Portraits in Pencil

with Helen Nowell


1 Day Workshop (10:00am - 4:00pm)


£60.00 to include use of materials


Helen Nowell is an experienced designer and tutor who specialises in illustration, portraiture and depicting the human form. Helen’s portfolio includes book illustrations and greeting cards. Helen currently teaches life drawing and a wide variety of graphic design practices at Loughborough University.  She has experience running a range of different art and design courses for different art groups and establishments in the UK.  Helen’s work has been exhibited in London and at Chatsworth House.

Our workshops have been developed to provide a day of creativity and gentle tuition and this class is specifically tailored to suit a range of different artistic abilities including those who are new to portraiture and those who wish to enhance their skills and understanding further within this discipline. Classes are taught in a friendly, relaxed and social environment that allows you to learn new things and unwind.


This day class will allow you to develop your confidence and skills in portraiture.  We will be focussing upon proportions and looking at the importance of shapes to construct the face.  We will also be looking at details of features like eyes, nose and mouth in more detail.  We shall discuss contrast, the importance of light sources and how we can give the portrait extra 'life'.  Demonstrations are done on the day by the tutor and there are suggested exercises to aid learning.


The morning session will focus on teaching practical principles which class attendees will be encouraged to apply after the morning demonstration has taken place.


Course Highlights

  • Friendly, comfortable and well-lit environment
  • Personalised, individual tuition as well as group guidance
  • Tailored tuition based on class attendees interests
  • Fundamental principles are taught in a manner which is easy to remember
  • Certain materials are provided for you to keep
  • Pastel pencils are provided to share among the group on the day*
  • All tools and materials needed to complete your projects
  • Clear information and demonstrations

The course focus is always on fun and friendly creativity with lots of personal tuition from an experienced artist and illustrator.

FOOD: Hot and cold refreshments will be provided throughout the day but we would suggest you to bring your own lunch to the workshop. The shop is situated next to the Mulberry Tree Cafe where you can also purchase delicious food at reasonable prices.


The course cost includes some materials, use of pastel pencils and refreshments throughout the day.

Class size is limited to 6 people so get in touch soon to book your place.

To book onto this class please contact us using one of the options from our 'contact us' page

Additional information:
For beginners, we will recommend concentrating on tonal studies. 

We would recommend that you bring good quality references (with good quality resolution) of someone that you would like to draw.  Images that are larger in size (e.g. from glossy magazines) are easier to draw from.

For beginners we would recommend using references where people are not showing their teeth smiling as this is slightly harder to begin with.  Ideally for beginners we would recommend bringing a reference where someone is looking straight ahead at the camera.  Helen will have some references with her too.

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