Drawing from Scratch

The course will give you a general introduction to drawing. The emphasis will be on observational drawing and you will be taught how to observe and record line and tone using a range of materials. You will also be introduced to different mark-making techniques and elements of composition as well as exploring creative ways of using materials and techniques.

Course Content

The course is studio-based so projects will largely be concentrated on the still-life. The emphasis will be on observational drawing and you will be taught how to observe and record line and tone using a range of materials and techniques. Materials used will include pencil, coloured pencils, charcoal, pen and ink, chalk and pastels and mark-making techniques will include drawing around the form, continuous line and hatching.

You will be introduced to simple elements of composition such as positive and negative space and will use mixed media and collage to develop confidence in using a range of materials and to explore compositional space.

Each week will focus on a particular drawing technique or material and teaching will involve formal instruction and tutor demonstration, practical experience, exchanging ideas and experience with others, individual tuition and supportive group critiques. Personal critiques can also be arranged if necessary. You will be shown examples from art history to inform learning and will be encouraged to look for inspiration in art of the past and present.

Course Outcomes

• You will learn how to use basic measuring techniques to observe and record contour from observation
• You will learn to describe what tone is, and what it does, and record tone using a range of materials and techniques
• You will describe and use a range of lines (e.g. directional line, continuous line) when working from observation.
• You will describe one or two simple ways to plan a composition (e.g. considering positive and negative space)
• You will explore a range of materials and techniques.

Safety Information
We want to keep you safe while you are at RHACC and as such all on-site classes will be run under strict social distancing guidelines with smaller class sizes and additional hygiene procedures in place. Please act responsibly and do not attend the class if you display any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in recent contact with someone who has. Please see government advice here.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on the start date of the course.

It is suitable for those with no experience of drawing and also students with some previous experience who wish to practise and develop skills further. Although the course can be joined at any point, you will build on existing learning over the year to develop observational skills and build confidence in using a range of materials and techniques.

First Class Requirements

Please bring any basic drawing materials you already own (pencil, charcoal, eraser) to your first session. Paper is available to buy at the college.

At the start of the course the tutor will give you advice about buying materials and provide you with a materials list, the approximate cost of which should be less than about £20. This materials list is kept to a minimum and will last you beyond your course.

Attendance Requirements

Regular attendance will help you to get more out of the course and to achieve better results.

Assessment Methods

There will informal, supportive group critiques at the end of each session and your tutor will give you individual informal verbal feedback as you work on projects and take part in discussions. Individual critiques can also be arranged if required.

Further Study Options

Depending on your development progress onto one of our higher-level Fine-Art courses.

Additional Information

Some of our courses are now delivered through remote learning, including video conferencing (using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype) and email contact with your tutor.

If your course is indicated as an ONLINE COURSE, you will need either a PC (with a camera and microphone), laptop, tablet, smartphone and access to the internet to be able to join the lessons. Lessons will run at the published time – so be ready and set up to join in.

We hope you will enjoy this new approach to learning – many of our learners have commented on how they are enjoying the classes and have improved their IT and digital skills in the process.

Please don't worry if some of this is new to you - you are not alone! See here for guidance on how to use our simple software. If you are experiencing any problems with connection or installing software for your online class please contact our learning resource team on We are here to help you.

If you require further course information or advice & guidance that is not answered in this outline please email

If you would like general information about the college, for example, fees & finance, funding, term dates or opening times please email or drop in to our main reception area.