A course by Sarah Margaret Gibson

As artists, drawing is our most immediate and fundamental tool for understanding the world around us. Whether intended as a preparatory study for a painting, or as an exercise in learning, or best of all as a work of art in it’s own right, drawings are essential to the practice of any realist artist. And even when making the most highly realistic of drawings, we must remember not to merely copy what is before us, but to translate it through our medium and through our method; this is the key to attaining a true level of mastery in the art of draughtsmanship—and also to developing one’s own unique style later on.

In this course we will focus on the concepts of translating colour and value relationships, communicating form through shape design, and adding emphasis and focus through edge quality

Working exclusively from the live model, students will be guided through the following process, step by step:

  • blocking the figure in with accurate proportions
  • achieving a pattern of light and shadow
  • adding temperature shifts through the use of white and red chalk
  • modeling form
  • and rendering the drawing to a high finish

Students will receive instruction in the form of a group lecture and demonstration at the beginning of each day, and then through individually tailored critiques.

Materials list

All materials can be purchased on either Jacksonsart.com or Cassart.co.uk

Drawing Materials

  • 2 boxes of Nitram Charcoal (B and HB)
  • 1 white chalk pencil (preferably General’s brand)
  • 1 sanguine pencil (either Conté or General’s brand)
  • Staedler or Faber Castell graphite pencils: 4B, 2B, B, HB (at least one of each, preferably two)


  • 1 toned sheet of paper

**A sheet of grey Roma paper will be included in the price of the workshop, and given out at the Atelier on the first day. However, I would encourage any who are familiar with the process to hand-tone a sheet of Fabriano Artistico using either brown or black ink diluted in water. The organic quality of hand-toning will greatly enhance the final product ** 

Other Materials

  • 1 charcoal sanding block (Nitram makes a great one)
  • 1 graphite sanding pad
  • 1 gum eraser
  • assorted set of paper stumps (Cass Art)
  • masking tape
  • 1 sheet of Glassine paper (for protecting your drawings)
  • 2 sheets of A1 sized foam board (to use as a support and to transport your drawings home)

About Sarah Margaret Gibson

Sarah Margaret Gibson (b. 1988) is from Cincinnati, OH.

Sarah Margaret is a contemporary realist artist, specialising in figurative works, portraits, and still-lifes. Characterised by a rich sense of light and form, Gibson’s work often dramatically juxtaposes light against shadow. Building up her paintings from a series of many fine layers, she seeks to give her works a palpable depth and complexity, so that the viewer can continually find new details and facets to contemplate upon each viewing. She often leaves parts of the under-painting showing through, in order to enhance the feeling of depth and to draw the viewers attention to the painting process, rather than seeking to hide it. Through her drawings and paintings, Gibson opens up a dialogue with nature, responding to what she finds beautiful and endeavouring to communicate this with her viewers.

In 2008 Sarah Margaret travelled to Florence, Italy to receive her formal training in drawing and painting from the Angel Academy of Art and The Florence Academy of Art. Over the course of her seven years in Florence, Gibson became profoundly influenced by the work and philosophy of the Old Masters and by the mentorship of great living artists such as Daniel Graves, Jordan Sokol, and Daniela Astone. She taught at the Florence Academy's intermediate studio from 2012-2015.

Sarah Margaret currently lives and works in the seaside town of Largs, on the west coast of Scotland, alongside her husband and fellow artist, Lee Craigmile. She teaches part time at the Edinburgh Atelier of Fine Art, and holds private art lessons in her personal studio.

Gibson's work is shown throughout the U.S. and Europe and can be found in the New Britain Museum of American Art and in numerous private collections.








10.00am - 17:00pm


(flexible start date)


Sarah Margaret Gibson




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