Sensory drawing in the forest with Tiffany Robinson

Ref: SWE29466

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About this course

On this course you will learn to focus different senses to observe more deeply what you encounter and experience in nature, and record these through drawing. Using reflective exercises to identify a theme in your work, you will then develop the drawings to complete a final series of artworks.

Course Description

Learn sensory walking and drawing approaches to deeply observe the raw spirit of place and of self. Through reflective exercises, review the work to make a series of evocative drawings on a found theme.

Sensory drawings can suggest strong images, memories or feelings. They have an immediacy in terms of recognition of something in the work, which is often intangible or other wordly. The spirit of place is the sacred character of place; what you notice reveals as much about you as the place itself.

The course begins with an immersive woodland walk. You will be encouraged to enter into the imaginal realm of the forest, to let the tree be a figure, or branches a nest, bringing memory to what you observe through what it reminds you of. Nature connection exercises will be given to provoke you to experience and draw what you encounter, noting any symbols, creatures, shapes, etc. that call to you. Studio research will support you to reflect, write about and interpret the drawings to further your ideas. You will then explore your theme, developing a series of drawings extending the ideas, further supported by discussions.

By the end of the course, you will have gained a deeper sense of place and self, developed your ideas and imagination through drawing, know how to connect to nature in meaningful and intuitive ways using a variety of senses and be more confident drawing in the forest.


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


  • On this course, the College will supply willow charcoal, coloured chalk pastels, compressed charcoal, A2 cartridge paper, masking tape and fixative.

What students need to bring

  • Sketchbook – landscape format, minimum size A5
  • Charcoal
  • Plastic rubber
  • Black brush pen
  • Pencil – soft, water-soluble
  • Graphite stick – soft, water-soluble
  • Black fine-liner pen
  • Additional materials available as required
  • A flask to fill with tea/coffee for the walk
  • Bring clothing suitable for sitting outdoors (sun/rain/wind).
  • Walking shoes – the ground is uneven in the woods
  • Backpack/bag to carry your sketchbook and drawing media if you don’t have big enough pockets
  • Water bottle

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including sketchbooks in landscape format – minimum size A5, charcoal, plastic rubbers, black brush pens, soft, water-soluble pencils, and water soluble graphite sticks – soft, black fine-liner pens.

Additional information

Bring clothing/aprons suitable for the outdoors and the studio. If you have any particular media you prefer to work with, you can use this to develop the final drawings, including any waterbased paint or inks.


Tiffany Robinson - tutor at West Dean College

Tiffany Robinson

Programme Coordinator - Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Tiffany Robinson studied interactive media for her MA (2005) making art films and immersive sci-art installations on perception and nanoscale. She is currently a tutor, mentor (The Art of Enquiry) and walking artist making intuitive drawings using natural and digital media. Her work deals with a post-modern estrangement from nature towards a being more than human through alignment with nature.


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.