The Drawing Year

Royal Drawing School

A look inside The Royal Drawing School's one year, MA-level, full scholarship postgraduate course.

The Drawing Year
The Drawing Year is a full scholarship MA-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one academic year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space.
The Drawing Year curriculum is divided into three main areas...
Drawing in the Studio
Drawing from Art
Drawing London
Etching is seen as an extension of drawing. Sessions are led by a variety of experienced tutors who introduce and develop intaglio techniques with an emphasis on etching (hard and soft ground, aquatint, sugar lift, white ground) as well as other less conventional methods.
Drawing and the Imagination
Imagination feeds into all areas of the curriculum and there are also specific courses with particular emphasis on the role of imagination in drawing from observation. These can help students find focus in a drawing, or to experience more keenly the need to respond to what is in front of them.
Core Programme
The Core Programme is an intensive component of the programme, introducing a wide variety of approaches, subjects and themes. Students are pushed to experiment with new ways of seeing and asked to critically engage with each other’s work. Every Wednesday students also attend lectures given by visiting artists.
Forums, Lectures and Films
A weekly tutor-led forum is an opportunity for debate on drawing in historical and contemporary contexts. The forum is followed by an evening programme of talks, lectures and in-conversations and films. Past speakers include David Hockney RA, Tracey Emin RA, Maggi Hambling, David Shrigley, and Greyson Perry RA.
All Drawing Year students are allocated a studio space at SPACE studios in Hackney. This allows them to continue to work on their personal practice throughout the year. The studios are purpose-built, with natural light and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year.
End of Year Exhibition
An end of year drawing exhibition is held at the Royal Drawing School's gallery in Shoreditch. Alongside the main exhibition, the school offers a 'Best of The Drawing Year' preview, which is held at Christie's, King Street. This is regularly attended by The Prince of Wales, who speaks with the students about their work. Students also arrange Open Studios, where they can show other work from their studio practice.
Past graduates of The Drawing Year go on to work as fine artists, or have professional practices in illustration, animation, architecture, film and theatre design. Alumni have won high-profile awards including The BP Portrait Award, and The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. They have exhibited widely, and their work is included in major collections, such as Tate, Royal Collection Trust, British Museum and The V&A Museum.

Jack Fawdry Tatham,The Drawing Year 2017.

Jack Fawdry Tatham moved from Edinburgh to London as a child.

While studying Sculpture at Camberwell, Jack won the Harry Crisp Award for his work with children in the local community.

Driven by the desire to mystify and beautify; lost in a wild world of creatures, honey bees and ripe fruits; he creates homes for wildlife in gardens – both real and imagined – in his carvings, drawings and prints.

A keen printmaker, Jack will launch a co-operative print studio in 2018.

Christabel MacGreevy, The Drawing Year 2017.

Christabel MacGreevy lives in London. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, where she worked with collage, printmaking and embroidered wall hangings.

Since graduating she has worked in illustration and textile design, and started clothing brand Itchy Scratchy Patchy. Running through her work is a continual emphasis on pattern, colour and graphic lines.

Her current work centres around the idea of memory, identity and the meaning with which we can imbue a treasured object, turning it into a personal shrine.

Liam Walker.

Christabel Forbes, The Drawing Year 2015.

Christabel Forbes was born in 1991 and is currently based in London. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Falmouth University in 2014.

Christabel’s work explores the power of human existence in a location, which she records through drawing, she then develops the work into more complex pieces in the studio through drawing, etching and painting.

Christabel hopes to take her audience away from reality and place them into a world of their own imagination.

Olivia Kemp, The Drawing Year 2014.

Olivia Kemp studied BA Painting at Winchester School of Art and went on to study MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art, where she was awarded The Jealous Prize.

Her drawings are concerned with constructing and re-modelling landscape, building worlds and imaginary places.

She has exhibited at various galleries including The Saatchi Gallery, James Freeman Gallery, Griffin Gallery and recently a solo exhibition at Browse & Darby.

Kemp has work in private and public collections such as the V&A, The University of the Arts London and The Rothschild Collection.

Another of her artworks, The Where That Was was featured in the Prince & Patron exhibition as part of the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening in 2018.

Kathryn Maple, The Drawing Year 2013

Kathryn Maple studied Printmaking at Brighton University and undertook a six month residency at The Muse Gallery on Portobello Road before completing The Drawing Year at The Prince’s Drawing School (now The Royal Drawing School) in 2013.

Kathryn won the 2014 and 2016 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and has exhibited in the Jerwood Drawing Prize, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, at Christie's International for 'The Best of The Drawing Year 2012-13', and at the 'Betweenlands' exhibition hosted by Blain Southern in 2014.

She lives and works in Erno Goldfinger’s iconic Balfron Tower, London, and is currently on the Royal Drawing School's International Teaching and Art Residency in India.

The main focus of Maple's work has always been drawing. She acts as a hidden observer, using shape and line to paint those parts of the city where nature has been left to flourish and encroach on our concrete metropolis.

