Observational Drawing: Focus on the Figure 


‘Thomas… is a very skilled and good teacher who knows how to convey his specialist knowledge in a sensitive and understandable way! His passion for art is contagious and his profound examination of the body is impressive.’ Claudia

Level: Beginners / Some experience

Tutor: Diane MageeThomas Merrett

Dates: 1- 5 July 2024 AND 8 – 12 July 2024

Time: 10:00 – 17:00

Cost: £560



Discover the intensely investigative process of observational drawing, which underpins all aspects of practical work at the Art School, and develop techniques and strategies to help you explore this practice in relation to the human figure. We use a variety of media to explore the structure, volume, movement and anatomy of the human figure.

‘I was a beginner at the start but by the end I had started to see real improvements in my ability to see shape and figure.’ Fran


This intensive course will enable artists and makers with diverse backgrounds and experience to engage with observational drawing through a range of ideas and approaches in response to the figure. Each day will provide an overall structure and focus, whilst responding flexibly to develop individual abilities and interests.

We’ll introduce you to each new approach through speculative first thoughts and sketches, but also through more sustained drawings that will give you time to explore and develop your ideas over longer sessions.  Using a variety of drawing materials you will be able to experiment and develop your drawings through both linear and tonal approaches.

Emphasis will be given to three-dimensional form by investigating structure, volume, movement, weight and the anatomy of the figure. Fundamental drawing concepts and tools that enable the construction of a drawing will be explored through measurement, proportion and scale.

Throughout the course there will be lots of discussion and review, with a diverse range of relevant drawings to provide context to further support and stimulate your drawing experience.

You’ll leave the Art School with a range of very personal drawings which evidence your evolving drawing practice, and reflect your interests and approach. Thanks to the small class size and highly personalised attention, you’ll have gained in confidence, and have the tools to develop your drawing further in the future. A very challenging but satisfying week!

What’s included: all teaching, and most materials including drawing materials.

What isn’t included: your meals, and please bring a notebook and pen from home if you like to make notes.


10% discount available for City & Guilds of London Art School students, alumni and staff. Contact summerschool@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk to receive the discount code.

‘I enjoyed the range of ages of the participants which made the class very dynamic. I also enjoyed the time we had to really take time to see and observe the figure.’ Anne

‘Amazing…  Just perfect how it brought out my patterns of thinking and working/creating that were limiting without me knowing it and how it brought out new possibilities.’ Lenneke

‘I thought the teaching was brilliant and I learnt a lot, and the atmosphere was great as I was in a room of likeminded individuals.’ Fran

‘The tutor and models were great educators. They were inspiring, supportive & helpful.’ Susan

I wanted to be constructively criticised in my drawing, and I was. I wanted to learn techniques and ideas that I could take away as a mental toolbox to help me draw in the future, and I did.‘ Steven

‘The most informative and absorbing week of drawing exploration – loved it!’ Reuben



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