Drawing from observation – accuracy and likeness with Andrew Fitchett

Ref: S2D31610

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About this course

Learn key techniques to create accurate drawings from observation. Working with pencils on paper, investigate composition, measurement, tone and line.

Course Description

Focus and improve your drawing skills on this course.

Your tutor will guide you step-by-step through the key techniques used to create drawings with improved accuracy and likeness. By understanding the core principles of drawing and applying them, fully supported by your tutor, you will gain confidence and improve your drawing skills.

The course starts with an introduction to the course content and a group discussion. During this, you will identify any specific areas of drawing that you would like to improve and concentrate on.

You will gain first-hand experience of drawing techniques, required for your continued development and improvement of your powers of observation, and the accuracy of your drawings.

Working with a range of pencils on paper, you will investigate methods of observation, composition, measurement, tone and line quality in drawing.

The course includes a series of tutored drawing sessions, plus individual exercises that will help you progress your drawing skills. There are short group discussions at key stages throughout the course. You will work from still-life arrangements and the natural settings at West Dean College. There is an emphasis on development and practice of technique to help enhance your drawing style, rather than working towards finished drawings.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some materials (for the first evening session), plus charcoal and masking tape to share.
  • Easel, drawing boards and portable chairs are provided by the College.

What students need to bring

  • Pencils: HB, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B and 8B
  • Charcoal sticks, varying sizes
  • Conté crayon – black and white
  • White chalk sticks/pencils
  • Craft knife and sharpener
  • A2 cartridge paper sketchpad or individual sheets
  • A2/A1 black paper

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including pencils in grades HB, 2B, 3B, 4B, 6B and 8B, charcoal sticks, Conté crayon – black and white, white chalk sticks and pencils, craft knife, pencil sharpener, A2 cartridge paper sketchpad or individual sheets, A2/A1 black paper

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Andrew Fitchett portrait

Andrew Fitchett

Andrew Fitchett is a practicing painter working in oils and West Dean tutor since 2006. Since his career in Advertising where he ran creative courses Andrew paints and teaches from his studio in East Sussex. Andrew's work is in private collections across Europe.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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.