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Live online course – Charcoal drawing with Kate Boucher

Ref: SCW10571


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About this course

A gentle introduction to the expressive qualities of charcoal. Working on both large and small scale with different types of charcoal, you will begin to develop a language of mark-making with the oldest of drawing mediums. Delivered in a live session via Zoom on the dates shown.

Course Description

Includes posted materials kit - booking open until midnight Sunday 22 November to allow time for you materials kit to arrive. Currently, these can only be mailed to mainland UK addresses.

In this gentle introduction to charcoal drawing, you will explore different techniques to create rich and interesting tonal drawings with this most ancient of drawing medium.  A willingness to experiment and not worry about producing a finished piece will help you on this one day course.

Through a combination of demonstrations with lots of useful tips, tricks and drawing exercises, you will begin to develop a language of mark-making that will help you make the most of this versatile drawing medium.  You will experiment with and explore the different qualities of charcoals, papers, erasers and fixatives.  You will draw from objects and your photographs. 

At the end of this one day workshop, you will have produced both experimental mark-making and direct observational drawings, and you will have a developing confidence and familiarity with different types of charcoal, paper, erasers and fixatives.

09.00 – 09.15 All students to join via Zoom
09.15 – 10.45 Introductions, H&S and demonstration, Q+A followed by independent study with tutor support
10.45 – 11.00 Break
11.00 – 12.45 Teaching, Q+A followed by Independent study, with tutor support
12.45 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.45 Teaching, Q+A, Independent study with tutor support
15.45 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.00 Plenary and next steps

Course Materials


A materials pack is included in the course fee and will be mailed to you to arrive before the course. Currently, these can only be mailed to mainland UK addresses.

What students need to bring

Please read and familiarise yourself with the the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts 
It is also useful to have the following close to hand – a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet).

You will also need to have: 
Papers you may have at home to experiment drawing on – just a few sheets. 
Sketchbook (not essential but you may like to record experiments with notes to refer back to). 
Cotton or polycotton cloth/rag, about handkerchief sized. 
Masking tape (not low tack). 
Soya milk (unsweetened preferably but not essential). 
Small spray bottle.
Printouts of your own photographs – not those from magazines or not taken by you.  (Take and print out your photographs of something that you're interested in, landscape, interiors, buildings, plants, etc. As this is a beginner’s course, you are looking at the technique of how to use charcoal. Therefore, it is best to avoid portraits, people and animals if you are not familiar with drawing them already.) 
Aerosol fixative if you have it.

Included in the kit you will receive before the course: 
1 x black Conte crayon HB, square profile, 1 x compressed charcoal stick, square profile, 1 box mixed size willow charcoal, a plastic rubber, a putty rubber, 1 x A2 sheet 130gsm paper,  2 x A2 sheets 220gsm cartridge paper, 2 X A2 sheets off white Arboretta 160gsm paper, 1 x A4 sheet of Khadi cotton rag 150gsm paper.


What skill level do I need to take a course?
Our online courses are each given a level of study to ensure you pick the right course for you;
Beginners - Suitable for those with little or no experience of the subject
Intermediate – If you have taken a related course or have existing skills
Suitable for all - With content that can be engaged with on different levels.

What format does the course take?
Our online live-streamed courses run each day from 9am-5pm.

After admitting all students to Zoom between 9am-9.15am, the tutor will introduce the course at 9.15am promptly and give a demonstration or warm-up exercise with a chance to ask questions before independent study with tutor support.  This pattern is followed throughout the day as additional tasks are introduced, concluding in the final session with a round up and discussion on next steps.

Is the course taught live?
Yes, the course is taught live via Zoom.

Will the course be recorded?
No, the course will not be recorded.

How many people will be on the course?
There are a maximum of 10-12 places, depending on the course.

How do I sign up for a course?
Follow the online booking process to sign up for a course.

Can I use a College gift voucher for online courses?
Yes, simply enter the gift voucher code at the online checkout.

How do I access my course?
You will receive a link and password to access the course email, typically within two working days.

What do I need to set up or prepare before the course starts:
Find yourself a quiet place to work, away from background noise and distractions during the core teaching times. Prepare a workstation, ideally with a good sized work-surface or table, adjacent to your computer, and with enough space to layout your assembled materials and tools ready for the start of the day. Also assemble any materials listed on the course details which will not be supplied in any materials kit sent to you, if included in the course. (If your course includes materials, this will be clearly stated in the course materials section above).

Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the Zoom joining instructions emailed to you with your course confirmation before the course starts. We recommend doing this several days in advance to avoid technical issues on the day.

What computer set-up will I need to take a course?
You can join a zoom meeting on a computer or laptop – Mac, PC – with Internet connection, a webcam, microphone and speakers (usually in-built). You need high speed Wi-Fi with full bars signal that doesn’t drop out Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below).

You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser.

To join the course simply click on the link in your confirmation email and follow the instructions on the screen. You can access Zoom via the web browser or app. For help joining a meeting see Zoom support here

It is also useful to have the following close to hand - a secondary device to join via the Zoom link is recommended if possible to assist sharing your work in progress during the day (eg a smartphone with in-built camera or ipad/tablet), if possible.

Some of the course resources may be presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.

What web browser do you recommend?
PC users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Edge 12+, Internet Explorer 11+ are supported.
Mac users – Chrome 30+, Firefox 27+, Safari 7+ are supported.

Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.

Phones and tablets – download the Zoom mobile app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android).

What do I do if I experience technical issues?
Support setting up Zoom, including helpful videos can be accessed on their website here and support centre here.

We recommend setting up and testing Zoom a few days in advance of your course to ensure you do not have problems on the day. If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email (Monday-Friday) with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.

I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact (Monday-Friday).

I’ve changed my mind and no longer want to do this course, what can I do?
Please contact immediately if you have changed your mind, within 14 days of booking. Please also refer to our Terms and Conditions when booking. For any other queries about online courses please contact

For courses that included a posted materials pack: (If your course included a materials pack, it will state this clearly in the course materials section).

When should I expect to receive my materials pack?
Your pack will be posted to arrive 1-2 days before your course starts. It will be delivered by courier. Currently, these can only be posted to mainland UK addresses.

Who do I contact if I haven’t received my materials pack or it is missing an item?
Please contact (Monday-Friday) within two days of the course start date.


Kate Boucher

Kate Boucher is an experienced, enthusiastic and inspirational tutor who specialises in building students' creative confidence in a supportive teaching environment. She trained at Chelsea School of Art and recently gained a Master of Fine Art from West Dean College. She was awarded a prestigious QEST scholarship, was the Edward James Foundation Scholar in 2015/16 and winner of the Valarie Power Prize for Visual Arts. Her dark and evocative charcoal drawings often have unnaturally tilted horizons, hints of a double exposure and foregrounds that appear to shift and slip. Her practice also includes handmade felt and forged metal structures also created as a response to landscape.


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

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