Learn to draw, print, paint or sculpt with the Royal Drawing School this summer

The Royal Drawing School has launched its programme for this year's summer school. Starting in July, you can expect four weeks of intensive, five-day courses in drawing, printmaking, painting and sculpture.

Summer School 2019 takes places in the Royal Drawing School’s studios in Shoreditch, East London as well as 'out of house' across the city. And the courses are taught by its faculty of over 75 drawing tutors, all of whom are practising artists.

As this is something I've always wanted to do, I've trawled through what's on and have picked out the courses that I'd personally love to attend.

Portraits and Self Portraits

Tutors: Sophie Charalambous and Henry Gibbons Guy
Location: Shoreditch
Dates and Times: 29 July - 2 August 2019, 10 am - 5 pm

In this course, you will think about how you can represent your own reality working both from the mirror image and imagination. You will discuss how others have approached portraits and self-portraits by looking at artists including Paula Modersohn-Becker, Edvard Munch and Gwen John.

During the week, you will use the model and mirror to explore composition, multiple characters and pose as well as experimenting with approaches to both drawing and painting portraits of others and portraits of ourselves, bringing the kind of urgency one might naturally use in the self-portrait to the formal portraying of someone else to further the mystery.

Priced at Price: £350 – Discover more: royaldrawingschool.org

Drawing Comics and Graphic Novels

Tutor: Emily Haworth-Booth
Location: Shoreditch
Dates and Times: 22-26 July, 10 am - 5 pm

This course is suitable for both beginners and those with more experience. It is an ideal introduction to graphic storytelling, offering guidance on everything from choosing tools to generating ideas, using contemporary examples as a starting point for exploring the huge potential of the form. You will also spend some time drawing from life, combining observation with imagination and memory.

For those with projects already underway, this is an opportunity to reconsider both style and process, receive feedback and experiment with technique. By the final day, students will have drawn and inked their own graphic short story. This course is taught by the 2013 Observer/Comica/Jonathan Cape Graphic Short Story award winner and is open to all levels.

Priced at Price: £325 – Discover more: royaldrawingschool.org

Sculpture: Light and Illusion

Tutor: Marcus Cornish
Location: Shoreditch
Dates and Times: 22-26 July, 10 am - 5 pm

This is a sculpture course with a slightly different emphasis; it will concentrate on the fleeting impression and subtle nuances of light on sculpture, exploring certain aspects of relief when working in three dimensions.

Students will be working in clay and wax directly from the life model, sculpting the human figure and the head with elusive light as our subject. The aim of the course is to heighten sensitivity to the fall of light as an active entity. You will see how artists have isolated light as a primary element in their work and refer to impressionist sculpture by Paolo Troubetzkoy, Medardo Rosso, Rodin, Degas and others who prioritised the patterned play of light and not the monumentality of exactly defined planes. This course straddles drawing and sculpture and should help the development of both, with each medium informing the other.

Priced at Price: £380 – Discover more: royaldrawingschool.org

Van Gogh: Drawing and the Everyday

Tutors: Clara Drummond and Thomas Newbolt
Location: Shoreditch, Out of House
Dates and Times: 29 July – 2 August 2019, 10 am - 5 pm

Visiting Tate Britain’s exhibition, Van Gogh and Britain, you will see how Van Gogh was influenced by the Dickensian London that he encountered; inspired by Eliot’s prose and Whistler’s paintings, he turned his focus to portrayals of the everyday and local workers. You will draw from the works on display, engaging with the detailed yet hallucinatory aesthetic of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, looking closely at his chosen subject matter, dream-like compositions and his distinctive and emotive mark-making.

Once back in the studio, you will work from the model, first from the head, looking at how Van Gogh's total freedom from rules and convention gave his portraits a directness and meaning. During the sessions, tutors will read from Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, which reveal much about his artistic development, his dreams, ideas, fears and influences.

You will later work from the figure in space, using a variety of materials and mark-making techniques to build works that are strong throughout the composition, focusing as much on the background as the model – characteristic of Van Gogh’s post-Impressionistic style. Suitable for all levels, including beginners.

Priced at Price: £325 – Discover more: royaldrawingschool.org