Her work combines very fine detailing with areas of minimal working, the open spaces enabling the eye to focus on these marks.

Laura Footes, Drawing Year 2013

Laura Footes studied modern languages at the University of Birmingham, L’Université de Toulouse II and the Sorbonne.

She began her formal art education at The Prince's Drawing School (now The Royal Drawing School) in 2012 and remained at the school in 2013 to complete her training in painting.

In 2012 she was selected by Celia Paul as an Artist of the Day at Flowers Central Gallery and received her first painting commission for David Kabiller, trustee of The Terra Foundation for American Art.

Footes is the recipient of the 2013/14 Derek Hill Scholarship and South Square Trust grant, and has recently been commissioned by the English National Ballet to work on a large-scale project based on its ‘Lest We Forget’ programme.

As part of the Royal Drawing School's International Programme, she is currently in residence at The Art Student’s League in New York, where she is training with Robert Cenedella - a painter who was taught by German war artist George Grosz.

This piece, Memory of Bedford Square at Night, was featured in the Prince & Patron exhibition as part of the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening in 2018.

Jessie Makinson, The Drawing Year 2012

Jessie Makinson graduated with a BA in Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art in 2007, before attending The Drawing Year at The Prince's Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) in 2011.

In 2013 she was selected as an Artist of the Day at Flowers Central Gallery, which led to her inclusion in Flowers East’s ‘Small is Beautiful’ Exhibition early the following year.

In autumn 2013 she was awarded the Royal Drawing School’s fully-funded Moritz-Heyman Artists’ Residency in Tuscany, Italy, and also won the School’s Sir Denis Mahon Award 2014-15.

Makinson most recently exhibited at Captain Lightfoot, Lauriston Glasshouse, Edinburgh July 2014, part of Arts Festival.

She is now participating in Turps Banana’s one year painting programme, and working as a tutor on The Drawing Clubs for young artists.

Alice Shirley.

Sophie Charalambous, Drawing Year 2009

Sophie Charalambous is a visual artist and designer. She studied Fine Art Painting at Brighton University and undertook postgraduate studies on the Motley Theatre Design course before working for several years as a theatre designer.

In 2009 she attended The Drawing Year at The Prince's Drawing School (now The Royal Drawing School). In 2010 she exhibited in the Discerning Eye Drawing Award, and was commissioned by Van Cleef and Arpels to draw in their workshops in Paris.

Sophie took part in the 'Pretty Gritty City' exhibition at The Prince's Drawing School in Shoreditch in 2013 with two other Drawing Year alumni.

She now combines her own practice with working collaboratively in the theatre and leading arts projects with community groups.

She teaches drawing and painting with the Royal Drawing School to adults at Drawing School Central and on The Foundation Year, and regularly collaborates with The British Museum to create and deliver events and workshops which respond to their changing exhibitions.

Christopher Green, Drawing Year 2008

Christopher Green completed The Drawing Year at The Prince's Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) in 2008, after graduating with an MA Fine Art from Byam Shaw School of Art.

In 2010 he was commissioned by Van Cleef and Arpels to travel to New York to draw the ballroom at the Plaza Hotel.

Green has had solo exhibitions in London and Leigh-on-Sea, and exhibits regularly in group shows and prize exhibitions including the Lynn Painter-Stainers and the Sunday Times Watercolour Prize. City of London churches St Stephen Walbrook and St Bartholomew-the-Great have also exhibited his work.

Green is a tutor on The Royal Drawing School's Foundation Year and at Drawing School Central. He specialises in large scale, mono-chrome ink drawings of the landscape, London scenes and interiors - like this drawing of London Bridge.

Two of Green's pieces, Spring, Alexander Palace and Lunchtime, Liverpool Street, were featured in the Prince & Patron exhibition, as part of the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening in 2018.

Clara Drummond, Drawing Year 2005

Clara Drummond has had four portraits accepted for the BP Portrait Award, at the National Portrait Gallery, coming first in 2006. She was awarded the Bulldog Award by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Young Artist of the Year Prize by the Society of Women Artists.

Drummond has had solo shows in Galeribox, Iceland, The Lookout, Aldeburgh, Edel Assanti, Flowers Gallery and most recently with the Museums of Cambridge exhibition 'Discoveries' at Two Temple Place, London.

She teaches with the Royal Drawing School at Drawing School West and Drawing School Central and with the Saatchi Gallery and is currently the recipient of the George Crabbe Drawing Residency at Great Glemham, Suffolk.

This piece, Horse Study (After George Stubbs, Anatomy of the Horse) was featured in the Prince & Patron exhibition as part of The Buckingham Palace Summer Opening 2018.

Stuart Pearson Wright, Drawing Year 2003

Stuart Pearson Wright studied at the Slade School of Fine Art before joining The Drawing Year. His work is in numerous public collections including the National Portrait Gallery and The British Museum. He won the BP Portrait Award in 2001.

To find out more about The Drawing Year postgraduate course, visit The Royal Drawing School website.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.