Charcoal drawing for beginners with Kate Boucher

Ref: S1D32221

Location: West Dean
Book now

Places available

About this course

A gentle introduction to the expressive qualities of charcoal. Working on both large and small scale with different types of charcoal, you will begin to develop a language of mark-making with the oldest of drawing mediums.

Course Description

In this gentle introduction to charcoal drawing, you will be exploring different techniques for creating rich and interesting tonal drawings with this most ancient of drawing media. A willingness to experiment and not worry about producing a finished piece will help you on this one-day course.

Through a combination of demonstrations, with lots of useful tips, tricks and drawing exercises, you will begin to develop a language of mark-making that will help you make the most of this versatile drawing medium. You will experiment with and explore the different qualities of charcoals, papers, erasers and fixatives. You will draw from objects and your photographs.

At the end of this course, you will have produced both experimental mark-making and direct observational drawings, and you will have a developing confidence and familiarity with different types of charcoal, paper, erasers and fixatives.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • The course includes the cost of providing all materials, including a black Conté crayon, scene painters willow charcoal – thick and thin, a plastic rubber, cartridge paper, white cotton rag cloth.

What students need to bring

  • Apron or clothes you don't mind getting dirty
  • Camera or smartphone
  • Small spray bottle, like those found in the travel section at supermarkets and chemists
  • Sketchbook (not essential, but you may like to record experiments and have notes to refer back to)
  • Printouts of your own photographs – please only bring your own photographs, not those from magazines or not taken by you. Take and print out your photographs of something that you're interested in, e.g. landscape, interiors, buildings, plants, etc. As this is a beginner’s course, and looking at the technique of how to use charcoal, it is best not to bring portraits, people or animals if you are not familiar with drawing them already.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of drawing materials and papers

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Kate Boucher

Kate Boucher is an experienced, enthusiastic and inspirational tutor who specialises in building students' creative confidence in a supportive teaching environment. She trained at Chelsea School of Art and recently gained a Master of Fine Art from West Dean College. She was awarded a prestigious QEST scholarship, was the Edward James Foundation Scholar in 2015/16 and winner of the Valarie Power Prize for Visual Arts. Her dark and evocative charcoal drawings often have unnaturally tilted horizons, hints of a double exposure and foregrounds that appear to shift and slip. Her practice also includes handmade felt and forged metal structures also created as a response to landscape.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.