Whether you wish to improve your drawing skills or you, haven’t taken an art lesson in your life, learning how to draw is a great way to get introduced to the marvellous world of art.
As the basis of all other fine arts, drawing is the gateway skill to painting, sculpture and portraiture. More and more common, digital art is much easier if you have a fundamental understanding of figure drawing, landscape rendering and of the colour theory.
So let your creativity flow and join a drawing class in London.
“It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover, to your surprise, that you have rendered something in its true character.”
– Camille Pissarro, Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter.
The Victoria & Albert Museum (or V&A as Londoners like to call it) has the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects.
As one of the oldest fine art institution in the country and Europe, it is natural that The Royal Academy of Arts boasts some of the best drawing classes in the capital.
As part of their constant effort to promote art, they offer year-round drawing and painting workshops as well as drawing classes. They focus on short-courses (ranging from weekend-long to five-week long) but also provide morning, afternoon and evening sessions.
Most courses are accessible to beginners, but some will recommend that you have at least some prior knowledge or experience of drawing.
The RA offers many different courses which make it easy to develop your skills and improve your drawing techniques as you go along.
While the Academy offers many different life-drawing sessions, often guided by expert artists and Academicians themselves, as a student of the Royal Academy of Art you will also have access to the Royal Academy’s Archive and Collection, making your learning experience uniquely interesting.
For the Mancunian artists out there, check our guide to Manchester’s best drawing classes.
If you’re just starting on your artistic journey, the RA offers a weekend-long practical course called “Drawing: the essentials”. During this course, you will study the fundamentals of drawings. You will be using both object matter and life models and learn how to represent lines, tones, perspectives, scales, as well as exploring measuring and foreshortening.
The courses are the Royal Academy of Arts are not the cheapest. The beginner’s weekend workshop costs £420 for 14 hours of class. However, it includes all drawing materials, light refreshments and lunches each day as well as a drinks reception at the end of the first day.
But most importantly this course will give you access to the most experienced teacher in the city. The tutor of the “Drawing: the essentials” class is no less than Dr Sarah Simblet author of Anatomy for the Artist (2001), The Drawing Book (2005) and Botany for the Artist (2010), and instructor in Anatomy at the Ruskin School of Art.
“Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.”
– Walt Disney, American animator, voice actor and film producer
The Tate Modern in London has some of the best contemporary art collection in the world. Wonder in its galleries for some inspiration. (by d_morfis)
If you wish to take your museum visit to the next level, Sketchout is for you.
Founders Rosa Roberts (graduated in Fine Art at Central St Martins) will take you to the best art galleries in London. Sketchout classes are held right in the middle of the V&A, the Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery, where students can enjoy the splendid sculptures and artwork collections.
Classes are kept to small groups which ensure that each student will receive plenty of one-to-one time with the art tutor. These workshops are open to all level of drawing so do not be scared to join even if you are an absolute beginner.
Sketchout is a great way to improve your observation and drawing skills quickly. The “Fundamentals of Drawing” sessions, divided into two parts, are there to teach you the basic principles of drawing: recognising line, tone and scale, shading and depth.
This sessions usually last 4 hours (with one more hour for lunch), and you will have the chance to draw some of the incredible artwork on display in the capital.
For intermediate and advanced drawers, Sketchout also offers a course on “Drawing Faces” held at the National Portrait Gallery and will use varied materials (coloured papers, dark and light pencils, graphite sticks and water-soluble pencils).
During this course, you will learn to identify the three-dimensional relationship between different facial features to help you render photorealistic portraits and impressionistic depictions.
You can also join Sketchout for one of their architectural session at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Then you will learn about methods and techniques used to represent perspectives, vanishing points, space and depths.
“The important thing is to keep on drawing when you start to paint. Never graduate from drawing.”
– John Sloan, American painter and etcher, founder of the Ashcan school of American art.
Most art classes and workshops will supply the basic art materials you will need during the session. But you are always welcome to bring your own.
