Teaching | Permission to Draw

The current ‘Permission to Draw’ course is full – join my Studio News for details of the next course

‘Permission to Draw’ is a live online drawing course designed to help you reconnect with an inquiring view of the world and learn to draw what you see in your own way.

Why start drawing?

Here are some of the reasons people joined ‘Permission to Draw’ last year – is this you too?

  • I used to love drawing when I was younger but I was put off trying – I’d like to get back to that creative feeling.
  • I’ve been doing some drawing but am feeling a bit frustrated with it so I’m looking for a structured course to help me improve.
  • I really want to do something relaxing and mindful just for myself.
  • I’m keen for some dedicated drawing time every week.
  • I want to feel confident enough to just have a go at drawing without feeling like ‘oh I’m rubbish at this’.
  • I’m curious about my abilities – can I actually learn to draw?
  • When I’m out and about I notice things – I want to be able to draw what I see.
  • I enjoy learning with other people, I just wouldn’t finish a pre-recorded course.
  • I’m interested in learning to see in a different way, like an artist does.
  • I think it would be fun to try something new and different from what I usually do all day.

“Learning to draw with Tansy was one of the best things I did for myself last year. I’ve always been the ‘non-artistic’ one among many talented friends, and never imagined I would be able to make anything look like anything (I used to say, my stick figures don’t even look like stick figures).

She showed me some ways, gave me confidence and made those weeks of my life a bit better, and I expect that they will improve the rest of my time too, once I get the sketch pad out again. Fabulous – thanks Tansy!” Alice

a pen drawing from the Permission to Draw courseIs it for me?

In ‘Permission to Draw’ I will help you to draw what you see with confidence, by breaking down the learning into achievable little chunks and guiding you in a live group.

If you feel excited at the idea of drawing but your fear of doing it ‘badly’ stops you, if you wonder if you might be capable of drawing but have never tried, if you’ve enjoyed drawing in the past but have been put off by negative comments, or if you’ve got a drawer full of art materials but don’t know where to start with them, then this is the course for you.

If you’re not sure if it’s what you’re looking for, I’m happy to arrange a 1:1 to talk it over.

You can also join the Introductory session to get a taste for the course, ask your questions and see whether it’s a good fit for you.

See like an artist

Really looking at things is fundamental to the process of drawing them and on this drawing course you’ll experience what it means to ‘see like an artist’.

I break down the drawing process so that you can build your skills week by week, until your ‘toolbox’ is full. Every class will move you a step closer to drawing confidently, giving you an hour and half every week to just focus on drawing.

The Permission to Draw toolbox of drawing skills

Flexibility is built into the course, with recordings of the live classes available afterwards for you to re-watch or catch up if life gets in the way for 12 months after the end of the course. You’ll also get access to ‘Extras’ – optional further exercises to support your progress.

Because it’s a live class, you’ll be able to ask questions and get feedback as you work, as well as having fun with your fellow students.

We learn better when we’re relaxed after all.

”Thank you Tansy, this was a really good experience of coming back to do something I used to love but left behind decades ago.

The course was really well organised and your teaching was interesting and coherent. You covered a huge amount of ground but it did not seem rushed. The online tutorials and the extras were terrific – I did not expect this level of organisation and careful thinking.

This was a relaxed class as well as purposeful and that really mattered to me because I found out as I went along that I needed to be much more relaxed and to take a few risks.

You have helped me to look more closely at what is actually there rather than what I think should be there, I think I am drawing better for it. I am certainly getting through a lot of paper.” Lynne

How this drawing course works

Permission to Draw consists of 10 classes in 2 x 5 week Blocks, giving you a full ‘toolbox’ for observational drawing.

Classes will run via Zoom on a Tuesday evening 7.30 – 9.00pm GMT, beginning in February 2024.

Block 1 Perception – starts 13th February

  • The cognitive shift, seeing vs knowing, negative space, relationships and mark making.

Block 2 Representation – starts 19th March

  • Measuring, line into form, tone, visual gym and bringing all the tools together

The last date to join is Sunday 11th February.


It costs £200 for the full course and you can book and pay for Blocks 1 and 2 separately if you wish. I’m keeping things simple, so payment is via bank transfer or PayPal – just email me to book.

a Permission to Draw pencil and sketchbook

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this drawing course, I’m so glad that I made the commitment to join the group. I’ve looked forward to drawing in the evening and I would recommend it to beginners or people wanting to improve their drawing skills.

I’m sad it’s come to an end, I’ll miss it. It was worth every penny.” Heather

drawing in conte crayon for the Permission to Draw course

What stops us drawing?

Many things can get in our way, stopping us from doing the creative work we’d like to, so I make it as easy as possible to participate in Permission to Draw by:

  • Designing all the activities to be doable on a kitchen table, corner of the living room, even on your lap on the sofa – you don’t need to have the perfect art space before you start
  • Sending you a reminder email on the morning of the class with your materials list for that day and your Zoom link
  • Leading you through the activities with plenty of time for questions, drawing along with you and encouraging interaction.
  • Letting you choose what you show the group – if you don’t feel ready to share your work with others yet you don’t have to. I invite everyone to hold work up to their camera but it’s optional and there are no critiques
  • Providing video recordings so you need never miss out if you can’t make it to the live class. You can watch for a full year after the course ends.

“I used to draw a lot but it has been so long since I made a proper attempt to get back to it. I’m always in such a hurry so I really enjoyed having this focus, to give time to drawing.

The course was really well structured. It was great to pick up new tricks and I always got something extra, more than I would ever have expected, sometimes only dawning on me the next day.

Permission to Draw has been affirming for me – it turns out I’m not as bad as I thought I was, I just need to keep going!” Elaine

Join the free introductory session for Permission to DrawNot sure?

I’m offering a free Introductory session
on Tuesday 6th February 7.30 – 8.30pm GMT.

You can meet me in my virtual studio, ask questions (no such thing as silly ones!) and get a feel for what the classes will be like. There will be no obligation or hard sell – just an opportunity to sample before you decide to sign up.

No need to book, just contact me for the link to join.

“Permission to Draw is the gift I gave myself after 25 years of avoiding and making excuses.

Tansy’s knowledge, creativity and passion as an artist is evident in the way that she guides us through each session. It is with great thanks to her that not only am I seeing my confidence grow but also my love and utter joy of drawing return. ” Leigh

Artist Tansy Lee Moir drawing quote

About me

I am a confident and sensitive teacher with 25 years experience of working in community education, helping people of all ages and abilities to make the changes they desire. I’ve lead art projects of many shapes and sizes and understand how important it is to support people when they are learning something new.

Give yourself ‘Permission to Draw’

Booking is open now, so if you’d like to say ‘yes please’ to drawing, just email me now.

I hope you’re inspired to start drawing this year – I’m looking forward to drawing with you!

Reserve your place


“I have thoroughly enjoyed Permission to Draw and found your good humoured, reassuring manner both encouraging and engaging. Your sensitivity to your participants and self-deprecating humour helped to make each lesson a pleasure, each participant able to feel safe to experiment.

I appreciated the links you drew between theory, established artists and personal experimentation – this was a useful and encouraging approach. The range of topics and the practical experiences you provided were certainly appropriate for me, as a relative beginner but more experienced participants were also obviously appreciative, as they gave us all the opportunity to respond, at different levels.

I missed two sessions so am very grateful that you make the classes available online. You have obviously given much thought to the challenges faced by your participants and have made every effort to make the course accessible as well as enjoyable.” Lesley