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Fundamentals of Charcoal Drawing with Michael Simms

Learn the fundamentals of how to draw with charcoal - one of the most versatile and expressive mediums. Students will experiment with various techniques to capture still life, portraits and the figure. This course is suitable for all skill levels, but is particularly helpful to those looking to transition from drawing to oil painting as the broad and expressive techniques used can act as a wonderful segue.

Your tutor Michael Simms is a multi-award winning artist based in Sydney whose work is characterised by dream-like depictions of the human figure. His classes will consist of drawing demonstrations, talks and individual feedback. Students will paint from a combination of master copies, photographic references and a live model.

What to expect

Suitable for all skill levels, the course provides a fun and relaxed environment to explore the following:

  • The essentials of tone.
  • How to build form and create volume.
  • Drawing warm-up exercises 
  • Basic anatomy,  perspective and proportion. 
  • Expressive mark-making
  • The fundamentals of composition 
  • Lighting, atmosphere, expression and how to build confidence in your creative instincts.

What will you achieve

Students will:

  • Become confident with quick, expressive approaches to charcoal drawing, as well as experimenting with working in layers. 
  • Complete a series of studies in the first few weeks of term, with the goal of developing one major portrait or figurative work by the end of the course.

Is this course right for me?

This course is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced students who wish to develop their drawing skills, with a particular emphasis on the human form. 

Material List

  • A3 Newsprint pad
  • Archers Smooth Watercolour Paper 185 gsm. 2 A2 Sheets 
  • Generals Compressed Charcoal Pencil, HB, 2B, 6B 
  • Generals Compressed Jumbo Charcoal Sticks
  • Willow charcoal (thick and thin) 
  • Tissues 
  • Kneadable eraser 
  • Jasart size 12 flat brush and size 6 flat brush
  • 2H, HB and 2B graphite pencils

About studio classes

Our class sizes are small, ensuring you receive the individual tuition you need. We have a maximum of 12 students per class.

Unless otherwise noted, prices *exclude* art materials. Click here to see a list of local art supply retailers.

To learn about our studios, kitchen facilities and how to get there, click here.


Use Vouchers and Save

Art Est accepts the NSW Creative Kids Voucher, Parents NSW Voucher and NSW Discover Voucher. You must use your voucher at the time of booking. To book with a Service NSW voucher, you will need to book over the phone or with our voucher booking form. Please note: we cannot accept the Service NSW vouchers via our online checkout. 

To find out what vouchers you can use on your class and how to book with your preferred voucher, visit our special offers page:

Special Offers  

More Information

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$480 $336 Limited inc GST
Fundamentals of Charcoal Drawing with Michael Simms

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<p>Learn the fundamentals of how to draw with charcoal - one of the most versatile and expressive mediums. Students will experiment with

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Enrolments still open once the course has commenced. (Subject to available places)

 Bonus: Enrol in Fundamentals of Painting the Human Figure in Oils with Michael Simms also and receive 10% discount on both courses. Discount applied when you have both courses in your basket at the checkout. Fee includes model for some sessions

If there isn't a class to suit you, please the waiting list.