Essential Drawing Foundations – Spring 2023

“I expected to learn how to draw and experience an object, but the course took it further … I learnt more than I ever expected.”

Amrinda C

I love teaching this course – another chance to talk about the ideas from Heather Spears’ book that inspired me so much and take a group of students along a similar journey I went on while reading the book. I’m always hopeful students connect with the subject matter and then continue to embrace the ideas after the course ends. I know how it has transformed my approach to drawing and I hope it does them too.

Read further to find out what the students thought of their experience.

Student Comments

“Prepare to look at objects, drawings, life and the way you see art and the world in a completely different way. Free your mind from what you think you know. I’ve learnt how to connect with what I’m drawing and express what I feel and connect with rather than drawing simply what I see. The creativity of drawing comes from your own unique experience of the object which you express through marks, tones, shapes, depth and lines. [My course highlights were that] every day we enter {the studio} and don’t know what to expect. Drawing from different perspectives and ‘feeling uncomfortable’ allows you to let go. It met my expectations and took them further! I expected to learn how to draw and experience an object, but the course took it further in pinpointing each minute detail you should engage with before making a single line. I learnt more than I ever expected.”
Amrinda C

“A great course if you want a challenge – a new way of looking. The concepts were tough t transfer to paper. Learnt a lot. First ever experience of drawing so probably wasn’t to bound up in preconceptions – just give it a go. Very stressful at times – tough to put the theory onto the paper. [My course highlights were] being able to produce something! Really didn’t have any expectations, just wanted some direction – although the website (which is very good) doesn’t really prepare you for how tough this is.   {I’ve now updated the course description after taking your comments on board, thank you.- Brian} Just getting used to it when the course ended after 6 sessions – shame.”
Clare T

“Varied, almost multidisciplinary – the advice about creative thinking can apply to all art and life. I’ve learnt the importance of mark-making, space, and the fluidity of space and objects. I’ve also importantly unlearnt the rigid way in which we view day to day life. [My course highlights were] contouring, and 1:1 instruction. I personally could use some instruction in mark-making as a physical act (Ed: sorry for the limited time on this, but I go more into this topic on the Experimental drawing and the Realistic Drawing course – Brian) but I did learn how to access a more creative space.”
Joe H

The course is very nice and surprising journey about explore different materials and techniques. I really enjoyed and Brian always helps you to feel involved in the experience. I love representing movement, volumes and use of charcoal. It really overcame my expectations because it provided not only technique but also critical analysis about what I want to represent.”
Rosa S

“Eye opening, refreshing and revealing. I have learnt how to draw my experience of an object and space. I now understand the importance of expressing the surface, its contours, etc. [My course highlight was] drawing the push and pull of space. The course has shown me how to draw in three dimensions and to understand the relationships between the elements.”
Josie R

“This course has helped me to see how to approach drawing any object and I think I’ve lost the fear of the blank page and making mistakes. It really does feel like a good foundation to keep exploring and adding to my skills. I’ve learnt to trust the process! I’ve also learnt not to give up on a sketch right away if something doesn’t seem ‘correct’ – there’s usually a way to get back on track and correct what is already on the page. [My course highlights were] the friendly atmosphere and the feeling that everything was coming together. I thought it was going to be a more traditional drawing class. But it turned out to be so much better! I think it’s when we explored the difference between copying and actual creativity. This course was the highlight of the week for the past 1.5 months – thank you.”
Carlotta D