Skip to main content Go to Site Map
Person drawing

Expressive Life Drawing and Portraiture (Stage 2)

This course will enable you to develop your creative visual language in response to drawing the figure and portrait.

Course overview

2021 Dates

Summer term
Saturday 19 June, 3, 17 and 31 July, 14 August 2021

Autumn term
Saturday 16 and 30 October, 13 and 27 November, 11 December 2021

2022 Dates

Spring term
Saturday 29 January, 12 and 26 February 12 and 26 March 2022

5 Saturday sessions 9.30-16.30

Abi Kremer


Course details

It is often said that Leonardo drew so well because he knew about things. It is truer to say that he knew about things because he drew so well’ (Kenneth Clarke)

Observational drawing is an essential discipline for all artists to acquire. Working from both sources, portraiture and life drawing, will challenge your drawing skills and enable you to rapidly improve your visual analysis.

The course will begin with life drawing, enabling you to establish a personal drawing language, before moving on to portraiture, so that you can develop your technique. Both disciplines require interpretive and expressive skills. This course will enable students to develop as artists with individual tuition.

Each week will focus on building skills in a different media, beginning with line and tone using graphite, chalk and pen, graduating to colour with pastels, watercolour and acrylic. You will develop your understanding of composition, proportion, perspective and colour mixing, building a personal style of mark making. A feature of this course will be the study of master life/portrait artists, both historical and contemporary, with illustrated handouts for each session. Students will be challenged to make real creative progress, producing a strong portfolio for exhibition or to supplement any existing studies.

A carefully chosen range of professional life/portrait models will be provided to enable students to gain maximum benefit from the experience.

  • Understanding the structure of the figure and head, looking at proportion and perspective.
  • Building an individual expressive composition with line and tone.
  • Understanding colour theory and mixing to interpret a range of skin tones.
  • Developing skills with charcoal, graphite, coloured pastels, watercolour and acrylic paint.
  • Guidance on portraying surfaces textures including skin and hair, with conviction
  • Instruction on historical and contemporary masters with illustrated handouts.
  • One to one support for individual style development.
  • The guidance of a tutor who is a practicing artist and experienced lecturer of fine art and art history.

The course aims to:

  • Enable students to gain confidence in their drawing ability.
  • Develop skills of line, tone, colour and form using a range of different drawing and painting media.
  • Enable students to improve visual analysis, and take ownership of their artistic progression.

Find out more by clicking the profile below.

Photograph of Abi Kremer

Abi Kremer

Abi has had a long and varied career as an artist and educator. Having studied ‘Environmental Art’ specialising in mural design at AUB.

  • Group discussion and analysis at the end of each session will support your learning.
  • All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course Certificate of Attendance detailing course contents, and study hours.
  • Students will develop a portfolio of experimental and finished works.

This course is aimed at students who have some prior experience of life/portrait drawing or who have already completed our Life Drawing – an Introduction short course and would like to take their skills to the next level.

For your first session please bring:

  • A2 cartridge paper
  • Willow charcoal
  • Eraser and a selection of pencils.

Tutor will be in touch to clarify before the first session.

For the following sessions you will need:

  • A1/2 heavy cartridge
  • Watercolour paper 300g/m
  • Ingres or pastel paper (mixed colours)
  • HB, 2B, 4B, 6B pencils
  • Charcoal, graphite, drawing pen
  • Coloured chalk pastels
  • Putty and plastic eraser
  • Watercolour paints and Indian ink
  • Acrylic paints, palette
  • Range of sable substitute and bristle brushes
  • Masking tape, fixative

All additional course materials are included in the course fee.

Important information about evening and weekend courses

Paint roller on a table

How to Enrol

Looking to book onto one of our Evening and Saturday courses? You’ll find everything you need to book your place here.

Abstract image


If you have any questions about our Evening and Saturday Short Courses, you may find the answers in here.

Graphic design show

Short Courses Booking Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking onto our Evening and Weekend courses.

Students painting a pair of cherry's

Suggested Suppliers

Information about resourcing specialist materials/consumables that you may need to bring these with you