Q&A with Chris Wallbank, Young Artists Online Tutor

Dec. 19, 2022

Young Artists tutor, Chris Wallbank talks us through his online course, and why you should join...


Chris Wallbank in his home studio

What are the benefits of online learning for your students?

The greatest benefit of online learning is that anyone can take part, regardless of where they live and we are lucky enough to have students joining us from across the UK and internationally. Another fantastic benefit is that there are all kinds of multimedia and technological aids for learning online and as tutors we provide engaging interactive sessions that can include anything from time-lapse videos for demonstrating drawing techniques to online gallery collections for sharing favourite artists; we've even used apps for making animation and live webcams for drawing animals on safari. We also want our online students to get a similar experience at home as they would learning on one of the school's in person studio classes, which means being prepared for lots of lively discussion, experimentation with materials and getting stuck into big drawings.

Time lapse demonstration: Enchanted Forest

What do students need in terms of materials, environment and tech in order to make the most of the course?

Students are provided with a list of drawing materials that are easy to get hold of, such as pencils, charcoal and pastels when they enrol. Apart from these, they just need a device with internet connection and I would recommend something large such as a laptop or tablet, especially for sessions where we draw a lot from the screen.   

 image (4)

Drawing by Sophia, Young Artists Online 

Tell us about the sense of RDS community when students join an online course...

As soon as students join an online course they are part of the RDS community. The two or three tutors teaching the course are all graduates of the Drawing Year, the School's postgraduate course, and by teaching on the Young Artists programme we pass on the wealth of knowledge we've learnt. Every student is individual and on this online course, we learn the most from coming together to share our unique ideas, discoveries, struggles, solutions and successes through drawing each week. Many online students have joined Young Artists from other courses to take part in tutorials at the School and have the chance to exhibit in an end of year Young Artists exhibition.   

image (2)

Drawing by Gaia, Young Artists Online 

What has been the most enjoyable session to teach online and why?

I love teaching landscape drawing, which can seem an impossible task online when we are all working indoors, but we've found one way around this problem by building miniature worlds out of natural objects. I've really enjoyed watching the students explore, depth, perspective, scale and atmosphere in these worlds and create impressive landscape drawings from a few found objects set up in a bedroom or on a kitchen table. 


Drawing by Gaia, Young Artists Online

image (6)

Drawing by Saskia, Young Artists Online

What has surprised you about teaching online?

I thought teaching online would be limited by what you can do on a screen, but in fact it's surprising how versatile teaching online is and everything you can teach in a studio class is also possible online.


Drawing by Camille, Young Artists Online 

Demonstration: Expanding Interior

How do you give feedback with an online course?

We use an online gallery called Padlet, which students can upload photos of their work to very easily. The great thing is we can see everyones work together on the screen, which means we can instantly share feedback in group discussions at the end of each session. The best thing is seeing the gallery grow each week as more work is added. 


 Drawing by Rosalia, Young Artists Online

What advice would you give to a students thinking of joining Young Artists Online?

Be adventurous with your drawing, make as much space as you can to work in and don't be afraid to bring your own ideas to the session, we tutors love to hear what you want to learn about and we can plan lessons around what interests you most.

Thank you, Chris! Follow @ctwallbank

Young Artists Online takes place on Saturdays and starts on 21st January 2023

Online Drawing Club for 10 to 14 year olds / 11am - 1pm / £200 / 10 weeks / Book here

Online Drawing Club for 15 - 18 year olds / 2pm - 5pm / £200 / 10 weeks / Book here