Drawing the head with Emily Ball

Ref: SLW09523

Suitable for all

Book now

2 places available

About this course

Become confident drawing features and capturing character and expression. Celebrate the sculptural qualities of the subject using charcoal, rubbers and soft pencils to produce powerful and expressive A1 size drawings.

Course Description

This course offers you an opportunity to gain the confidence to tackle drawing the human head. The aim is to capture more than just a likeness, it is to convey the essence of the person, exploring sculptural qualities of the shapes and features using the tactile and physical properties of the drawing mediums. You will also be encouraged to work directly and confidently with your materials, through liberating and focused exercises, to find ways of re-inventing how you draw features.

The course begins with an introduction which includes some practical work. You will move on to a series of exercises to help you loosen up your observation and responses. You will complete many drawings from both short and long poses, on a large and small scale, using charcoal, pencil, felt pens, rubbers and rags.

There will be a slide show of artists' work including Auerbach, Picasso, Giacometti, Francis Bacon and the tutor's own work. We will discuss how the artists arrive at their finished pieces. There will also be discussions of students' work in progress.

This exciting course is aimed at students of all levels of experience.


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.

What students need to bring

  • Lots of rags
  • If in doubt about materials, please consult the tutor at the beginning of the course.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Cartridge paper
  • Scene painter's charcoal
  • Black and white chalks
  • Soft pencils, graphite pencils, rubbers, felt pens
  • Pritt stick glue
  • Masking tape
  • Fixative
  • Scissors
  • Bulldog clips

"The teaching was so good and lead me to a breakthrough in my own work development."

Karen, 2019


Emily Ball

Emily Ball trained at Exeter and Surrey Universities and is director and tutor of Emily Ball at Seawhite Studio. Her book Painting and Drawing People - A Fresh Approach was published in 2009.


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

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