Drawing with charcoal – various approaches with Christopher Baker


Ref: SWE11284

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About this course

You will be introduced to a variety of approaches to drawing and encouraged to develop expression with charcoal, both technically and intellectually. Combining both landscape and interiors as subjects allows you to discover how to apply basic drawing principles.

Course Description

Charcoal is a drawing medium capable of expressing a great range of marks, from very delicate modulations of tonal values through to broad and dramatic marks that convey extraordinary power and conviction. The dark marks against a white surface give charcoal its exciting and authoritative note. Through charcoal, you are able to communicate directly to the viewer your spontaneous expression of feeling and pictorial thinking.

You will be introduced to a variety of approaches to drawing and encouraged to develop your own range of expression with charcoal, both technically and intellectually. Your subjects are landscape (depending on the weather) and interiors. Combining both allows you to discover how to apply basic drawing principles.

You will make delicate tonal studies, small and large scale work. There is also discussion on artists’ work in charcoal, the Renaissance artists, Matisse, Tony Bevan and the tutor’s own work.

You shall look at the variety of charcoals, types of drawing surfaces and some additional tools that can be used with this medium. You will work on-site as well as in the studio on large scale work.

The tutor will set in place a series of technical ideas connected with charcoal which you can later use in your own work. The study of technique cannot be separated from ways of seeing and from perception so these elements are integrated. Objective observation and basic drawing principles will give you the confidence to develop a more individual interpretation of your subject.


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

  • 2 rags

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Paper – 4 sheets of 190gsm Bockingford (NOT press) paper
  • Mid-tone warm paper – Canson
  • Plastic rubber – hard white
  • Scene-painter’s willow charcoal
  • Masking tape, fixative and craft knife


Christopher Baker

Christopher Baker is an artist and author and had a leading role playing himself in the feature film Archipelago. He exhibits in the UK and Europe as well as Canada, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, Pallant House Gallery (Chichester) and Medici Gallery Cork Street, New English Art Club, LondonDescribe your approach to teaching?


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

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