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Introduction to Short Courses Summer 2018 Introduction to Life Drawing Art and Anatomy Botanical Drawing The New Sylva: Drawing Trees with Sarah Simblet The Drawing Book Chinese Calligraphy and Landscape Painting Deconstructing the Cubist Still Life Exploring the Exotic Still Life Life Drawing - term-time classes

Introduction to Short Courses Summer 2018

The Ruskin offers a selection of short courses during the summer vacation (July - September) for small groups. The programme includes a unique variety of subjects, from Human Anatomy to Chinese Calligraphy and Painting, and teaching is via masterclass, workshops, talks and group crits, with visits to local museums, private collections and gardens. 
Photograph: David Tolley

For those wanting to establish, refresh or develop their skills in Life Drawing, Ruskin alumna and practising artist Tara Benjamin-Morgan will teach a three-day Introduction to Life Drawing.

For artists wanting even more in-depth exploration of the human body, the Ruskin will continues to offer its unique and highly specialised course on Anatomy.  Tutor and artist Sarah Simblet, who teaches anatomy to our first year BFA undergraduates, and sculptor and medical artist Eleanor Crook together teach Art & Anatomy, which will be offered twice in 2018.

Human Anatomy. Photos: Psalm Kivinen  

(The Ruskin regrets that due to circumstances beyond our control, we have had to cancel Eleanor's course, The Archaelogy of the Self, which explores collecting as an expression of self, and participants develop their own personal portfolio of curiosities.  However, the Ruskin and Eleanor will offer this course again in summer 2019 - dates tbc).

The summer programme will also include courses in Drawing, such as Botanical Drawing; The New Sylva: Drawing Trees, and The Drawing Book, subjects based on books by Sarah Simblet.  These courses include in-depth studio practice alongside excursions to gardens and landscapes.

For artists wanting to explore other traditions of drawing and mark-making, Ruskin tutor Weimin He, a scholar and artist of Chinese practices, presents a unique Introduction to Chinese Calligraphy and Landscape Painting.

The Ruskin also offers two courses examining early twentieth-century Masters and their impact on still life traditions, to encourage artists in experimentation in their own practices. Clova Stuart-Hamilton will lead two courses: Deconstructing the Cubist Still Life, a four-day course using drawing, paint and collage to explore the style and forms of Braque and Picasso; and Exploring the Exotic Still Life, in which participants can explore the medium of gouache to create a large-scale still life painting loosely referencing Matisse's Moroccan period.


Schedule and Fees of Courses

  • There are three prices for each course:
  • - Standard; 
  • - Students and OAPs (5% discount);
  • - Oxford University staff, alumni and students (10% discount).  
  • If you apply for a discounted place, you will be asked to provide your staff/alumni/student card or proof of status on the first day of the course. 





  • Monday 6 to Sunday 12 August (7 days)
  • Botanical Drawing (Sarah Simblet)
  • £1,015 / £965 / £915




  • Monday 3 to Sunday 9 September (7 days)
  • The Drawing Book (Sarah Simblet)
  • £1,015 / £965 / £915


  • Monday 17 to Sunday 23 September (7 days)
  • Art & Anatomy, Course Two (Sarah Simblet and Eleanor Crook)
  • £1,015 / £965 / £915


The main teaching is conducted in the studios of the School.  Teaching starts at 10am each morning and finishes at 5pm.  The studios are open for personal study from 9am til 6pm.  The Ruskin provides core art materials for each programme and light refreshments during each course.  

Tuition is in English. There are no entrance requirements or criteria, but participants must be over the age of 16.

These courses are non-residential – participants must arrange their own travel and accommodation.   To enjoy the full Oxford University experience, we recommend booking accommodation in nearby colleges through University Rooms (guests must be 21 or over, or accompanied by someone over 21).

There may be further offerings in 2018.  To be kept informed of the programme, and receive notifications of when booking goes live, please join the Ruskin's Short Courses emailing list by contacting


Booking a Place

Booking is open at the University of Oxford Online Stores

All bookings for Ruskin courses are made on the University's online store. Please note, the Ruskin cannot reserve a place for you in advance or receive cash or part payment/deposits for a course.   All payments should be made in full at the time of booking via the University's online store. 

If you are eligible for one of the discounted rates, please remember to bring some ID with you for the first day of the course. 

Once you have placed a booking on the online store, you will receive an email and so will the Ruskin, that confirms your place.  Shortly before the start of the programme, you will receive full details about the course including a daily schedule. 

Please note that due to the high demand for places on these courses, from Trinity Term 2018 onwards, participants can only book onto one course each term. 

If you wish to your name to be added to the waiting list or have any other queries, please contact the School for further enquiries: 


Cancellation Policy

Please note the Ruskin's cancellation policy for the summer short courses.  These policies are in contrast to the terms and conditions listed on the online store and take precedence over that policy.

Any booking that is cancelled more than one month before the start date of a course will receive a full refund.  Cancellations received within one month of the start of a course will not be refunded. 

The Ruskin reserves the right to cancel a course up to one month before the start date of a course, beyond that point, a course will be guaranteed. If a course is cancelled by the school, participants will be refunded in full.