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Expressive Drawing

Expressive Drawing

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Ilga Leimanis


Expressive Drawing will introduce you to new ways of approaching drawing that will lead to exciting new developments in your drawing style. You will experiment with line and mark, colour, gesture, composition and the use of different textured materials.

Rather than capturing an exact likeness of a subject, you will be encouraged to be experimental with your mark making and drawing techniques. You will respond to a range of different subject matter and stimuli, both visual and conceptual.

Through some quick and simple exercises using a variety of media, you will be encouraged to create works based on creative impulse - before later on, looking further into fine-tuning and drawing detail to your work.

This course will enable you to let go of formal drawing techniques which can sometimes be a hindrance to artistic development.

Topics Covered

  • Mark Making
  • Texture
  • Tone
  • Hatching
  • Linear
  • Detail
  • Making a view finder
  • Composition and Perspective
  • Observation of the use of tone to create light and dark and to position objects
  • Memory and imagination
  • Problem solving – adapting your drawing when you can’t erase

Course Outcomes
You will have developed your drawing skills and will be more confident about mark-making based on instinct and feeling alone. You will have benefitted from exploring different methods and approaches to seeing and drawing.

Who Should Attend
Whether you are a beginner or are looking to practise your drawing, this course will help you to develop your skills and confidence in an open and supportive environment. It would suit you if you're looking to build up a strong body of expressive drawings to enhance a portfolio, or if you're considering applying to a Foundation or BA course.

Course Level
All levels welcome

Tutor Description

Ilga Leimanis MA is a London-based artist and writer. She is a member of Five Years, an artist-run gallery, and her own practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary. Her teaching experience of 10 years is varied and extensive. She helps prepare students for degree courses and many of her previous students have gained places at their preferred schools. She also works with professionals looking to develop their communication and creativity skills, as well as people taking courses for personal interest.

Ilga delivers workshops for the University of the Arts (UAL) Academic Support department, working across six UAL art and design colleges. She teaches manual drawing skills for architects and engineers working at leading offices in London, including at Foster+Partners, and she also works internationally.

Ilga is author of three chapters in Creative Sketching Workshop, published by Apple Press (UK), North Light Books (North America) and Tan Yang International (Asia).

See Ilga's websites and


Please bring the following items with you on the first day:

  • A set of drawing pencils or at minimum B, 2B and 4B pencils

  • Pencil sharpener

  • Hard rubber and a putty rubber

  • Sticks of charcoal (not compressed charcoal)

  • Current sketchbook or notebook, mood board or inspiration

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.