Don Bachardy Fellowship

The Don Bachardy Fellowship at the Royal Drawing School invites a gifted and dedicated post-graduate artist from outside the United Kingdom to study at the Royal Drawing School during the Summer Term and to experience the cultural life of London. The School’s Shoreditch campus is located in a converted Victorian warehouse in the heart of East London’s art, design and fashion scene. 

The fellowship is named after the Californian portrait painter, Don Bachardy (b. 1934), who studied at the Slade in 1961, had his first show at the Redfern Gallery in Mayfair that year, and has gone on to draw and paint over 10,000 portraits from life. 

The Don Bachardy Fellowship is sponsored by The Christopher Isherwood Foundation,

The Don Bachardy Fellowship takes place during the Royal Drawing School Summer Term. The Don Bachardy Fellow will spend 3 full days per week for ten weeks, drawing alongside postgraduate students studying on the Royal Drawing School's MA level programme, The Drawing Year, as well as students on the Public Programme. Courses are taught by a distinguished faculty of over 75 practising artists. The Fellow will be invited to curate their own programme of study choosing from over different 60+ drawing courses, drawing out of house in London’s streets and green spaces, life drawing, drawing from art in major museums and galleries, as well as intaglio printmaking courses. The artist will also be provided with a shared studio space alongside Royal Drawing School Drawing Year Students. 

Hear from Syrian artist Sa'ad Choeb about the ways in which his work has developed on the residency:

The Fellow will also have the opportunity to attend our lecture series, which includes in-conversations with leading contemporary artists and art history lectures. Speakers have included Cornelia Parker RA, Denzil Forrester, Maggi Hambling CBE, Helen Cammock, Walid Siti, Michael Landy RA and former director of The National Gallery, Sir Nicholas Penny FSA.

To assist with travel and accommodation costs, the Don Bachardy Fellow will be awarded a $5,000 stipend, half of which will be granted on receipt of the Fellowship and the remainder on arrival in London. Artists applying for the fellowship should show evidence of observational drawing in their practice. The purpose of the fellowship is to help support an emerging artist and to nurture drawing as their foundation skill.

Hear from US artist Steven Johnson about his experiences on the Don Bachardy Fellowship:

Applications are now closed for the Don Bachardy Fellowship. Applications will open again in Autumn 2023 for the Don Bachardy Fellowship 2024. The Fellowship is open to international artists who have studied at BA or MA level only, please note artists who are from the UK or have studied in the UK are not eligible to apply. If you have any questions regarding the fellowship, please contact

Don Bachardy