Saturday, 23 December 2017

Drawing resources guide pt4: drawing schools, prizes, suppliers

Here's the fourth and final part of the drawing resources guide. Here are links to previous instalments.
Part one: introduction, online resources, electronic resources,
Part two: drawing organisations, museums, galleries and libraries
Part three: books, journals and magazines, TV, radio and video.

This post covers:
Drawing schools
Prizes and awards

Drawing schools

Royal Drawing School
19-22 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3SG
This educational organisation and registered charity, founded in Hackney, London, by the Prince of Wales in 2000, aims to raise the profile and standard of drawing through teaching and practice. Now with five London campuses, it runs about 250 different courses each year, from classes for 10-18 year olds to an MA-level postgraduate programme, and international artists' residencies. It also runs events, lectures and free drop-in drawing sessions.

Ruskin School of Art
74 High Street, Oxford OX1 4BG and 128 Bullingdon Road, Oxford OX4 1QP
What is now the fine art department of the University of Oxford was set up by the writer and artist John Ruskin as the School of Drawing in 1871. While drawing still remains at the core of the degrees and shorter courses it now offers, these also embrace painting, sculpture, printmaking and other disciplines. (See Ruskin Library.)


These awards and competitions are open to anyone: subsequent touring exhibitions of selected and winning drawings can be an insight into current approaches. Selection is an excellent way to make contacts and network.

Jerwood Visual Arts Drawing Prize
Jerwood Visual Arts is a national programme that offers a range of resources to visual artists through commissions, events, exhibitions, and lectures around the UK. Among its annual open exhibitions is the Jerwood Drawing Prize, considered the leading drawing exhibition for UK artists, although the competition loses its Jerwood funding from 2018. Image: Solveig Settemsdal, the winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016. © Hydal Dewachi.

John Ruskin Prize
This relatively new prize (the 2017 edition was its the fourth) is organised by the Big Draw with the Guild of St George, upholding the artist and writer John Ruskin's belief that drawing helps people to see and understand the world more clearly. It is open to emerging and established artists over the age of 18, with an exhibition of shortlisted artists' work.

Pastel Society Annual Competition
The society was formed in 1898, and now has a membership of around 50 professional artists. It organises workshops, exhibitions, demonstrations and lectures. Its annual exhibition, through which members are selected, includes works in pastel, oil pastel, pencil, chalk and charcoal.

Sketch Open
A biennial international competition of sketchbooks organised by the Rabley Drawing Centre (see page 9), with the aim of generating an impetus for creative activity, and reflecting the experimental aspect of drawing as well as the ordinary and observed. Selected works feature in a touring exhibition.

Society of Graphic Fine Art
The SGFA was formed in 1919 to promote drawing, and remains the only national society in the UK dedicated to it. While retaining a bias towards traditional, monochrome work, the society does accept more experimental work and that using colour. With more than 100 elected members, the SGFA has an open exhibition, regional exhibitions across the UK and publishes an online journal. 


There is still a wide range of independent art materials stores on high streets, despite the shift to online shopping. Drawing materials tend to be small and light, and ideally suited to postal delivery. This short list focuses on stores with online and high street presence.

16-28 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4DD
As the UK's largest art materials store, Atlantis has a wide range of materials aimed at the professional artist, of which there is a large but falling population in east London. The store's noticeboard is an excellent source of contacts and items on sale.

Cass Art
Cass Art has 12 shops across the UK, and an online next-day delivery service. Stores host events and workshops, and a blog features the works of established artists and illustrators. The drawing section of the website carries a wide range of media and surfaces.

Great Art
41-49 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AG
Predominantly an online store, but with a large, recently opened retail outlet in east London, Great Art stocks around 50,000 products, including an extensive range of drawing materials.

An online store, with a print catalogue and three stores – two in London, and one in Gloucester – Jackson's drawing materials are searchable by medium and manufacturer. Its blog features artist interviews.

Follow me on Twitter @jameshobbsart.

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