Drawing and Painting

Ref: C3670371

Practise drawing and painting traditional still-life subjects using traditional materials of charcoal, pencil and watercolour within a friendly and supportive group.

Course aim

To improve skill and confidence in traditional representational drawing techniques and to understand tonal values and use them effectively.

Who is the course for?

Students with some practical art experience or none. Students work at their own ability level.

What topics will this course cover

The course will cover essential drawing strategies including sighting and using negative shapes to help establish proportions. Subjects will be still - life and flowers and some reference will be made to how other artists have interpreted the same subjects. Tone will be added by using watercolour washes in a more or less controlled way according to the experience and confidence of the student. The problem of how to deal with the background will be addressed.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Identify simple ways to cross - check the relative positions and sizes of all the elements in a picture. Demonstrate improved confidence when applying light, medium and dark tones to a picture Use small watercolour washes to define form. Make considered decisions about how to make an effective background to their picture.

How will I know I'm making progress?

You will receive individual help and verbal feedback from the tutor in most lessons. Students are encouraged to discuss their progress with other students and display their work at the end of sessions. At the end of the course you will receive written feedback from the tutor and may give and receive informal verbal feedback from the other students.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Essential materials are provided but if you have your own materials (charcoal, pencil, eraser, watercolours, brushes) please bring them for your own use - it helps the materials budget stretch further. You will need to provide some flowers for lesson three and some food items (e.g. a loaf of bread with optional knife and bread board and a box of cereal or other items on a breakfast theme) for lessons one and two. A drawing board approximately 40cm x 50cm is useful - a piece of scrap hardboard or rigid carboard (not currugated) is fine. If you are new to the course and can bring any unfamed examples of your work it helps the tutor get an idea of your level of experience.

Reading and information sources

No essential preparation.

What could the course lead to?

The course should give you a bit more confidence and inspiration to work on your own - the more practice the better: Use any materials which come to hand and draw or paint anything that catches your attention. Keep your pictures for at least six months, put a cardboard mount around them and stand back before coming to a final verdict. Visit exhibitions and galleries and try and decide why you like or dislike a work, how it was made and what it is communicating to you.

Download full course outline

Drawing and Painting Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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