Landscape drawing with charcoal with Kate Boucher

Ref: S3D32928

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About this course

Explore the expressive qualities of charcoal, develop mark-making techniques, draw from direct observation and your own photographs.

Course Description

Explore the expressive qualities of charcoal to represent the evocative landscape of the West Dean estate. Develop your repertoire of mark-making techniques, working from direct observation and your photographs. Learn how to respond to the landscape as you explore the tone, composition and material qualities of drawing with charcoal.

On the first evening, the tutor will present examples of her work for inspiration, including sketchbooks and research material. You will then begin with some simple drawing exercises to help you explore the mark-making possibilities of charcoal. From these, you will start to build a range of expressive techniques with which to represent the beautiful and evocative landscape at West Dean.

You will work from direct observation and your photographs of the West Dean landscape. From this research material and your charcoal experiments, you will produce quick studies and then make finished drawings in a variety of scales and size. The tutor will guide you through each stage of the process, as well as support you in developing your personal response to the subject of the landscape through group discussions and one-to-one support.

By the end of the course, you will have developed your skills with charcoal and gained the confidence to use the techniques learned to respond to and draw other landscapes beyond the course.


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 of the materials required, including some willow charcoal, masking tape, fixative and paper shared amongst the group to get started.

What students need to bring

  • Smart phone (or camera and lead)
  • Apron or protective clothing
  • Scrap clean paper, envelopes, letters, etc., not newspaper or magazines
  • Willow charcoal, various sizes
  • Compressed charcoal black, any brand
  • Masking tape, thick or thin
  • A2 or A3 smooth (or hot pressed) paper pad
  • Soft brush – like a make-up brush or a DIY soft brush
  • Any other form of black pastel, charcoal or graphite you have, for experimentation
  • 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 landscapes that you're interested in, not magazines.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of materials, including A2 and A3 smooth paper pads, sketchbooks and drawing materials, including charcoal and compressed charcoal

Additional information

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


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.


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.