Course Overview


Autumn term: Saturday 17 and 31 October, 14 and 28 November, 12 December 2020

Spring term: Saturday 6, 13 and 27 February, 6 and 20 March 2021


5 Saturday sessions 9.30-16.30


Abi Kremer



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

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.