The Art Academy of London was founded almost 20 years ago by Tanya Russel. The small and independent school offers high-quality tuition in the domain of fine arts.
The school runs pre-degree and art diploma curriculums every year which you can join part-time or full-time.
Besides that, it also hosts numerous short-courses and masterclasses in its studios located near London Bridge and Elephant & Castle.
Classes are on almost every night and one particular workshop called “Drawings for Beginners” will be perfect to get you up to speed on drawing techniques, still-life and life drawing composition as well as portraiture.
Tone, measurement, texture and composition will all be taught to you in a relaxing and accessible way by professional artists and seasoned tutors. This beginners class runs over ten weeks, and each session lasts a bit less than 2 hours.
One of the great things about attending the Art Academy is that you will be able to broaden your artistic horizon very easily as the school also gives classes about painting, sculpting, printmaking, ceramics & glass arts as well as digital art.
If you already mastered the art of drawing, you could attend a digital animation or digital illustration course. If you think that oil painting on canvass is too messy, join the Academy’s digital painting and photoshop technique workshop.
Additionally, if you think that practical knowledge isn’t enough for you and would like to learn more about art, join the school’s introduction classes to contemporary art and modernism.
“I cannot rest, I must draw, however poor the result, and when I have a bad time come over me it is a stronger desire than ever.”
– Beatrix Potter, English writer, illustrator, natural scientist.
The London Fine Art Studios were founded two years ago by artist and teacher Ann Whitebridge. Located in Battersea, South London, her studios cater to the capital ever-growing artistic crowd.
No need to have ever held a drawing pencil in your life to join: courses are aimed at all levels of students, and foundation classes will introduce you to the fundamentals of drawing and oil painting.
If you can not make it during workdays, those classes are also available in the evening and on Saturdays.
Once you completed the foundation class, you will be able to progress onto more challenging drawing in the Cast Drawing Studio. During this 2-to-3 weeks workshop, you will work on a plaster cast subject and learn to accurately draw pattern and edges and comprehend the importance of light and shades in the creation of forms.
You will also tackle figure and portrait drawing, working on life-models.
The studios also offer bespoke courses for groups between sux and ten people, gather your friends and learn how to draw together.
To all the Brummi artists out there, Superprof also has a guide to the best drawing classes in Birmingham.
“We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”
Even with the advent of digital animation, manual drawing and sketches are still widely used by game developers or animation movie studios.
The Sunny Art Centre is located on the grounds of the historic Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn, on the eponymous street of West London. Dating back to the late 14th century, this was where Shakespeare performed his first plays and where Francis Bacon composed some of his famous artwork.
The centre also owns astonishing paintings, sculptures, ceramics, antique furniture and numerous other exceptional artwork.
It is in this context that you will be able to learn how to draw from some of the best artist and teachers residing in the capital.
Focusing on drawing and painting techniques, the classes held in the Sunny Art Centre will teach you everything you need to know about charcoal and graphite drawing, oil and chalk pastels sketching, oil and acrylic painting or watercolour and inks
With classes limited to ten students at one time, teachers have plenty time of time to go around the classroom and give personal advice to each of their trainee artists depending on each’s perspectives, opinions, or personal goals.
This very personable approach of the centre is what makes it so valuable: each student will be able to progress at their own rhythm. Artists in training are all nurtured according to their creative background.
There is no fixed dated to join the different course the Sunny Art Centre offers which makes it easy to jump on board at any given time during the year.
“Drawing is never reproducing – in order to see, you have to know how to look, and you have to know what you’re looking at.”
If any of these schools does not appeal to you or if you would rather have an art teacher coming to your home to teach you how to draw, have a look at our online tutor platform. On there you will be able to find a private tutor near you and see reviews that former students have left.
With more than 120 private tutors on there (just in London) we guarantee that you will find a teacher that fits your needs and help you achieve your goals as well as being only minutes from you.