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Expressive Life Drawing

Expressive Life Drawing and Portraiture (Stage 2)

During this course you’ll develop your personal artistic style and advance your observational drawing skills to portray the human figure with flair and finesse.

To book your place today, simply click the 'Book Now' button to be taken to AUB's secure online store, where you can complete your booking. You can also sign up to our newsletter for short course updates.

What you need to know

When does it run?

You can study this course in either the autumn or spring term. Choose your preferred term when booking.

Autumn term 2023

Saturday 14, 28 October; 11, 25 November; 9 December 2023   

Spring term 2024

Saturday 20 January; 3, 17 February; 2, 16 March 2024 

How long is the course?

5 Saturdays

What time will your classes be?


Where does it take place?

Classes will take place on AUB's campus.

You'll be taught in AUB's industry-standard studios with access to professional resources.

Who's this course suitable for?

This course has been developed for creatives and aspiring artists aged 18+.

Perfect for anyone who already possesses a good understanding of observational drawing or has completed Life Drawing – Essential Techniques (stage 1) and has a passion to develop their drawing further.

Do you need previous experience or qualifications?

This is an intermediate course, so you must be proficient in observational drawing and have previous drawing experience to benefit.

If you'd like to discuss if this course is suitable for you, get in touch with us: or +44 (0) 1202 363222.

How much does this course cost?


What's included in this price?

Any additional materials and resources not listed in the 'what to bring' or 'additional costs' section below.

Are there any additional costs?

Please be aware you'll need to bring some art and drawing equipment with you. This may incur an additional cost on top of your course fee if you need to purchase any equipment. Refer to the 'what to bring' section below for full details.

What should you bring to class?

For your first class, please bring:

  • A2 cartridge paper
  • Willow charcoal
  • Eraser
  • Selection of drawing pencils

For future classes, you’ll need (to be advised ahead of time by your tutor):

  • 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

Why should you choose this course?

  • Improve your artistic abilities
  • Come away with enhanced knowledge, skills, and confidence to draw the human figure and portrait
  • Learn the fundamental elements of drawing the human figure, including structure of the figure and head, proportion, and perspective
  • Develop skills of line, tone, colour, and form using a range of different drawing and painting media
  • Improve your visual analysis and take ownership of their artistic progression
  • Experiment with different textures and use a variety of mediums to elevate your work
  • Develop your technical skills and unique creative voice
  • Receive expert support and guidance from your industry professional tutor at every turn
  • Leave with increased confidence and the skills to continue creating beyond the course
  • Study in an encouraging and friendly setting alongside 12 like-minded creatives

Course details

“Drawing from the model is more spontaneous than drawing from the imagination... I think if you have something to look at and try and get it, you find that all sorts of things happen” – Paula Rego

Observational drawing is an essential discipline for all artists to conquer. Working from both portraiture and life drawing, this course will challenge your drawing skills and enable you to rapidly improve your visual analysis. You’ll gain visual fluency and build a distinct personal artistic style.

This 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'll 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.

Every step of the way, you’ll 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 ensure that your experience is the best it can be.

  • Fundamentals of figurative drawing, including the structure of the figure and head, proportion, and perspective
  • Expressive composition with line and tone
  • Colour theory and mixing to interpret a range of skin tones
  • Develop skills with charcoal, graphite, coloured pastels, watercolour, and acrylic paint
  • Explore surfaces textures including skin and hair
  • Exploration of historical and contemporary masters

  • Possess improved artistic abilities and drawing skills
  • Be able to tackle a range of human figure-led compositions, including portraiture, and have a solid understanding of perspective, proportion, and structure
  • Understand colour theory and mixing to recreate a variety of skin tones
  • Be confident working with a range of mediums
  • Understand your own visual voice and have developed your distinct personal style
  • Have increased confidence in your own skills and feel inspired
  • Have boosted creativity and imagination
  • Be encouraged to experiment and explore your ideas, remembering that there's no right or wrong way to be creative
  • Possess the foundations to continue creating beyond this course

All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course certificate of attendance. To request your certificate contact the short courses team: or call 01202 363222.

After this course, you could:

  • Continue to harness your creativity and develop your skills further; explore our full range of Art, Design, Drawing and Painting short courses
  • Broaden your creative horizons and try your hand at a range of disciplines; explore our full range of evening and weekend courses
  • Continue to develop your skills at home as a hobby

  • You'll study at a leading specialist university – we know what we're doing when it comes to providing unparalleled courses
  • Our tutors are industry professionals, so you'll learn from the best
  • We cater for all abilities and have no formal entry requirements for this course, so there's nothing holding you back
  • You'll learn in a safe and encouraging environment where there's no right or wrong way to be creative
  • You'll learn 'by doing' and always feel fully included and supported
  • Benefit from our incredible campus and its industry-standard studios, and use state-of-the-art equipment and software to unleash your creativity
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Book your place today

Book now

Meet your tutor

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.

Important information about evening and weekend courses

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Suggested Suppliers

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

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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.

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

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Short Courses Booking Terms and Conditions

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