Life drawing with Hester Berry


Ref: SWE11253

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About this course

Drawing from a life model, you will look at how to construct a drawing, focusing on observation and mark making.

Course Description

Develop the fundamental skills of observation and mark-making that life drawing demands. If you have never explored life drawing before, build a solid foundation on which to develop, and for those of you with more experience, it will be an excellent chance to revisit core principles and receive one-to-one input on developing your personal practice.

Through a mixture of demonstration, structured exercises and one-to-one feedback, you will first explore how to fluently represent the figure in quick poses, how to economise your mark-making and suggest gesture and shape. You will then look at various devices for measuring and constructing the figure, both as a whole and broken down into various tricky parts. You will also look at tone and discover other ways to refine your drawing and bring it to life.

By the end of the course, you will have a better understanding of the core skills that go into the practice of life drawing, particularly the skill of unmediated and honest observation. This will provide you with a foundation on which to develop your figure drawing practice. You will also leave with a better understanding of how to use your materials.


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


  • Life model fees are included in the course fee. The cost of providing charcoal, paper, a 3B pencil, masking tape and paper for the first evening session.

What students need to bring

  • Any items you have from the available to buy list.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A mixture of A1, A2 and A3 cartridge paper
  • Willow charcoal
  • HB, 3B and 6B pencil
  • Plastic eraser
  • Black ballpoint pen
  • Fixative
  • Pencil sharpener
  • A portfolio, plastic folder or art tube for transporting work at the end of the course


Hester Berry

Hester Berry has made a living as a painter since leaving school, exhibiting throughout the UK and occasionally internationally. She gained a degree in Fine Art from University of Wales Aberystwyth and an MA in painting from UAL Wimbledon. She has taught painting and drawing for various societies and institutions including for Draw Brighton and Camden Arts Centre. In 2018 Tate published her book on Life Drawing.


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

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