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Sketching into painting

Weekend-long practical course

Short courses

  • 17 November 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 18 November 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

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Part of our

Klimt / Schiele

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Gustav Klimt, Preliminary Drawing for 'Allegory of Sculpture', 1889.

Graphite, blue pencil, white and gold heighting on brown packing paper. 44 x 30 cm. The Albertina Museum, Vienna. Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna.

This intensive weekend course will take as its starting point the Klimt / Schiele exhibition, with particular focus on Gustav Klimt’s use of preparatory sketches in the design of his paintings and friezes.

‘A rough drawing or delineation of something, giving the outlines or prominent features without detail, especially one intended to serve as the basis of a more finished picture or to be used in its composition.’
The definition of a sketch, Oxford English Dictionary

Sketching as a tool to rehearse, investigate, speculate and explore remains a fundamental practice for many contemporary artists and forms the basis of this practical course.

Some of the earliest sketches can be traced back to the Ancient Egyptians who drew with brushes onto broken fragments of pots. In classical antiquity and during the Middle Ages, strict conventions which limited the scope for invention meant sketches were perceived as a means to an end and tended not to be preserved.

The first independent sketches made their appearance in the fourteenth century with the rise of Naturalism. The importance of drawing in the training of the apprentice was cemented and became known as the “triumphal arch” to painting. In the fifteenth century Leonardo Da Vinci established the unfinished drawing or sketch as an independent means of artistic expression and experimentation, with Raphael and Michelangelo advancing the process. During the same period the cartoon emerged as a method to transfer a preliminary charcoal design on paper directly onto a fresco using pin holes. Meanwhile, North of the Alps, Dürer exemplified the importance of drawings as the storehouse of ideas, demonstrating an unrivalled virtuosity of inventive penmanship.

From the seventeenth century onwards drawings and sketches became established and started to be collected. The notion of the sketch as an end state, not just a preparatory tool for painting, became more accepted. Over time the language of drawing began to evolve, with Vincent Van Gogh injecting a new monumentality with his reed-pen drawings. Picasso’s sketchbooks brought new invention and did much to influence twentieth-century conceptions. Earlier in the century Royal Academicians Stanley Spencer and William Roberts, among others, favoured the squaring up method which involved using a grid system to scale their drawings onto a larger canvas.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 17 November 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm
  • 18 November 2018, 10.30am — 5.30pm

The Clore Learning Centre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£420. Includes all materials, lunch and wine reception at the end of the first day.

Book now