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Life Drawing - term-time classes

The Ruskin School of Art regrets that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and in order to ensure the health and safety of our staff and under- and post-graduate students, we will not be able to run life-drawing courses in Michaelmas Term.

The below information relates to 'normal' circumstances but during the ongoing pandemic, the Ruskin will not be able to open its doors to external visitors.

Each University of Oxford term, the Ruskin runs three life-drawing courses on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (for members of the University), and on Saturday mornings (open to all).   These courses are open to those who are seeking to develop their technical skills and be guided in the process of observation by an experienced artist.  No specific qualification is required to attend any course, though participants must be 16 or over.

The courses run from Week 1 to Week 8 of each University term (see here for term dates).  Booking opens on the Monday of the week before the start of each term.  

The classes take place at the Ruskin's city centre studios at 74 High Street, OX1 4BG. Please note there is very limited disabled access.

A maximum of 16 participants work with a life model (nude, both male and female) and are guided by the tutors. The Ruskin provides easels, drawing boards and cartridge paper.  Please bring along whatever materials you wish to work with e.g. pencils/charcoal etc, and clips for attaching your work to the drawing boards, or masking tape, and an eraser. 


Wednesdays, 5.30 - 8.30pm

For members of the University of Oxford; 
with Francis Hamel and Roger Wagner (intermediate  / advanced).


Thursdays, 5.30 - 8.30pm

For members of the University of Oxford; 
with Weimin He and Francesca Shakespeare (all levels)

If you book on either of these courses, you will need to present your University of Oxford or Alumni card at the start of the course. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a place for these evening courses without this confirmation. If you need to arrange for an alumni card, or replace a lost card, please click here.    


Saturdays, 9.15am - 12.15pm 

Open to all; 
with Weimin He (all levels)



Fees and Booking

For the academic year 2019-20, the fees for each 8-week course are:

  • University of Oxford Staff and Alumni: £96

  • University of Oxford Students: £48

  • Standard (Saturday course only): £168


Courses with 6 or 7 classes over the 8-week term are charged at a pro-rata rate; however, there are no discounts for non-attendance.

Booking is done via the University's online store, but the courses become visible and booking opens only ONE week before the start of each term.  

Places cannot be reserved in advance, but are booked on a first-come, first-served basis; these courses are always very popular and places sell-out quickly. We cannot carry waiting-lists over from one term to the next, but will start new waiting lists each term.

NB - due to high demand, and ever increasing waiting lists, participation will be limited, per individual, to one course per term; if you enrol onto more than one course per term, we will request that you choose just one of them, and cancel and refund your fee for the other(s), to allow as many people as possible to partake in these classes.  

It is not possible to switch between courses or carry forward any classes that you are unable to attend to a following term. If you discover that you cannot continue with the course, after having started, please send an email to the Ruskin to let us know, so that we can contact someone else on the waiting list: info@rsa.ox.ac.uk


Cancellation Policy

Cancellation for each of the courses in life drawing is as follows:
Cancellation at least a week before the start date will entitle a full refund. Cancellation less than a week in advance and up to the day of the first session will ensure a 50% refund.  Any cancellation subsequent to the first class will not be refunded. This policy is independent of the cancellation policy listed within the terms and conditions of the online store and takes precedence over that policy.


Course Tutors


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).


Francis Hamel

Francis lives and works in Oxfordshire and divides his time as a painter between working towards exhibitions and undertaking commissions. He studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford while at Magdalen College.

He exhibits regularly with John Martin of London, at 38 Albemarle Street, and all new work can be seen there. Commissions include murals and portraits.

For more information, please see his website at: http://www.francishamel.com/


Francesca Shakespeare

Francesca Shakespeare lives and works in Oxford, where she divides her time between teaching, art projects and her own painting. A great believer in creativity in the community, she works regularly with The Ashmolean Museum, local schools and other agencies to design and deliver art projects that inspire, educate and connect people.

Her own practice is rooted in her love of ancient materials and techniques that unlock the past and allow her to explore the present. Using pigments, waxes and plasters she creates timeless fragments, full of colour and texture, that communicate those aspects of life and nature common to all humanity through all ages.



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 www.clova-stuart-hamilton.co.uk


Roger Wagner

Roger read English at Lincoln College Oxford before studying under Peter Greenham at the Royal Academy School of Art.

For more information on Roger’s extensive exhibition history and work please visit his website at: http://www.rogerwagner.co.uk/index.html

last edited: September 17th 2020