Drawing Nottingham: A Visual Reportage of the City – Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 4BU
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Drawing Nottingham: A Visual Reportage of the City – Nottingham Trent University


7th – 11th August | 2023 | Monday to Friday, 10 am - 4 pm, one week
Nottingham Trent University

Observational drawing is an essential skill for artists and illustrators to successfully document a visual representation of the world. On this course you'll create a visual reportage of the city by recording moments, events and situations, sketching from life and on location in Nottingham.

It's ideal if you're interested in visual storytelling, whether you're familiar with drawing and are looking to try a fresh approach, or if you're an adventurous beginner looking for a new challenge.

Portraying life as it unfolds in front of you, you'll tackle different approaches to documenting the city including drawing people, places and journeys.

You'll reference the work of artists and reportage illustrators to study their subject matter and use of materials before heading out into the city to gather your own inspiration and apply ideas from these artists to your own work.

Each day you'll focus on observing a different element of the city, from vistas and buildings to people and small moments that seem to go by unnoticed each day.

Conveying a narrative from a specific moment in time, you'll learn how to sketch quickly to capture the essence of the moment, rather than worrying over the details.

You'll use a variety of art materials to explore line, form, tone and colour, and utilise framing and composition to bring your illustrations to life.

You'll culminate each session with classroom discussions and critiques, curating and presenting your work into a handmade book.

On this course, you will:
• complete quick practical drawing tasks to build your confidence
• explore contemporary ideas in mark-making and drawing techniques
• learn how to work on location and interact with your environment
• consider how to portray a conversation through a drawing
• find interesting narratives to convey in sketches
• develop your individual style, keeping a sketchbook full of your own ideas
• discover that stories and interesting visual material can be found anywhere
• consider what to capture in your drawings, and what to leave out
• create a handmade book of your most successful drawings and illustrations.

Level: Open to all.

Entry requirement: No drawing experience is required; activities will be suited to all levels of abilities.

What will you gain?
You'll be challenged creatively with the support of a small group of like-minded people, with lots individual attention from the tutor to support your projects. By the end of the course, you'll be confident in observational drawing and have improved your understanding of reportage drawing. You'll have curated and presented your work in your own handmade book which you'll take away with you at the end of the course. A certificate of attendance will be awarded upon completion of the course.

Tutor Profile:
Hannah Sawtell has worked freelance as an illustrator and museum educator for the past ten years. Commercial commissions have included illustrations for The National Trust, Nottingham Castle Trust and more recently for a local dialect project with Natalie Braber, Professor of Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University, supported by funding from The Arts Council. Hannah is finishing the final stages of a Masters Project for the MA in 'Children's Book Illustration' at Cambridge School of Art. Her recent project 'Life on Mars' has been shortlisted for the Batsford Prize 2022.

Where you'll learn:
You will be on location around Nottingham City Centre, and also have a hu based in the Nottingham School of Art and Design on the City Campus. You'll find collaborative working spaces where you develop your sketches and concepts, and IT suites equipped with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud. You'll also have access to the NTU library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can't reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Need accommodation?
You can book a self-catered, single room with private bathroom on the NTU city campus, right next door to studios and classrooms.

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