Skip to main content

Considering a creative course starting in 2020 or 2021? Email to find out about studying with us. Register for one of our Online Open Days at


Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Overview

This course is designed to introduce the beginner drawer and painter to life drawing and painting, using a mixture of traditional and experimental approaches to materials and processes, and allow the improver the opportunity to develop and perfect their skills and techniques. It will introduce and develop the student’s ability to draw and paint the clothed and unclothed figure using dry and liquid mediums. As you progress through the course, you will be introduced to differing artists’ work and have the opportunity to discuss your own work in a supportive atmosphere with other students in the group.

Course Content

Week 1
Introduction to drawing the figure - The Intuitive Line.  This week we will concentrate on line drawing,  acknowledging our own creative mark making and getting to know our materials.  We will work with willow charcoal on A2 paper.

Week 2
Gestural drawing as a practice - capturing the entire pose. This week will concentrate on observing the pose,  the line of action and achieving the whole figure within the space.

Week 3
Basic Proportion and Anatomy - Techniques for Rendering the Figure. You will be introduced to surface anatomy and how this may be used to gain proportion in your work. We will discuss the major muscle groups which define form on the human figure.

Week 4
Modelling Form - Drawing With Tone - introduction to theory and practice. You will create your own tonal chart, refining your use of charcoal as a material to describe the human figure. Working light to dark.

Week 5
Modelling Form - Drawing With Tone - You will be introduced to some new ways of approaching the development of form in your work. We will work with a lamp and work dark to light, and explore creating drama in your work using light.  

Week 6
Using Ink - Introduction to line and wash techniques for interpreting the figure, using water-soluble inks, brushes and pens.

Week 7
Using Inks - Colour Introduction. This week you will work with two or more colours and explore how colour may be used. You will discover some different mark-making effects one may achieve using this medium.

Week 8
Painting - Mixing flesh tones with acrylic paint. This session will be devoted to colour and a basic introduction to colour theory, using acrylic paint.

Week 9
Painting - Introduction to painting the figure with acrylic paint. This week you will continue to build on knowledge and skills from last week, exploring both monochromatic and multi-coloured painting

Week 10
Free Choice - This week you will make your own choice of materials and processes to work with for our final session.

Entry Requirements
No previous experience required. 

Materials and Equipment
Materials for this course are included in the course fee. Please wear old clothes/an overall and strong, flat, closed-toe footwear.

Please note that all courses are subject to student numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved. Plymouth College of Art reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient student numbers are recruited.

In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Plymouth College of Art has temporarily closed its buildings until further notice to protect the health and safety of staff, students and visitors. For more information please click here.

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Modules

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Staff

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Student Work

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Students Say

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Careers & Alumni

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Entry Requirements

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Resources

Drawing and Painting for Beginners — Interview

Course Code: 1314
No availability
  • Get in Touch

    Want to ask us a question about this course?

    Tel: +44 (0)1752 203434
    Skype: plymouthcollegeofart