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Student in a life drawing class

Life Drawing – the Essential Techniques (stage 1)


This 10-week course will equip you with the drawing skills you need to unleash your inner creativity or enhance your existing capabilities.

We’re currently updating our course information and expect to open booking for our 2024/25 courses in April 2024, so please check back then for new course dates. In the meantime, you can sign up to our short course newsletter for updates and to be notified when we’re accepting 2024/25 bookings.

What you need to know

When does it run?

We’re currently updating our course information and expect to open booking for our 2024/25 courses in April 2024, so please check back then for new course dates.

How long is the course?

10 Monday evenings

What time will your classes be?


Where does it take place?

Classes will take place on AUB's campus, where you'll have the benefit of drawing in our specialist Drawing Studio.

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 aspiring artists aged 18+.

Perfect for anyone who's interested in developing their drawing skills, learning new techniques and gaining confidence when it comes to observational drawing.

It's suitable if you're a beginner or if you've some previous experience with drawing and wish to develop your skills further.

Do you need previous experience or qualifications?

This is an introductory course, so no previous knowledge or experience is required.

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' section below.

Are there additional costs?

Please be aware you'll need to bring some printing 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?

  • A1 good quality cartridge paper (white)
  • A2 cartridge paper (white)
  • Sugar paper
  • Drawing board clips
  • Drawing pencils 2B-6B
  • Plastic type eraser
  • Putty type eraser (preferably Lyra or Faber Castell)
  • White and coloured chalk
  • Charcoal sticks (various thicknesses)
  • Soft graphite sticks/crayons
  • Roll of masking tape

Why should you choose this course?

  • Develop the observational skills to confidently draw the human form from life and in perspective; this is a vital skill for any artist
  • Enhance the execution of your drawings through use of line, contrast and colour theory
  • Come away with a sound understanding of basic human anatomy to inform your drawings
  • Have the opportunity to experiment with different drawing methods and mediums, including expanding your knowledge of negative shape and silhouette
  • 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 16 like-minded creatives

About this course

Life drawing, or observational drawing, is a vital skill for any artist, regardless of your chosen medium or interests; it forms the backbone of everything you do.

Drawing the human figure as a subject has held a fascination for artists for centuries up until the present day. Whether you have attended classes previously or perhaps have never drawn the human figure before, you'll receive a warm welcome on this course that gives you the chance to develop your skills and learn new techniques.

You'll be expertly led by your tutor, Tom Winter (Royal Society of Portrait Painters Exhibition 2010), through a structured programme of drawing skills.

You'll produce linear and tonal studies, record active poses and make more considered drawings, allowing you to gain confidence in your observational responses to the unclothed and clothed form.

Tom will encourage you to be both personal and expressive in your work whilst exploring a variety of drawing materials. As well as working in the group setting, you'll also be supported and encouraged by your tutor on an individual basis with feedback and suggestions to support and encourage your progress.

As your tutor guides you through the series of lessons, your skills of observation and draughtsmanship will develop. By the end of the course, you'll have developed both your skills as an artist and a portfolio of fresh and inspiring work.

  • Studies in basic proportion and measuring
  • Using environmental clues to reference the angles of the figure
  • Expressive use of line, contour and mark making
  • Studies in anatomy (including heads, hands and feet)
  • Working with colour
  • Tonal value and working with contrast
  • Drawing the figure in motion and dynamics
  • Blocking in form
  • The figure in perspective
  • Using negative space and silhouette

  • Possess improved artistic and observational drawing skills
  • Understand fundamental drawing principles, including basic proportion, perspective and measuring
  • Be proficient in a range of drawing techniques, including use of line, contour and mark making
  • 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
  • Leave with a range of beautiful pieces designed and created by you

All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course certificate of attendance.

After this course, you could:

  • 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

Work from our short course students

Check out some of the pieces that our previous Life Drawing – the Essential Techniques (Stage 1) graduates completed during their course. On this course you'll practise and develop your skills across 10 studio sessions, experimenting with a variety of drawing mediums. You'll be joined by live models for you to draw, enabling you to practise perspective and gain a sound understanding of the human anatomy. You'll produce linear and tonal studies, record active poses and make more considered drawings, allowing you to gain confidence in your observational responses to the unclothed and clothed form.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it reconnected with skills that I hadn't engaged with for over 30 years."

Stuart, Life Drawing – the Essential Techniques (Stage 1) student

Life drawing classes in action

If you're wondering what our life drawing classes look like then check out these images from some of our studio sessions. You'll learn in a relaxed and encouraging environment where there's no right or wrong way to be creative.

Important information about evening and weekend courses


Why choose AUB for your short course?

We're a first-choice provider of art and design short courses for anyone wishing to engage in art and design subjects in their spare time.

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Reasons to study a short course

There are plenty of reasons to consider studying a creative short course. Perhaps you want to retrain, learn new skills, or just have fun...

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Short Courses FAQs – Evening and Weekend and Saturday Art School

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 T&Cs

Please read our Terms and Conditions carefully before booking onto our 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 book

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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