Retired teachers, IT Trainers, Editors: Meet our Public Programme Students
Students on our public courses range from complete beginners to experienced artists and creative professionals. Here we meet some of the interesting, diverse characters who choose to come and develop their drawing skills with us.
Carol Rensink, Art Teacher from Texas, USA
Carol lives in Texas, USA and has taught art in many guises - as a Montessori teacher for children, in the community, online and in studios. She has been attending some of our online courses since the first lockdown in 2020.
"I started with the Drawing Marathon week, which was like opening a delicious box of assorted chocolates! Since then I’ve taken around 11 online courses, including Drawing from the National Gallery, Experimental Printmaking and Drawing and Sculptural Forms.
Marcus Cornish’s Drawing into Sculpture classes have been especially interesting and challenging. While I do have some experience in sculpture, he presents new ways of thinking, of working back and forth from 3D to 2D, of analysing how other artists have worked/thought and of applying that to new ways of working.
I find that I am becoming more inventive and daring in my personal practice. And, most importantly, I have fallen in love again with the adventure that is art-making."
Boushra Sanosi, IT Trainer
Boushra is an IT Trainer for the NHS. Art has always been his passion, but in 2016 he joined a course with us, and he hasn't stopped since. In 2018 he was shortlisted for the The Evening Standard Hiscox Art Prize.
"In 2016 I attended a Life Drawing course at The Royal Drawing School. This completely reignited my passion for drawing; I loved having the opportunity to share a studio with fellow artists, which was something I hadn’t experienced before.
I’ve enjoyed being taught online; as an IT person, I like combining creativity with technology! The tutors have been excellent, with good and constructive individual feedback each week. The courses give you the motivation you sometimes lack to keep going. You get to see other people’s artwork, and by displaying your own work you can see the progress you’re making every week. Taking these courses has given me the confidence to self-publish a book on Drawing the Head."
Trevor Dance, Retired Lecturer
Trevor is a retired lecturer in adult education, where he taught literacy classes and GCSE English. He described himself as ‘useless’ at drawing at school, and had not done any artistic activities since then until, at the ripe old age of 62, he arrived at Maggie Jennings’s evening etching class.
"I thought I would do an evening class for a term and that would be that. Our dear friend, Google, helped me find The Royal Drawing School. This was in September, 2012. I have not missed a term since then!
I never thought I would even make anything I would want to put on my office wall – now it’s covered with my efforts. I was astonished when my prints were accepted for exhibitions. The whole experience has been quite life-changing in a very positive way."
Saadia Husain, Artist and Art Teacher from Pakistan
Saadia joined a number of online courses from her home in Pakistan during 2021.
"The other students on the courses came from a variety of different backgrounds, all different ages, nationalities, professional backgrounds and ethnicities. Each participant contributed in a unique way which has been refreshing and added new perspective to the ongoing tutorials. The different tutors in turn also contributed immensely in helping me to broaden my horizons on the subject of drawing.
The Zoom closed captioning enabled me to engage in the course more easily with regard to my hearing loss. It helped me to interactively participate and learn more effectively. Overall it was a pleasurable and professional rewarding course for me as an artist."
Kasem Kharsa, Filmmaker and Painter
Kasem is a filmmaker and painter, and he recently completed the intensive Drawing Development Term.
"For me the most important objective was to draw more consistently and for longer stretches of time. I now find that I’m much more comfortable opening my sketchbook and drawing something in front of me or from my imagination; I’m constantly juggling ideas and possibilities for future drawings and paintings.
I’m more confident involving the figure in a scene in order to tell a story, which is vital in filmmaking. Before taking these courses, my comfort zone was to handle ‘objects’ in isolation and not deal with the reaction of a figure or figures in a specific environment on the page. I’m now working much larger, sometimes taping sheets together as I experiment with the scale of a narrative. I’m more comfortable sketching in museums, and feel more of a kinship to those artworks, because I feel somehow part of that line of visual thinkers. Even though these skills will serve me well as a filmmaker, they have also set in the pursuit of a new path, that I’m still not sure how to articulate but feels exciting."
Shaun Phillips, Associate Features Editor at The Times
Shaun recently joined a 10-week evening life drawing course at the Royal Drawing School.
"Personally, I didn’t draw at all, really, until I attended the Royal Drawing School course. Other than manipulating words for a living, my most creative outlet was probably taking photos on my iPhone and posting them on Instagram. However, it was an incredible experience to devote one night a week for 10 weeks to something that was out of my comfort zone. I gained a lot from it, and would definitely like to do it again."
You can see the full versions of all of these stories and more on our Student Stories page. Would you like to tell us about your experience from your time at the Royal Drawing School? We'd love to hear from you - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel inspired to take a drawing course, see our our full list of Public Programme courses.