Opportunities and Resources
Fresher’s 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. They can also draw in the historic life room at the Royal Academy every Thursday evening.
Artistic practice and professional development
Visiting artists, curators, private gallery owners and art dealers offer advice on aspects of professional practice throughout the course, to prepare students for life as a practising artist. Visiting gallery directors have included Cathy Lomax of Transition Gallery, Tot Taylor of Riflemaker and Graham Southern, founder of Haunch of Venison and Director of Blain Southern.
Summer painting trips
Every summer, students spend one or two weeks drawing and painting alongside their tutors in areas of outstanding natural beauty. Locations include Pignano in Tuscany, Italy, Dumfries House in Scotland, Holker Hall in the Lake District, Château de Balleroy in Normandy and Raveningham Hall in Norfolk. These trips are free to ensure that all students are able to attend, regardless of their financial circumstances.