The Royal Drawing School
The Royal Drawing School is an independent, not-for-proﬁt resource that aims to raise the standard and proﬁle of drawing through teaching and practice. It is one of only a few institutions in the world oﬀering in-depth, quality tuition in drawing from observation. By oﬀering tuition and resources to art students, artists, children and the public, it aims to address the permanent need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK.
HRH The Prince of Wales meets Drawing Year students at the opening of the renamed Royal Drawing School in 2014 (2014)Royal Drawing School
Founded in 2000 by HM King Charles III (then HRH The Prince of Wales) and artist Catherine Goodman as The Prince’s Drawing School, it became The Royal Drawing School in 2014.
The Royal Drawing School’s site is in Shoreditch, East London, the heart of the city’s art, fashion and design scene. The converted 19th century warehouse houses our four drawing studios, a library, a large ground floor exhibitions gallery and an intaglio print room.
The Drawing Year
The Royal Drawing School runs a postgraduate programme, The Drawing Year, offering up to 30 students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one year. There are no tuition fees – all students awarded a full scholarship. The year culminates in three exhibitions.
Alumni of The Drawing Year
Royal Drawing School Alumni largely work as practicing artists and regularly show and sell work or undertake commissions and have gallery representation. Past students have won high profile awards including The BP Portrait Award and The John Moores Painting Prize.
The Public Programme offers daytime and evening courses in drawing, printmaking, painting and sculpture. These courses are suitable for all levels, from complete beginners to experienced artists and creative professionals. Since 2020 we also offer a wide range of online courses.
The Young Artists Programme for 10-18 year olds offers a unique opportunity to students who would like to develop their drawing skills and aims to deliver serious sustained drawing tuition to young people. Full scholarship places are available on all programmes.
Axel Scheffler, creator of ‘The Gruffalo’, visits The Royal Drawing School.
Courses at The Royal Drawing School are made up of three main areas: Drawing in the Studio, Drawing from Art, and Drawing London. Imagination feeds into all of these areas of the curriculum, with some courses focussing specifically on imagination’s role in drawing from observation.
Drawing in the studio
Drawing in the Studio allows students to develop skills and cultivate their personal practice. Students experiment with a variety of media and can transform the studio into a new space every day: “Drawing is a primal universal language.” – Ishbel Myerscough, tutor.
Drawing from Art
Drawing from Art is a key part of the curriculum. Students visit museums and galleries, drawing from their collections and exhibitions: "Being able to follow the extraordinary, rich and complex structure of an image from an earlier time is thrilling." Paul Gopal-Chowdhury, tutor
Drawing London is the third strand of the curriculum: students interact with the cityscape, the bustling streets, the changing river and abundant green spaces: "Drawing in the street tends to demand a very different language to that of the life room." – Timothy Hyman RA, tutor.
Faculty and Teaching
By offering tuition and resources to art students, artists, children and the public, The School aims to address the permanent need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK. Its courses are taught by a specialist, distinguished faculty of over 75 practising artists. The School is committed to the continued training of future teachers of drawing.
Bespoke Drawing Courses
The Drawing Pods are bespoke drawing workshops for groups or individuals taught by faculty, all of whom are practising artists. The School organises corporate workshops, bespoke workshops, life drawing in schools, drawing in museums, drawing events and private tuition.
The Royal Drawing School offers artist residencies around the world, both for its alumni and in some cases to other practising artists. The School runs residencies in our purpose-built studios at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, Scotland and Pignano, Italy, Wales, and Jamaica.