Sketches, still lifes and studies – drawing is often considered as the primary method of artistic expression.

This course introduces you to a variety of drawing techniques, using a combination of video tutorials and examples of work by artists in Tate’s collection. See exclusive video footage of artists explaining their drawing practice, learn at your leisure and also discuss your works with fellow students in the online forum.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'Fanny Cornforth' 1859

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Fanny Cornforth 1859
Pencil on paper
support: 140 x 146 mm
Bequeathed by J.R. Holliday 1927

  • Introduction to Drawing Techniques online course screenshot

    Screenshot of Introduction to Drawing Techniques online course

The Introduction to Drawing Techniques course will introduce you to a number of key works in Tate’s collection and examine the techniques the artists’ used to create their work. You will look at a diverse range of artists including Pierre Bonnard, Vincent van Gogh, Alexander Cozens, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Rachel Whiteread, Frank Auerbach and Richard Long. The course is divided into six units:

  • Unit 1 – Introduction to Drawing
  • Unit 2 – Line 
  • Unit 3 – Tone 
  • Unit 4 – Texture, Surface and Pattern 
  • Unit 5 – Subject Matter 
  • Unit 6 – Finding Your Voice 

Each unit examines different artists in Tate’s collection and looks at how they created their work. The units contain video clips and step-by-step guides to using the techniques to create your own art works at home.

Each unit is accompanied by a downloadable worksheet that you can print out and follow in your own time. You are encouraged to upload images of your work and share them with other students on the course via an online image gallery. You can also pose questions to other course students on the online discussion forum.

The course is designed to be fun and engaging but is not tutored or accredited, and does not count towards any official qualification. However, when you have completed all the units on the course, you will be issued with a Tate certificate that you can download and print out.

There is no time limit for the course and you can spend as much or as little time on each unit as you like. Once you have purchased the course and received your login details, you will have unlimited access to the course website and content. After you have completed the units and received your certificate, you will still be able to upload images of your own work and contribute to the discussion forum.

Technical requirements

The online courses will work with most operating systems and browsers including Internet Explorer 6 and above and Mozilla Firefox 1 and above on either a PC or Mac. The course units will also work using the Safari browser on iPads.

For the best experience of viewing the course units and video clips on a desktop or laptop, you will need to have version 10 or higher of the Flash player installed. Download the Flash player for free.


Login to the course

If you have any questions regarding the online course, please email