Drawing Nottingham: A Visual Reportage of the City
- Level(s) of Study: Short course
- Start Date(s): 13 April 2024
- Duration: Monday to Friday 10 am - 4 pm, one week or Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm, five weeks
- Study Mode(s): Short course
- Campus: City Campus
Observational drawing is an essential skill for artists and illustrators to successfully document a visual representation of the world.
On this course you’ll create a visual reportage of the city by recording moments, events and situations, sketching from life and on location in Nottingham.
It’s ideal if you’re interested in visual storytelling, whether you’re familiar with drawing and are looking to try a fresh approach, or if you’re an adventurous beginner looking for a new challenge.
Portraying life as it unfolds in front of you, you’ll tackle different approaches to documenting the city including drawing people, places and journeys.
You’ll reference the work of artists and reportage illustrators to study their subject matter and use of materials before heading out into the city to gather your own inspiration and apply ideas from these artists to your own work.
Each day you’ll focus on observing a different element of the city, from vistas and buildings to people and small moments that seem to go by unnoticed each day.
Conveying a narrative from a specific moment in time, you’ll learn how to sketch quickly to capture the essence of the moment, rather than worrying over the details.
You’ll use a variety of art materials to explore line, form, tone and colour, and utilise framing and composition to bring your illustrations to life.
You’ll culminate each session with classroom discussions and critiques, curating and presenting your work into a handmade book.
On this course you’ll be challenged creatively with the support of a small group of like-minded people, with lots individual attention from the tutor to support your projects.
You’ll curate and present your work in your own handmade book which you’ll take away with you at the end of the course.
By the end of the course, you’ll be confident in observational drawing and have improved your understanding of reportage drawing.
A certificate of attendance will be awarded upon completion of the course.
How you’re taught
This is a practical course taught in person based at the Nottingham Trent University city campus.
Tutor Profile: Hannah Sawtell has worked freelance as an illustrator and museum educator for the past ten years.
Commercial commissions have included illustrations for The National Trust, Nottingham Castle Trust and more recently for a local dialect project with Natalie Braber, Professor of Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University, supported by funding from The Arts Council.
Hannah has an MA in ‘Children’s Book Illustration’ at Cambridge School of Art and her recent project ‘Life on Mars’ has been shortlisted for the Batsford Prize.
You can view Hannah’s illustration work on her website.
Please bring with you to the first session:
- a sketchbook of any size to suit you
- a small pad of watercolour or cartridge paper
- coloured pencils and pens, and any other drawing medium you like to work with.
You’ll be out in the city for some time each day whatever the weather, so we’d recommend bringing sturdy footwear and something to wear in case it rains.
Campus and facilities
You will be on location around Nottingham City Centre, and also have a hub based in the Nottingham School of Art and Design on the City Campus.
You’ll find collaborative working spaces where you develop your sketches and concepts, and IT suites equipped with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud.
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.
Level: Open to all.
Entry requirement: No drawing experience is required; activities will be suited to all levels of abilities.
You must be over the age of 18 to attend this course.
How to apply
You can book your place via the NTU online store: