Ink drawing – light and reflection with Maxine Relton


Ref: S3D11909

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About this course

Explore ink techniques as you interpret light and water reflections. Develop your visual vocabulary and build confidence in your work.

Course Description

Inks are vibrant, transparent, mixable and extremely fluid pigments ideal for experimental drawing using diverse tools.

Learn how to use inks to interpret both light and water reflections. This often unheeded realm will enrich your visual experience by revealing unexpected and surprising discoveries as you notice more light and reflection in your everyday environment.

Explore a wide range of approaches to drawing with this versatile medium. Ink types include carbon, pigment, Sumi, Indian and Oriental stick inks, either waterbased or waterproof. You will also learn about ink from organic sources such as walnuts and blackberries, which you can make at home. You will combine inks with other mediums such as watercolour washes. You will experiment with a broad range of tools, including pens (fude, bamboo, dip, calligraphy), brushes and invented drawing implements. Through exploration, you will find the tools that suit your own style.

Maxine’s demonstrations will take you through a series of imaginative projects, introducing you to treatments of the two topics by different artists. You will explore working from your imagination and visual references, as well as direct observation in and around the College. Maxine will bring examples of her own work and sketchbooks to supplement your learning.

By the end of the course, you will have enjoyed playful and lively explorations of inks, revitalised your creative thinking, usefully extended your visual vocabulary and built your confidence to look for original solutions in unexpected places. You will also know how to make inks in your own home or studio.


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 until 9pm, 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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some materials to try out shared amongst the group including:
  • Inks, brushes, pens, drawing implements, pencils, chinagraphs
  • Tracing Paper
  • Masking and acid-free tape, glue
  • L-mounts and viewfinders, clear acetate
  • Additional quantities of the above will be available to purchase from the shop as required.

What students need to bring

  • Painting overall
  • A few colour magazines of any kind that you no longer need

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Loose sheets of good quality cartridge paper (minimum 160gsm) and watercolour paper (300 gsm) or sketchbook of A4 size or larger
  • A wide selection of inks
  • Acrylic and/or watercolour brushes
  • Pencils in various grades, pencil rubber
  • Watercolour and/or acrylic paints
Please note: The tutor likes to have a chat with students personally on the telephone when planning her programme for each course. This gives her the opportunity to find out about any special interests or focus areas you have, to tell you a bit more about the course and to answer any questions you might have about it. Your email and phone number will be passed to Maxine. If you would prefer the tutor not to contact you, please let the Bookings office know.


Maxine Relton

Teaching at West Dean since 2005, Maxine works across drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking and mixed media. Exhibits widely, runs a 3-floor gallery of her work in Gloucestershire, included in public and private collections around the world. Trained in London at Camberwell and the Slade. An elected member of the Royal West of England Academy.


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

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