Drawing School
practical courses for everyone
The Drawing School, Dublin (formerly The Drawing Studio), was founded in 2010.  It is now a leading school in practical artistic training, promoting skill in drawing. The Drawing School’s courses are based on relevant classical methods, but incorporate useful modernist and contemporary approaches. The aim is to improve ones discipline, skill and technique so the creative and artistic impulse can be expressed effectively. The school runs a popular full-time course and weekly classes in drawing. Intensive multiple-day classes are held throughout the year in painting and sculpture, as well as special events and lectures. We are located on the historic Merrion Square in the museum and gallery district of Dublin’s city centre.
1Discipline of Drawing Course

The Discipline of Drawing offers students an introduction to the cornerstones of drawing; the core concepts, practical techniques and skills which equip a draughts-person with a visual language through which they communicate.

In a disciplined and contemplative environment, students will follow a programme grounded upon time honoured traditions, following the ethos of rigour and dedication seen in traditional workshops and academies.

A programme of both challenging and engrossing exercises will teach students not only how to draw, but importantly – how to see. Careful observation and consideration, essential to dealing with visual problems, are cultivated through copying; the standard mode of learning throughout the history of art.

Continued reference to the artists who have already dealt with these issues provides context and support for students’ endeavours, facilitating their own discovery of effective disciplines and techniques. In becoming familiarised with the tradition of their craft, students can begin to view the history of drawing as a repository of solved problems, accumulated by artists over many centuries. 

Students will begin with the Foundation Course, which has been designed to encompass the key lessons of the Discipline of Drawing, after which they may choose to progress to continuing terms, which explore each topic more deeply.

A high level of commitment and patience is required for this programme; as with learning a language, time and dedication are essential to achieve mastery. While one-to-one critiques are provided during class time, students will be expected to continue their own practice outside of hours, and will be provided with homework on a weekly basis. 

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1. Part I. Foundation

12 weeks | Total: 36 hours (3 hrs per week) | Morning & Evening available | Suitable for all levels | Price: €485 | Use of all materials included.*

This Foundation course provides a comprehensive introduction to the cornerstones of drawing over 12 informative, challenging yet enjoyable weeks. It is suitable for beginners, students and professionals alike who wish to improve their observational skills and technical ability. This course is based on the time-honoured method of direct copying, which has been a fundamental part of training in workshops, ateliers, and academies historically. Students will enhance their drawing skills and techniques by working with prints from the esteemed 19th-century “Cours de Dessin” by Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme, a method once used by artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh. Students will be guided through a series of exercises designed to cultivate particular skills and techniques, from simple line control to advanced shading.

This course will guide students through various stages of progression beginning with the rudimentary essentials of observation, visualisation of angles and proportions, handling of materials and strategies for simplification; before advancing to lessons in light, shadow, form and volume, exploring how these elements may be used to represent relief on a two dimensional surface.

The lessons learned on this course can be applied in a variety of professional fields, such as; design, architecture, animation, illustration, fashion, photography, film and beyond.

Please see T&C’s at the end of this website (before the Contact Us page).

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  • 2. Part II. Practice

    12 weeks | for graduates of Part I & returning students | Price: €485 | Use of basic materials included | Please note: The duration of this course has increased from 8 weeks to 12 weeks, price per class remains the same. *Terms & Conditions apply

    Upon completion of Part I, Foundation, students may continue to Part II, Practice. During this 12-week course, students have the opportunity to spend time cultivating and improving upon the skills they have learned through repeated application and practice of their craft, under the guidance of a tutor. This popular course follows a similar format to that of a traditional atelier, allowing students to work more independently on their projects, with direction in the form of one-to-one critiques.

    Students benefit from their tutors’ feedback and from the structured classroom environment which facilitates regular, committed practice. With access to a specially curated selection of The Drawing Studio’s high-quality prints*, chosen by our instructors, students will be guided as to which subjects are most suitable for their level of ability.

    *Notes on the Collection: The Drawing Studio is home to an expansive and growing collection of original academic drawings, high-quality prints, and plaster casts spanning the canon of classical antiquity.

    In both original prints and fine facsimiles, our collection includes high-quality plates from the famous 19th century drawing manual, the Cours de Dessin by Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérôme, which was a highly regarded and widely used drawing course studied by artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh and Diego Rivera. This is the most extensive collection of its kind in Ireland. We also have an array of original academic drawings by students of Gérôme from the École des Beaux Arts, and other academic drawings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, invaluable for illuminating the methods typical of an academic training. This collection is of great interest to scholars of the period, and is currently being studied as part of post-doctoral research.

    We possess a set of the rare Alinari Biblioteca di Disegni, an expansive collection of Master Drawings; of which only 300 copies exist worldwide, which have been acquired by major museums, academic institutions as well as many Royal collections. An extraordinary and unique work, it is the largest available collection of Italian drawings from the 15th to the 18th century, printed by means of the refined 19th century technique of collotype. The set contains more than 1,200 drawings across 28 volumes, printed with the highest possible fidelity in a true facsimile, mounted on specially prepared Fabriano board. The work was carried out under the direction of an International Advisory Committee, composed of eminent scholars and internationally-known specialists in the field of drawing. The drawings, for the most part unpublished, have come from 80 of the most important museums and galleries in the world.

