Drawing: Observation and Imagination

‘To draw you must close your eyes and sing.’ Pablo Picasso

This intensively structured course will open students to the possibilities of drawing from observation and imagination, true to each individual’s own experience of being in the world. Students will draw from a number of observational sources (including the life model) alongside learning how to source imagery ‘without looking’, but from their interior selves and life around them, building a solid group of drawings to provide a personal image bank. This image bank will form the foundation of idea generation, into which students will be guided through playful exercises. They will learn how to access that key moment of transformation, where the reliance on the primary source to make a drawing is superseded by an ability to take inspiration from it. Each week will focus on aspects of composition, narrative, colour, emotion, editing and mark-making, always investigating how these more formal concerns contribute to the imaginative strength of an image. The final achievement of the course will be a complete work, or number of works, drawn from the realm of the imagination. The tutors are both painters, for whom drawing forms a key point of departure in the development of their imaginative work.

Full-time BA students studying for a degree in Fine Art receive up to a 75% discount. Those studying on design or applied arts degrees may also be eligible on a case-by-case basis. Student ID and proof of enrollment must be submitted.

Full-time practising fine artists under 40 years of age in need of financial help may apply for a 75% discount on a maximum of two courses; applicants must submit a portfolio of ten drawings and fill in an application form which can be downloaded from the website. Please find the submissions dates here. Please contact the office in advance of submitting your application to reserve a place on your chosen course and check the portfolio submission dates. 

Primary and secondary school teachers who teach art receive a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof in the form of a letter from their head teacher or the head of the art department.

Individuals on job seekers allowance receive a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently on the job seekers register.

Postgraduate alumni of the Royal Drawing School receive a 50% discount. 

Individuals who receive disability support are eligible for a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently receiving this allowance.

Tower Hamlet and Hackney residents are eligible for a 25% discount; to apply participants must show proof of living in these boroughs. 

Individuals over the age of 60 may apply for a 10% discount.

All of our course rates are subsidised and we also offer a comprehensive concessions scheme. View all course fees and concessions.