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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 Life Drawing

An eclectic life drawing course taught over three days by artist and Ruskin alumna Tara Benjamin-Morgan.

Course One - Tues 31 July to Thurs 2 August

Course Two - Tues 28 Aug to Thurs 30 Aug

These courses, which follow the same programme, offer an introduction for the beginner, as well as those wishing to explore new approaches to drawing and solidify the fundamentals. Students will be given guidance in the process of observation and instruction geared towards the improvement of drawing technique.  

Tara Benjamin-Morgan, Ruskin alumna and practising artist, will equip participants with a range approaches to dealing with subject matter in observational drawing. The main thrust of the course will be on drawing from the figure, though Still life is initially used to introduce productive drawing approaches. Throughout the course, students will look to a range of contemporary and historical artists who work in drawing, to develop understanding of a variety of methods and styles. These will also serve as an entry point into the application of more experimental methods of drawing.

Accurate observation will be encouraged and taught throughout, but students will also have freedom to maintain or develop elements of personality within their work.

 The course structure focuses on intensive life drawing, with artist talks, one-to-one tuition and a visit to the Ashmolean Museum.

 By the end of this programme students will have engaged in numerous technical exercises and studies. They will benefit from exploring different methods and approaches to observing, analysing and drawing the figure, and will develop a portfolio of new work.  

Tara is an extremely good teacher. She gives you lots of constructive criticism which is what I found most helful. Lots of good advice on observation, technique and tips.She packed in so much information into 3 days that can be taken away and worked on

Love the Art Studio environment

Introduction to Life Drawing course participants, 2017



  • Day 1          
  • am: Fundamentals of Observation
  • pm: working with a life model
  • Day 2
  • am: Introduction to Anatomy;
  • pm: visit to the Ashmolean Museum sculpture galleries
  • Day 3      
  • Expanding and Experimenting

Each teaching day begins at 10am and finishes at 5pm (though the studios are open for personal practice from 9am til 6pm). You will be working in the studios at 74 High Street and in nearby parks and gardens.

The Ruskin will provide each participant with easels, donkeys, paper, plants and containers, pens, nibs and ink, charcoal, and a garden cane  You are welcome to bring along to the course any additional materials, plus your own sketchbook. 

When in the studios, the School offers refreshments all day and there are many restaurants and cafes near the school are available for lunch.

There are a maximum of 12 places.  

Tuition is in English. No academic or artistic criteria are required for attendance on this course although all participants must be 16 years old and over. Please be aware that there is limited disabled access at the Ruskin.

Booking a Place

Ruskin courses are only available to adults over the age of 16 years. 

There are three payment rates available :

i) Standard Adult: £430.00

ii) Oxford University students, staff and alumni (10% discount): £385.00

iii) Students (with a current NUS card) and OAPs (5% discount): £410.00

If you select a discounted booking rate, you will need to present your University alumni/staff card, NUS card, or some form of identification indicating your OAP status at the start of the course.

Booking can be made at the University of Oxford's online stores.


Cancellation Policy

For information on the Ruskin's cancellation policy in relation to the summer courses, please refer to the short course introductory page