    Please see T&C’s at the end of this website (before the Contact Us page).

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  • 3

    Artistic anatomy is key to understanding how to draw and model the human form, whether to accurately represent, re-interpret or design for it, in traditional or digital mediums.
    The studio’s progressively structured courses break down the complex dynamic human form in manageable step-by-step drawing and modelling exercises.

    Throughout students are guided by blackboard drawings, digital projections and modelling demonstrations with a strong emphasis on proportion, structure, function, volume and form.

    Students examine the systems and designs of the human figure, as shared throughout nature and the man-made world, leading to a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature, design and the human body.

    1. Two-Day Intensive Artistic Anatomy Workshop

    Two-Day Intensive Artistic Anatomy Modelling Workshop | Dates: To be Confirmed | Price: To be Confirmed | Use of materials included (Chavant NSPTM modelling clay, full figure armature, modelling tools, notebook)

    This intensive hands-on course is the only one of its kind in Ireland, and will centre around building an écorché sculpture; écorché meaning “flayed” or “without skin. This is a critical way to gain a concrete, in-depth understanding of artistic human anatomy.  Over the two days students will sculpt, using Chavant NSPTM modelling clay over an armature, the skeleton and study the underlying structures of the human body. Then they will study the main forms and relationships between them, the joint types and the skeletal mechanics of the body, before moving on to the muscular system that create the outlines and forms we see every day. Through this fascinating exploration into human anatomy students will partake in a study of design, form and function.

    At the end of the workshop, participants will be left with an expanded knowledge of anatomy in three dimensions and most importantly a system of study to fuel future interest in the subject. The course is critical for painters, sculptors, illustrators, and digital artists and medical practitioners who want to better understand the human form.

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  • 3Portrait Sculpture - Weekend Workshops
    1. Features of the Face, Michelangelo’s David

    Weekend workshop | Modelling Course | Newcomer / All levels | TBC

    This 2-day weekend workshop introduces students to the fundamentals concepts of modelling by starting with a series of exercises focusing on approach and methods of creating forms, analysing structure and proportion.

    Students will work with water-based clay using white plaster casts from the iconic features of Michelangelo’s “David” as models to copy. Starting with basic reduction, the complex form is broken down to step by step easy to understand exercises.

    During the course students will complete the eye, the nose, the mouth and the ear gaining a strong foundation which can be applied in traditional or digital model making.

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  • 2. Portrait Anatomy Sculpture

    Weekend workshop | Modelling Course | Newcomer / All levels | TBC

    Students can continue their studies, modelling a life size model of the human head, learning about the proportions of the face, the skeletal landmarks of the skull and the muscles responsible for the expressions of the face. This approach is invaluable for the correct understanding of how to represent and reinterpret the human face. While the course is covering the fundamentals of portrait anatomy, it has a strong focus on proportion, structure, volume, form and introduces students to the hollowing of a clay portrait and finishing techniques with water based clay.

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  • 4Drawing School Full Time
    Full-Time Practical Training

    Drawing School Full Time | 2023 – 2024

    Details: 30 weeks | 3 full days per week | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday | 9.30 am – 4:30 pm | Starter pack of materials incl. Terms & conditions apply, see below.

    Dates: 2nd October 2023 – 5th June 2024

    Price: €5430

    Location: The Drawing School, 74 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 (a minute’s walk from the Merrion Square entrance to the National Gallery of Ireland)

    Booking & Enquiry: To enquire or to book your space please call the school on +353 (0)87 298 0409 or email: info@drawing.ie

    Description: This interdisciplinary, process-driven course is the only one of its kind in Ireland and has been developed specifically to meet the growing demand for practical artistic training. As with our Part-Time courses, this programme is based on the traditional practice of copying, central to artistic training throughout history.
    In an ethos of rigour and discipline, students are guided through a programme based on that of the traditional ateliers and academies of the 17th century and beyond, beginning with lessons from THE FLAT (Prints & Drawings), which serve as preparation for progressing to THE ROUND (Plaster-Casts from Antiquity) and, finally, to NATURE (the Life-Model).
    Alongside a structured, step-by-step programme which covers the essential aspects of drawing, students will have access to the Drawing School’s library of master drawings – a unique and extensive resource for students to acquaint themselves with important works of art history, which they actively engage with through copying. This includes prints from the Bargue-Gérôme Cours de Dessin, original nineteenth-century academic drawings from the École des Beaux-Arts, the rare Alinari Cabinet of Master Drawings and more, all presented to the highest possible standard. Students will have the opportunity to consult work in the National Gallery of Ireland, located just a moment’s walk from the school, and attend special visits to its print and drawing room. There will also be an optional survey course available for students who are interested in becoming acquainted with the art historical canon.
    The course is suitable for beginners and professionals alike, who wish to dedicate significant time to their practice. Students will see their technical competence improved, enabling a more fluent expression of their own artistic vision, and will leave with a body of work which demonstrates their drawing ability.

