Drawing techniques in pen, line and wash with Paul Cox

Ref: SLW09515

Suitable for all

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About this course

Explore techniques to make lively and responsive drawings. Discover mark-making methods using traditional and contemporary pens and brushes, how they interact with ink and watercolour washes. Working from observation in West Dean House and Gardens.

Course Description

Explore the fresh and distinctive marks made by a variety of pens and brushes to make lively and responsive drawings. There will be a balance of technical advice on the range of pens from the traditional nib pens, bamboo pens and quills to modern waterproof technical pens and fine brushes. This will be followed by some observational drawing as you learn to apply these techniques taking inspiration from West Dean Gardens and the interiors of West Dean College.

You will be given advice in using inks and watercolour with demonstrations of how these interrelate with the line drawing. Discover how resist and bleach can interact with washes to get interesting negative (reverse) effects. You will also learn how to stretch paper prior to painting as well as basic use of perspective in drawing.

This course will give you an understanding of these exciting mediums and inspire you to explore further their potential in your future work.


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

What students need to bring

  • Thick household bleach
  • Water jars for ink dilutions and colour washes
  • Scrubbing brush
  • A spontex type sponge (household)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Dip pens and cut steel drawing nibs (long and pointed not short and square)
  • Bamboo pens and metal folded tongue reservoirs
  • Fine brushes with 'snap' or 'spring' for line drawing (synthetic or natural hair with a fine point, including good quality sable hair)
  • Cheap synthetic brushes for ink and resist that you don't mind ruining
  • Large 'mop' or wash brushes (squirrel or Chinese goat hair) alternatively small natural sponges
  • Sheets or pads of hot pressed or finely surfaced 'Not' watercolour paper suitable for drawing with fine nibs
  • A2 Cartridge paper
  • 'Not' or rough watercolour paper for brush and wash drawing
  • Brown water-gummed paper tape for paper stretching also and shallow bowl
  • Watercolour resist
  • India Ink (waterproof)
  • Quink (soluble)
  • Pentel brush pen
  • 1-2 inch rough household paint brush, and synthetic sponge
  • Blotting or very absorbent paper
  • A small selection of watercolours (Schminke, and Winsor & Newton available in the shop) - the tutor recommends Kalinki watercolour set
  • Mixing trays and deep well palettes
  • Aquarelle colour pencils (optional and useful for under drawing)

"The course was really good - Paul is very approachable and has a lovely teaching style that puts everyone at ease. He is keen to give everyone personal direction, and I’m certain that we all came away with some great pointers and a new confidence to go out and sketch. I know I do!"

Fenella, 2019


Paul Cox

Paul Cox's fluid, immediate draughtsmanship and vibrant colour makes him one of the most enjoyable of contemporary illustrators. A recent highly successful exhibition in London of over 200 works demonstrated the breadth of his achievement, and especially the geographical range of his imagery; for he is a significant topographical painter as well as both an incisive and sensitive literary illustrator and highly versatile designer.


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

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