Dynamic life drawing with Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Ref: SLW09286


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About this course

You are encouraged to explore the dynamics of the imagination, as well as drawing from life, and work in both colour and black and white.

Course Description

Challenge and transform your drawing skills and experiences by exploring dynamic and playful approaches to drawing. Draw from the model using a variety of mediums and techniques that encourage intuitive responses to spontaneous mark-making to free up your drawing. Draw from both observation and imagination, with colour as well as black and white.

You work through a series of fantastical set themes and poses - each day will have a new theme and long and short poses will be set.

The course includes the following projects:

1. Playful sessions include concertina book drawing, 3D collage and full scale ink drawings.

Music will also be used to inform mark-making.

2. Kahlo, colour, dreams and symbolism.

True to the history of West Dean this session is designed for you to explore surrealism through life drawing and the works of Frida Kahlo.

The model will be set up in a mass of Mexican imagery and colourful fabrics, fruit and symbolic items, such as Kahlo might have used in her paintings.

On completing the course you will have experienced a playful and alternative approach to life drawing and gained confidence in working intuitively. You will be able to incorporate figure drawing with aspects of your own imagination to make rich and expressive drawings.


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


  • The model who will sit for the course.
  • Some paper and ink shared amongst the group, more available to purchase from the shop as required.

What students need to bring

  • Any of the list below if you have them

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A range of charcoal sizes, a range of pencils, graphite sticks
  • Putty rubbers
  • A1 paper - white cartridge and black
  • Indian black ink
  • Masking tape
  • Coloured chalk pastels, acrylic paints
  • A range of brushes
  • Canvas, ready-made, various sizes, card, boards primed
  • Pritt stick glue


Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Chris Gilvan-Cartwright, aka The Baron Gilvan, is a painter, performer and animator.
Graduating from Central St Martins he won the Royal Overseas League bursary to paint in India and Nepal. He designed the BBC Proms logos for two seasons, has exhibited extensively and performed at the Jerwood Gallery Hastings. Chris also trained at Kracow Academy of Fine Arts, Poland, and University of Brighton. He has taught over 20 years from Foundation to Degree level. Chris is a member of Central Illustration Agency and has illustrated 20 children's books, including 'Becoming Me', Frances Lincoln Publishing.


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

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