Opportunities and Resources
Freshers' week programme
In September, a seven-day Freshers’ Week programme introduces students to the School’s curriculum, with specialised workshops also organised for students. Previously, these have included an introduction to materials where students learnt about preparing grounds and making their own paper, paint and drawing materials, and a sculpture course where they investigated the three-dimensionality of the head in preparation for drawing.
Additional Drawing Year Masterclasses and workshops run throughout the year, on subjects ranging from Drawing into Painting to Perspective and Structure. Every Monday night there is a Drawing Year masterclass: these include Drawing the City by Night with Timothy Hyman RA and Life Drawing with Catherine Goodman, the School’s Artistic Director. Previous masterclasses have been led by Celia Paul, Gus Cummings and Neal Jones.
Special access to collections and exhibitions
Students enjoy unique access to the Old Master drawings at Windsor and other private collections around the UK. Study trips to draw from these collections take place during the year. Students also benefit from special access to major exhibitions in London, including early morning drawing visits with talks from curators, and free entry to all exhibitions at the Royal Academy for the duration of the course.
Artistic practice and professional development
The professional development programme is curated to run throughout the year; visiting artists, curators, private gallery owners and art dealers offer advice on aspects of professional practice. The intention of this programme is to prepare students for life as a practising artist after The Drawing Year. Topics include Archiving: Looking after, Organising and Presenting your Work, Being a Self-employed Artist/Designer, Studio Development, and Being an Artist outside the Commercial Realm. Visitors have included Robert Brown, International Head of Research at Christie’s King St; Graham Southern, founder and Director of Blain Southern; Mike Kelley and Lygia Pape from Hauser & Wirth; Patricia Finegan, Managing Director of Spin Communications, on media coverage, press and commissions; and lawyer Henry Lydiate on arts legislation, tax, accounting and business advice.
Summer painting trips
At the end of the summer term, students spend one or two weeks drawing and painting alongside their tutors in varied and inspiring environments and landscapes. Locations include Pignano in Tuscany, Holker Hall in the Lake District, Château de Balleroy in Normandy, Raveningham Hall in Norfolk, and Dumfries House and Lybster in Scotland. These trips are funded to ensure that all students are able to attend regardless of their financial circumstances.