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1, 2, 3s Of Drawing

1, 2, 3s Of Drawing

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Bill Wright, Laura McKendry


If you’d like to improve your drawing skills, you’re invited to join this class devoted to fundamentals of drawing. Tutor Bill has made 1,2,3s of Drawing very much a 'hands on' and 'how to' course, stressing different drawing techniques, tricks of the trade, nuts-and-bolts-know how, methods of observation and exposure to a variety of drawing tools.

You’re probably bursting with creativity and imagination and we want to ensure you have practical methods of getting your creative ideas quickly and effectively onto paper. There’ll be numerous short drawing exercises (challenging, fun or fanciful), and some longer ones. They’re designed as stepping stones or pieces of the puzzle of how to draw. Building up a catalogue of small skills over the course should demystify drawing for you, make it easier - and turn it into the joy it’s meant to be!

What makes this drawing course different from most others is that it examines a vast number of ways drawing can be done and learned.  This is achieved by having many topics and two tutors to teach them.  We alternate - one of us leading the class while the other prepares the next part of the lesson or joins in giving you individual input regarding what you’re working on.  This ‘tag-team’ set-up results in a quickly paced course with lots of varying opportunities for you to learn and do.

Some work will be done outside of class (10 week evening classes only, not in summer school). You’ll get individual help and there’ll also be group critiques which will stress methods, analyse results and provide for lively exchanges with classmates and tutors. 

Topics covered:

  • methods of observation, judging shape, size, proportion
  • spontaneity, personality and character in drawings
  • varying line-weight, drawing tools, ways, angles of holding tools
  • simplified observational perspective, and point of view (POV)
  • seeing and depicting shade and shadow
  • drawing natural objects - leaves, shells, flowers, etc. in colour
  • the ‘geography’ of the human head and face, drawing head models
  • life drawing, for example, figure drawing, drawing clothed figures in action poses
  • drawing from photos; drawing from memory and imagination
  • foreground and background elements and establishing depth in drawings
  • simple use of drafting tools, templates, French curves (tutor demo only)
  • developing drawings into more finished illustrations with paints, inks, pastels, etc.
  • drawing in public places with ease and good results (practice session first); reportage illustration
  • use of water-soluble materials, charcoal, different pencils, pens, markers and more
  • looking at successful drawings to understand how they were achieved

Course Outcomes

You’ll emerge from this class having been exposed to a multitude of approaches, methods and techniques of drawing. From those you’re bound to have found some that suit your drawing personality, skills and needs.

You’ll certainly have many drawings with different subjects and done in different materials.  These could form part of a portfolio, either professional or university-admittance oriented, or simply provide a jumping off point for a more active drawing and sketching life.

You leave the course with improved drawing confidence, knowledge and ability.

There is more information available on Bill Wright's website

Who should take this course?

This course would be valuable for both beginner wanting a good foundation of skills and for a person with some drawing experience who’d like to revisit the basics. You may actually be a frequent drawer but would like to know more about materials and different drawing techniques that you usually use. This course will suit someone who wishes to improve their drawing with an eye on going into further study within art or design and someone developing a portfolio of images for this reason.

Some work will be done at easels. It’s fine to sit at a chair or on a stool when working at an easel, so if drawing while standing is a problem for you, don’t let the thought of easel work deter you from the course.

This is a course that puts a lot in front of you to think about, try out and learn from and then keeps bringing more.  If you have an eager appetite to learn, energy to put into your work and want grow your drawing skill-set, this course will welcome you.

Entry requirements: None

Level: Beginner/Intermediate


Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Online short courses

Did you know we offer a similar course online? UAL online short courses are designed to help creative people master new challenges, develop their skills, get inspired by new ideas and access the UAL learning experience without having to travel to a campus for class.

Introduction to Drawing Skills (Online Short Course)

More online courses

Tutor Description

Hi, Bill Wright here. My professional background is varied, from architectural illustration to storyboards for films and TV. As for my teaching, I’m a strong believer in showing practical steps to use in creating images, and I’m thrilled when I see students apply these methods with stunning results. Yes, creativity and soul are important in artwork, but ‘how to’s,’ tricks of the trade, pragmatic methods, the use of tools and technology, these - along with encouragement and attention to each individual’s progress - make a huge difference between where a student stands at the beginning of a short course and then emerges at its end.

I’ve taught in the Central Saint Martins BA Illustration program for 10 years and on many CSM short courses. I’ve done literally thousands of drawings and illustrations for both enjoyment and pay, and love passing along to others ways and means to improve their image making. I’m passionate about drawing and illustration, and I hope some of that rubs off too.

Hi, this is Laura McKendry. I’m a freelance illustrator and specialise in portraying the natural world - animals, plants, food, wildlife… I love to draw! Whether I’m working in charcoal, graphite, watercolour or ink. I thrive on the excitement and trepidation that comes from creating new work and love engendering this process in students. I’ve taught on the Enhanced Illustration and Illustrating Animals short courses at Central Saint Martin’s with Bill and Sion over the past few years and always find it exciting and enriching to see the diversity of work that emerges from students of all ages and backgrounds. Having done several short courses myself over the years, I understand their beauty in offering a relatively brief, but intense, opportunity to learn new techniques and develop existing skills. They’ve always reinvigorated my own professional practice, and I’m very excited to see what emerges this term. I hope to see you there!  

You can view my work here: and


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • 2H HB 2B 4B 6B - Standard graphite pencils
  • Quality pens of different nib widths. Here is a link to a standard popular type:
  • Quality rubber a/k/a eraser (Staedtler Mars plastic is good)
  • Putty Rubber (this is a good one to explore as a drawing tool not just for erasing mistakes)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • A4 Cartridge paper sketchbook (with detachable or spiral bound sheets)
  • Small notebook/sketchbook.

Lots of materials will be available in class at no additional cost including: large drawing paper (A1, A2, A3 and A4 drawing paper, watercolour paper, coloured pencils, water soluble pencils, markers, a variety of drawing pens, brushes, aquabrushes, brush-pens, inks, watercolour sets, pallets, charcoal, pastels, light boxes

Available dates

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