Outdoor Sketching

Ref: C3675236

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 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 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?

  • Students with some drawing experience and a desire to discover more about their surroundings by sketching them. If you are not able to carry your own sketching equipment please contact the tutor to see if the course can be made suitable.

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

  • Use sketch as an absorbing way of discovering more about my surroundings.
  • Judge my work less harshly and feel more free to experiment.
  • Make decisions about setting realistic boundaries for my sketches.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of shadows and the way light falls on a subject.
  • Demonstrate the practice of using a sketchbook to record my ideas and experiences.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Practical work making sketches in the local area.

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?

  • Please bring a sketchbook, pencil, eraser, optional watercolours including a brush, a water pot and kitchen roll, lightweight folding seat or waterproof mat, windproof jacket, warm hat/sunhat, fingerless gloves, warm trousers, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, money for refreshments.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Sketching on holiday.

Download full course information sheet

Outdoor Sketching


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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