Drawing – brilliant basics with Ruby Saul

Ref: SWE33448

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Semi abstract painter, printer, hand drawn collage, portrait, drawing.

Course Description

On this course you will learn the basics and explore and master drawing techniques.

If you are a beginner or haven’t drawn for many years, this is the opportunity to start from the beginning and build a strong foundational knowledge of all the drawing materials there are, what they feel like and how they behave. You will draw objects from life (observational drawing) to train your eyes to see the shapes, the light, medium and dark tones and how to make something seem three-dimensional using classical drawing techniques such as cross hatching, contour drawing, and also how to measure proportion. As you draw different objects you will be working through a range of pencils from 2H to 6B, charcoal, charcoal pencil, chalk pastel and watercolour pencil. This will form your drawing tool kit and give you the chance to explore what all these materials do in a light and supportive environment. You will also look at how to draw different surfaces such as shiny or soft and which drawing materials and techniques would work best to achieve this.

Towards the end of the course you will take this learning and then add an understanding and exploration of colour, of how to layer and separate colour to add a richness and depth to your drawings, again using the materials provided in your ‘tool kit’.

By the end of the course, you should have confidence to draw any object from life or photos, an understanding of what the different drawing materials are and how they behave, and which ones suit your style. You will have gained a knowledge of the key fundamentals of drawing which form the basis of painting, from realism to abstract, printmaking and many other creative processes.


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 all materials including a set of pencils, a box of charcoal, abox of mixed colour chalk pastels, a box of mixed colour watercolour pencils, cartridge paper, watercolour paper, Bristol paper, putty eraser and a plastic eraser per student.

What students need to bring

  • An apron and a jam jar

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of general drawing materials and papers are available to purchase.

Additional information

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


Ruby Saul

Ruby is a mixed-media artist who uses hand-drawn collages and her own prints to form realistic and semi-abstract elements to her work.


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.