Colour pencil drawing for beginners with Amber Halsall

Ref: S2D32611

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Using a variety of subjects from life and photographs, including fabric, fur, shiny and dull textures, you will learn how to use a range of different colour pencil techniques to portray realistic drawings and create accurate detailed pictures in colour pencil.

Course Description

This course will help you to improve your colour pencil skills and encourage you to look closely at your subject to portray it in detail.

You will learn how to select the appropriate colours, and how to mix and layer colours for accurate colour matching. You will be shown how to use a variety of different mark-making techniques for different textures. You will learn blending techniques and understand how to use shadow colours to add depth to your drawings.

On the first evening, you will look at the different subjects and complete some initial drawing. As the course progresses, you will work on your choice of subject, guided by the tutor after watching the demonstrations.

The tutor will provide demonstrations of all the techniques and one-to-one help during the course. You will learn which techniques to use for each subject and in which order to use them. Sketchbook studies will be used to develop drawing skills.

By the end of the course, you will have drawn and coloured a series of small studies of different subjects. You will have developed your knowledge of the various colour pencil techniques and how to create a drawing from start to finish.

Course Materials


  • The college will provide some smooth hot pressed watercolour paper per student.

What students need to bring

  • A range of colour pencils in a variety of colours, preferably artists’ quality. (The tutor will be using mostly Faber Castell polychromos pencils.)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • HB pencil
  • Plastic eraser
  • Putty rubber
  • Sketchbook or small notebook

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including paper, pencils, sharpeners and erasers are available to buy.
  • Available from tutor:
  • A small selection of colour pencils will be available to buy.

Additional information

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


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)

General Information


Amber Halsall

Amber trained at the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury. She then went on to specialise in watercolour and coloured pencil in botanical art. Amber currently works on private commissions and teaches botanical and watercolour classes. Her work is highly detailed with a contemporary style. She is a Fellow Member of the Society of Botanical Artists, exhibits regularly in London and Germany, and has sold work to private collections in the UK, Germany, France and China.


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

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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.