free and intuitive style of working which should form the starting points for work to be developed further at home. There will also be opportunities to make more ‘finished’ drawings during the course.

Materials you will use

Apart from your sketchbook and basic drawing materials, all the following are included as part of the course fee.

  • Charcoal (willow and compressed)
  • Chalk pastels
  • Oil pastels
  • Drawing ink
  • Watercolour paints
  • Acrylic paints
  • Collage
  • Mixed media
  • Printmaking
  • A1 and AO paper

pinterest_badge_redxLooking for more inspiration? Visit my Pinterest board to see many of the images I talk about when teaching this course. Why not follow me on Pinterest!

Google-Calendar-iconxView all Course dates and Events on my Studio Calendar

Key Information

Tutor: Brian Raymond
Weekend intensive


includes most materials

Weekend Intensive 
Fri eve, Sat + Sun

Nov 6-9, 2015


Places available

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One Comment

  1. meg
    February 1, 2015 @ 8:41 pm

    I did this course in 2013 and while I didn’t know exactly what to expect I knew it would be exciting and inspiring, as with the previous course I did with Creative Art Courses. I felt welcome there from the start and despite students all coming from different backgrounds and abilities we quickly felt at ease with each other, which is a fabulous environment to learn in. Our first ‘exercise’ introduced us to some of our materials immediately and gave us a clue as to what to expect: this is going to be colourful and huge. Chalks, inks, acrylic paint and collage materials were used and the subjects were the human head and the human form, each aspect introduced gradually and enhancing previous techniques. I have greatly expanded my repertoire of mark making but it was all explained so easily that it felt natural.
    Our initial exercises involved, for the most part, the human face and we explored our own with surprising and very creative results. I think I’d class myself as an intermediate and have been practising for years – probably not as much as I’d like, but I have ‘ideas’ about what art is. And then I saw what ‘beginners’ had created, some of the freest and most expressive art I’ve seen. This was the first class. As the course progressed we all began to leave with our own art, very happy with what we made and keen to learn more next time.
    When faced with A0 paper and colours of your choice the only way is freedom. The larger the paper the more I had to move to cover it and the freer my movements became the freer my art became. We made giant mono prints, an exercise we all loved. Painted huge faces. Splashed ink over everywhere. Brian’s classes create a really good atmosphere for fearless art making and are a lot of fun, and the techniques I learned have been incorporated into my art practice. A little smaller though I think.
    This course helped me gain in confidence as an artist. I smiled a lot, I made a lot of good art and I learned a lot too. Highly recommended


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