Outdoor Sketching and Painting

Ref: C3672665

Sketching is more than drawing with a pencil. Using the studio facilities at York Art Gallery as a base will enable the group to try out a range of materials and techniques as well as giving access to the Gallery’s collection. Students will draw inspiration from examples by other artists and make sketches indoors and outside according to the weather conditions. They will be encouraged to share their discoveries and discomforts and gain confidence in learning from each other. Each student will also be able to benefit from some individual tuition.

Course aim

Practise and develop your sketching skills in the inspiring surroundings of York Art Gallery, Museum Gardens and the immediate vicinity.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is for students with some drawing experience and a desire to discover more about their surroundings by sketching them.

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

  • Judge my work less harshly and feel more free to experiment.
  • Demonstrate the practice of making faster, more effective sketches
  • Explain how to use sketching as a way of discovering more about my surroundings
  • Demonstrate the use of colour to add life and atmosphere to my sketches
  • Record elements of my day as a visual diary

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • If you are not able to carry your own equipment please contact the tutor. Bring a sketchbook; waterproof cushion/mat; windproof jacket; warm hat; fingerless gloves; warm trousers; comfortable shoes; sunhat; optional smartphone; refreshment money.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Browse www.urbansketchers.org

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Days out sketching arranged informally with other members of the group. Sketching on holiday or going on specialist art holidays. Becoming more observant and more a part of your local environment through the activity of sketching.

Download full Course information sheet

Outdoor Sketching and Painting


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 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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