    Mode of Teaching: Classes will be delivered through a series of live demonstrations and one-to-one critiques. Small class sizes ensure a high level of individual attention and personal feedback.

    Level: This course is suitable for beginners, students and professionals alike who wish to enhance their skill and technique.

    Assessment: Students’ work will be monitored through continuous assessment in the form of critiques which will provide feedback and advice. At the end of each term, a Final Critique will take place to evaluate the student’s progress.


    – Prints from the School’s Library of Drawings, incl.;
    – The Bargue-Gérôme Cours de Dessin
    – The Alinari Cabinet of Master Drawings
    – Original 19th Century Academic Drawings
    – Anatomical Print Collection, incl. Originals from Dr. Paul Richer’s Anatomie Artistique, Paris 1898.
    – Life-size figures, sculptures and anatomical models presented on a 2 metre vertical display in preparation for the Life Model.

    Drawing after Plaster Casts from classical antiquity.

    Drawing after the Life Model

    Entry Requirements: Entry to the course is on a first-come first-served basis. Students should be prepared to apply the necessary discipline throughout the course and should commit to full attendance to benefit from the programme. They must be willing to take responsibility for their own progress by following the programme outlined diligently.

    Term Holidays:
    Halloween Midterm: 30 Oct –  3 Nov (Return Monday, 6 Nov)
    Christmas: 18 Dec – 7 Jan (Return Monday, 8 Jan)
    Easter Midterm: 25 Mar – 7 Apr (Return Monday, 8 Apr)

    Bank Holiday Mondays: 5 Feb, 6 May, 3 Jun

    Payment of Fees: Course fees are payable in advance. To secure your place on the Full Time Programme, a non-refundable deposit of 20%, or €1086, is due upon acceptance. This amount will be deducted from the remaining balance of fees. The total balance of €5430 is due in full no later than the 29th of September 2023 for the academic year commencing 2nd Oct 2023. As our spaces are limited, if you do not meet the payment deadline of the 29th of September 2023 your place may be released and given to a student on the waiting list. (In some exceptional circumstances, the Drawing School may allow students to pay in instalments or extend the payment deadline. You should contact the school before the start of the academic year to discuss this.) 

    Booking & Enquiry: To enquire or to book your space please call the school on +353 (0)87 298 0409 or email: info@drawing.ie

    Extra Study Time: Full time students can avail of extra study time each week at a discounted rate.

    Student Testimonials:

    “…What I love about the Drawing School is its thoroughly professional approach to drawing. Teachers are passionate about skill and technique, taking students through the Bargue method which is a classical approach to drawing. For me, having a structured approach was essential and most beneficial. I think the Drawing School is the perfect place for creative industry professionals who want to hone and continue to develop their drawing skills… I can’t recommend the Drawing School enough. Students come from many backgrounds and age groups, but all have a common purpose and passion which the school nurtures. There is a great sense of camaraderie but mostly, a feeling of purpose and achievement.”

    – Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh. (Costume Designer; Becoming Jane, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Brideshead Revisited)

    “Classes at The Drawing School are invigorating. The tutors have a way of helping you to see better and the techniques they teach unlock you to draw better. The selection of prints to draw from are really inspiring and the atmosphere is warm and enjoyable. The whole experience keeps me coming back again and again…The care they pour into teaching and their attention to detail is compelling. Working from a collection of prints and original drawings, I now find myself learning from drawings that I never thought I would be able to attempt.”

    – Lynn Johnston (Academy Award Nominated Make-up Artist)

    Terms and Conditions*

    Fees are payable in advance of course commencing.

    Each course is devised for a limited number of students, so early enrolment is advisable.

    All courses are non-refundable and non-transferable, however, should a course be cancelled a full refund will be given.

    The Drawing School reserves the right to cancel, or reschedule, within reason. Course modules may alter. In the event of a public transport strike/closure, or other conditions beyond our control, a session may have to be closed early or canceled. As we will have to incur full costs for these classes, we are unable to offer a refund but will reschedule the missed class.

    The Drawing School reserves the right to make appropriate changes to the course timetable and content or to cancel a course due to circumstances beyond its control.

    Students may request (only by email to info@drawing.ie) a refund (excluding the non-refundable deposit of 20%),  more than 31 days before the commencement of a course. 

    If a student requests (only by email to info@drawing.ie) a refund less than 31 days before the commencement of a course they will only be refunded 50% of the full course fee.

    There will be no refund issued from the date the course commences or any date after.

    *Terms and conditions apply to all the courses listed above.

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  • Contact US
    74 Merrion Square Dublin 2

     +353 (0)87 298 0409
     +353 (0)87 298 0409