Drawing with charcoal – various approaches with Christopher Baker

Ref: SWE13226

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About this course

You will be introduced to a variety of approaches to drawing and encouraged to develop expression with charcoal, both technically and intellectually. Combining both landscape and interiors as subjects allows you to discover how to apply basic drawing principles.

Course Description

Charcoal is a drawing medium capable of expressing a great range of marks, from very delicate modulations of tonal values through to broad and dramatic marks that convey extraordinary power and conviction. The dark marks against a white surface give charcoal its exciting and authoritative note. Through charcoal, you are able to communicate directly to the viewer your spontaneous expression of feeling and pictorial thinking.

You will be introduced to a variety of approaches to drawing and encouraged to develop your own range of expression with charcoal, both technically and intellectually. Your subjects are landscape (depending on the weather) and interiors. Combining both allows you to discover how to apply basic drawing principles.

You will make delicate tonal studies, along with small and large scale work. There is also discussion on artists’ work in charcoal, the Renaissance artists, Matisse, Tony Bevan and the tutor’s own work.

You will look at the variety of charcoals, types of drawing surface and some additional tools that can be used with this medium. You will work on-site, as well as in the studio, on large scale work.

The tutor will set in place a series of technical ideas connected with charcoal, which you can later use in your own work. The study of technique cannot be separated from ways of seeing and from perception, so these elements are integrated. Objective observation and basic drawing principles will give you the confidence to develop a more individual interpretation of your subject.


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


  • Some paper and a rubber will be provided for the first evening session, plus some fixative, masking tape and charcoal to share.

What students need to bring

  • Two rags
  • 4 x A1 sheets of 190gsm Bockingford (NOT press) paper
  • Mid-tone, warm paper – Canson
  • A hard white plastic rubber
  • Scene-painter’s willow charcoal
  • Masking tape
  • Fixative
  • Craft knives

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • The shop stocks a good selection of drawing materials, including: 190gsm Bockingford (NOT press) paper, mid-tone, warm paper – Canson, hard white plastic rubber, scene-painter’s willow charcoal, masking tape, fixative and craft knives.

Additional information

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


Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is an artist and author and had a leading role playing himself in the feature film Archipelago. He exhibits in the UK and Europe as well as Canada, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, Pallant House Gallery (Chichester) and Medici Gallery Cork Street, New English Art Club, LondonDescribe your approach to teaching?


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.