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Animated Drawing and Graphics

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Start Date(s): 4 November 2023
  • Duration: Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm, three days
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


Make your own short films using experimental drawing techniques and discover how to produce interesting hand-drawn animations without the use of digital technology or CGI.

This course is for people who love drawing and people who don’t - you can have limited drawing skills and still achieve great results.

Animation is used in practically every field of art, graphic design and commerce; from adverts to arthouse cinema and from pop videos to gifs.

The course is ideal for illustrators, graphic designers, artists, film makers and enthusiastic amateurs looking to try something new and curious to see their work thrown into motion.

On this practical course you’ll develop your drawing techniques to produce figurative and abstract films with just the use of your smart phone and some drawing materials to produce dynamic and experimental animations.

  • You’ll be part of a design community in our creative studio culture; one that promotes discussion and collaboration, and encourages experimentation and the constant swapping of ideas.
  • With a limited class size you'll have the one-to-one attention you need to ensure you leave with the skills to continue developing your designs at home or work.
  • Benefit from learning with an experienced tutor who has established links to the profession and significant experience working in varied practices.
  • On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance.

What you’ll study

During the course you will:

  • look at the drawn animation techniques such as rotoscope, camera obscura and projectors
  • learn about artists that use these techniques, from making Betty Boop to contemporary art
  • explore mark-making whilst considering mood, materials and gestures
  • record your mark-making through a rotating object built in 24 frames
  • practice using a storyboard of two actions to look at pace, drama and dynamism
  • experiment with layers, textures, negative space, foregrounds and backgrounds
  • understand the principles of animation looking at loops, cycles and sequences
  • combine your hand-drawn experiments to create dynamic moving images and short experimental animated films on your smartphone.

Student work

This 'rotoscope' animation was made by the students in the second session of the short course. One of the students said she couldn't draw to save her life, but she was happy to be proven wrong. Each student had their own style but they blended together beautifully. The 65 ink drawings were photographed with a smartphone, imported into an app and hey presto: a fox hunting in the snow!
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How you’re taught

The course will include lectures, discussions and critiques combined with practical work and homework exercises.

Further information

By the end of the course, you’ll have a good understanding of basic hand-drawn animation techniques.

You’ll have produced a series of short films that demonstrate your new skills in abstract and figurative animation to use as a showreel in your portfolio.

Tutor Profile:

Tutor Profile: Stephen Crowe is a multi-disciplinary artist and director.

He’s currently working with animation to bring to life the Renaissance novel ‘Gargantua & Pantagruel’.

He graduated with a Fine Art degree from Liverpool John Moores and Composition from Goldsmiths University of London.

His work ranges from experimental operas to animation and has been shown across Europe and the UK at places such as Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery, Café Oto and The Courtauld Gallery.

You can view Stephen’s work here:

Please bring with you to the first session:

  • your smartphone with the app ‘Stop Motion Studio’ downloaded
  • any drawing tools you like working with (such as felt tips, crayons, pencils, pens, charcoal).

All other materials will be provided.

Campus and facilities

Our animation facilities are based in the Waverley building – a beautifully restored, listed building with real design heritage – the original home of the Nottingham School of Art. View our School of Art & Design Facilities Hub here.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: You should have an interest in film or animation and drawing.

You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £230.

Payment is due at the time of booking.

How to apply