Advanced portrait drawing with Zara Drummond

Ref: S3D10519


Book now

Places available

About this course

A deeper look and practice of portraiture, combining old techniques with new vision. Reminders in structure, anatomy, chiaroscuro and furthering your own style. This is suitable for students with experience who would like to challenge and develop their drawing as the basis for painting or drawing portraits with character and life.

Course Description

Explore approaches for making more engaging portraits.  You will review some basic classical techniques at an advanced level, such as perspective, chiaroscuro, lighting your subject, gesture, anatomy: studies of the eye, nose mouth and ears to move your drawings into characterful studies and painted portraits. You may bring a canvas, some brushes  and a couple of dark colours such as French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber in order to draw in paint on the last day. You will also get the chance to do some creative drawing exercises to loosen the grip of any old drawing habits you wish to let go. You will explore composition and methods for achieving a likeness. The course will be practical, with discussions and exchanges, a chance to try different tools of the trade. There is a focus on individual input and tutor support to suit your own personal style and path, supplemented by how to get the most out of a portrait sitting and how to develop a complex portrait composition that represents the character of your sitter. 

Alongside practical instruction, you will be looking at historical and contemporary portrait drawings and paintings for inspiration. There will be an emphasis placed on mutual support and feedback with lively group discussion encouraged.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


Materials for drawing on the first evening including charcoal thin and medium sticks, masking tape, cartridge paper 300gsm, newprint paper, putty rubber.
The cost of a portrait model. 

What students need to bring

A pencil eraser (for precise erasing), chamois leather. Any items you may have from the available to buy list.

Optional: willow charcoal of unusual size, sheet of rough sand paper. Newsprint paper, drawing inks, canvas, brushes, 2-3 dark oil paints such as French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber for drawing in oils. 

Available to buy

Available from shop:
Quality drawing paper or pad (220gsm or above)
Craft knife, plastic eraser
Masking tape
4B and 6B pencil
Optional: Large size charcoal stick of unusual size, sand paper, drawing inks, canvas, brushes, oil paints (French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber)
A folder or art tube for taking drawings home

Available from tutor:
Generals charcoal pencils 4B and 6B, chamois leather, sand paper blocks.


Zara Drummond

Zara Drummond changed career from award-winning Industrial Designer to Fine Artist after a riding accident. She re-trained at Chelsea College of Arts, and studied drawing at the Royal College of Arts. With paintings in private collections all over the world, Zara Drummond is best known for her portraits over the last twenty years.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.