In this section

Life Drawing - term-time classes Introduction to Short Courses Summer 2019 Art and Anatomy The Archaeology of the Self Botanical Drawing Chinese Landscape Painting Deconstructing the Cubist Still Life Drawing Book: experiments on paper Introduction to Life Drawing

Introduction to Short Courses Summer 2019

The Ruskin School of Art offers a selection of short courses during the summer vacation (July - September) for small groups, developed by the School's Tutor of Anatomy, Sarah Simblet, and other Ruskin tutors. The programme includes a unique variety of subjects, and teaching is via masterclasses, workshops, talks and group critiques, with visits to local museums, private collections and gardens. 
Photograph: Nancy MacDonal 2018


Regretfully, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Ruskin has had to cancel a few of its summer courses.  

  • Chinese Calligraphy (23-25 July)
  • Sculpting the Head: Anatomy, Form, Personality (29 July - 2 August)
  • Exploring the Exotic Still-life (5 -10 August)
  • The Art of Wax: Flesh and Mortality (26 - 30 August)
  • Introduction to Screen Printing (27 - 30 August)

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment to those who have made bookings; their fees will be refunded in full.  



Marking It Out - drawing and printing

Many of the Ruskin School of Art's popular courses will be returning, including Sarah Simblet's courses The Drawing Book: experiments on paper and Botanical Drawing.

The School also offers (on two occasions) an Introduction to Life-Drawing with Ruskin alumna Tara Benjamin-Morgan

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

Mastering Still Life - Collage

Deconstructing the Cubist Still Life, is a four-day course using drawing, paint and collage to explore the style and forms of Braque and Picasso. Inspired by these early twentieth-century Masters and their impact on still-life traditions, Ruskin alumna Clova Stuart-Hamilton will to encourage artists in experimentation in their own practices. 

Expressions of Anatomy, Identity and Self

Dr Sarah Simblet, artist, author and the Ruskin's Tutor of Anatomy, and renowned sculptor and medical artist Eleanor Crook have developed a series of unique and highly specialised studio-based courses on the study of human anatomy, its representation and other forms of self-expression.

Sarah leads Art & Anatomy, an immersive course dedicated to understanding, appreciating and making art from human anatomy.

Eleanor also re-introduces her popular course The Archaeology of the Self, which explores representations of the human psyche, using collected and found objects to create a personal work of self-representation.


Schedule and Fees of Courses

  • There are three prices for each course:
  • - Standard; 
  • - Students and over-65s (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 22 to Sunday 28 July (7 days) - High Street studios
  • Art & Anatomy, Course One (Sarah Simblet and Eleanor Crook)
  • £1,075 / £1,025 / £970
  • Friday 26 to Saturday 27 July (2 days)  - High Street studios
  • Chinese Landscape Painting (Weimin He)
  • £320 / £305 / £290



  • Monday 5 to Sunday 11 August (7 days) - High Street studios
  • Botanical Drawing (Sarah Simblet)
  • £1,075 / £1,025 / £970



  • Monday 26 August to Sunday 1 September (7 days) - High Street studios
  • The Drawing Book (Sarah Simblet)
  • £1,075 / £1,025 / £970
  • Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 August (3 days) - High Street studios
  • An Introduction to Life Drawing, Course 2 (Tara Benjamin-Morgan) 
  • £440 / £420 / £395


  • Monday 9 to Sunday 15 September (7 days) - High Street studios
  • Art & Anatomy, Course Two (Sarah Simblet and Eleanor Crook) 
  • £1,075 / £1,025 / £970


These summer courses will be held at the Ruskin's studios at 74 High Street.

Teaching starts at 10am each morning and finishes at 5pm.  The studios are open for personal study from 9am until 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).


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 that 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. 


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.

Deposit, calculated as 15% of the course fee, applies to all courses.

Any booking that is cancelled more than one month before the start date of a course will receive a refund of any fees paid minus the Deposit.

