Teaching | Permission to Draw

‘Permission to Draw’ is a live online course designed to help you reconnect with an inquiring view of the world, learning 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 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’d like to do something relaxing and mindful just for myself.
  • I want some dedicated drawing time every week.
  • I like learning with other people, I just wouldn’t finish a pre-recorded course.
  • I think it would be fun to try something new and different from what I usually do all day.
  • I’m interested in learning to see in a different way, like an artist does.

shell drawing“As I haven’t picked up a pencil to draw since leaving school 30 years ago I was curious about what I could learn from an online art course. Tansy was the perfect tutor, able to explain and demonstrate techniques really clearly. I felt supported throughout – encouraged to try and not worry about the results. The combination of shorter and longer exercises, mixed with a bit of useful theory and examples from a range of classical and contemporary artists was perfect. I definitely feel more confident and inspired to draw for pleasure since taking the course.” Fiona

Is 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 talk about it with you – just ask!

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How it works

Permission to Draw consists of 4 x 4 week blocks, 16 sessions in total and you can book one block at a time – you don’t have to commit to all 16. It costs £50 for each block or £200 for the full course.

Classes will run via Zoom on a Monday evening 7.30 – 9.00pm, beginning in late August.

  • Block 1 Perception – Introducing the key skills of visual perception to help you learn to look in a new way and draw what you actually see.
  • Block 2 Representation – Learning how to use line, tone and a variety of mark-making and materials to describe what you see.
  • Block 3 Principles – Some useful theory on perspective, proportions and composition to make your drawings more accurate.
  • Block 4 Expression – Ways to bring playfulness, vitality and emotion into your drawings, developing your individual drawing language.

You’ll have a dedicated time every week to escape into your sketchbook – an hour and half to just focus on the process of drawing.

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.

Flexibility is built into the course, with recordings of the live class available afterwards for you to re-watch or catch up if life gets in the way. You’ll be able to view these recordings for 6 months after the end of the course. You’ll also get access to ‘Extras’ – optional further exercises to support your progress.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 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 of a small birdReally looking at things is fundamental to the process of drawing them and on this course you’ll experience what it means to ‘see like an artist’.

In each class 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.

«Book your place»

What stops us drawing?

I know there are many things which get in our way and stop us doing the creative work we’d like to. I aim to make it as easy as possible to participate in Permission to Draw by:

  • Breaking down the course into 4 Blocks and giving you the option to book one at a time – you don’t have to commit to the full course at the start
  • Offering a full art materials pack (pictured below) with all the bits and bobs you’ll need in one lovely little package, though you’re welcome to use your own art supplies if you have them
  • 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 – no more trawling through old emails
  • 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

Permission to Draw materials pack

art materials for Permission to draw courseI love shopping for art materials but know it can very quickly get expensive, so I have used my bulk buying artist powers and put together a materials pack with everything you will need for the course. For £25 I will package it lovingly and post it direct to your door.

“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. Oh…I would strongly encourage the addition of the resource box to the course as it takes away any unnecessary pressures of what you need but because it’s also a little box of artistic delights!!” Leigh

About me

I’m 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.

Observational drawing is the foundation of my own art practice – everything I make begins with looking.

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to learn from some great teachers. It’s a privilege to pass some of that learning on to you.

Give yourself ‘Permission to Draw’

Booking your place is easy – just email me now to say yes please! Then I’ll send you a short form for your details and you can pay by bank transfer or PayPal.

Once I’ve received your payment you’ll get all the info you’ll need, the class Zoom link and an invitation for a short 1:1 chat so I can answer any questions you might have.

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

«Book your place»


sketchbook and pencil

“The experience quickly changed how I see things and I’m delighted by how much I am enjoying the experience of drawing and the drawings I am producing. I feel I have a box of insights and skills to go forward with.” Anne