Cancellations received within one month of the start of a course will not be eligible for any refund. The Ruskin strongly recommends that customers take out travel insurance against loss of the course fee in case they need to cancel at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances.

Where a customer wishes to cancel a place on one course and transfer to another, this refund policy will normally apply.

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. 


Short Course Tutors


Tara Benjamin-Morgan

  • Tara completed a BFA Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art in 2013, whilst at St. Catherine’s College. She is currently on the MFA programme at Goldsmiths, and has exhibited in London, Oxford, Brighton and Kent.
  • Her work offers another world in which a viewer might exist, where the imagination can immerse itself and supplement the ambiguous forms with fragments of memories and dreams in order to create new narratives. She aspires to create images which can metamorphose under the scrutiny of the prolonged gaze, proffering strange and uncanny manifestations of often human forms.
  • More information about Tara's work (as Alexander Benjamin) can be found on her website: 

Eleanor Crook

  • Eleanor Crook is a forensic artist, sculptor and mixed-media artist, with a background in in Classics, philosophy, art history and anatomy. 
  • She is artist-in-residence at the Gordon Museum of Pathology at Guy's Hospital and the Vrolik Museum Amsterdam, and makes sculpture to commission for a number of medical and science museums in the UK and internationally. She is a member of the Medical Artists' Association of Great Britain and runs courses in Anatomy drawing and sculpting  at Camberwell School of Art and King's College London; Eleanor was one of the founding lecturers of Central St Martins' Masters Course in Art and Science. She holds public workshops across Europe in both medical and art museums. She is also a specialist in the technique and restoration of historic wax models and in waxworking for bronze sculpture. 
  • She teaches wax and anatomical sculpture intensively at the Summer Programme at the Ruskin School of Art (University of Oxford) in collaboration with Sarah Simblet and in 2017 established a new course, The Archaeology of the Self. In 2019 she offers a brand-new course The Art of Wax: Flesh and Mortality

Weimin He

  • Weimin studied Fine Art in both China and the UK and was awarded a PhD in 2005 from the University of Ulster, Belfast. Weimin also worked as a Research Fellow on Chinese painting at the Ashmolean Museum from 2005-2009.
  • Drawing has played a centre role in Weimin’s work. Since 2010, he regularly visits Shanbei (China) region to create drawing portfolio. As a printmaker, Weimin specialized in woodcut and lithograph. The bold style of his woodcut is primarily influenced by the traditional Chinese calligraphy and seal cutting, and his work often depicts scenes of everyday life in town and countryside.
  • Weimin works as the artist-in-residence in the Oxford University’s Estates Services, creating ink paintings and woodcut prints which reflect the transformation of the Oxford University Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ).

Graeme Hughes 


Sarah Simblet


Clova Stuart-Hamilton

  • Clova trained at the Ruskin and the Royal Academy Schools in the 1980s, winning a number of major prizes and scholarships. Always working from life, her commitment to drawing and intense scrutiny of the subject can be traced back to her rigorous training and, in particular, to the teaching of the painters Jane Dowling and Peter Greenham.  Although most visible in the large, searching and rhythmic pencil drawings and life room studies, the primacy of drawing underpins all the painted work.  Her paintings probe worlds of unusual and distinctive colour harmonies; whether muted and subtle as in the French interiors or rich and sensuous as in her exotic still life subjects or flower pieces, as she responds to a particular stimulus and mood.
  • Teaching has been an important, greatly valued and much enjoyed feature of her career.  Initially teaching Art and Art History in the highly regarded Art Departments of St Paul’s School, Barnes and Radley College; she then diversified into the teaching of adults at Sunningwell School of Art.  Currently, she balances part time work in the dynamic and adventurous Art Department at OLASS in Oxfordshire with delivering lectures, short courses and workshops in a range of contexts.
  • Her paintings and drawings can be viewed at