9 week course: Drawing: World Building - Camden Art Centre

World Building: The Bridge between Observation and Imagination is a 9 week course led by Nour El Saleh.

This course is an opportunity to draw from observation and imagination in order to create a world of your own.

During the 9 weeks students will be encouraged to stretch their imagination while learning more about drawing the figure in a space while considering composition. This course will enrich the student’s visual bank while they draw from observation, which will then encourage students to build an archive of new forms, ideas and marks.

During the course students will explore concepts and context: exercising and entertaining the full capacity of one’s imagination to draw from, for example fantasy or fears. Experiment with drawing techniques, using drawing to fully understand how to draw a figure, movement and space to then utilize those techniques when drawing from imagination. Expand the possibilities of materials, using materials such as charcoal, graphite and oil pastels, students will be guided through translating those drawing materials into a painterly language using a method that requires prepared paper (primed paper) and solvents

This course will cover:

  • Exploring how observation and imagination can compliment each other
  • Build confidence when making
  • Learn how to draw a figure and a landscape, exaggerate, distort and reimagine it
  • To create a world to continuously build on
  • To make and value the importance of both quick experimental works as well as slow and sustained “finished” works.
  • To experiment with materials and mark making

This course is suitable for those with little to no experience of drawing/painting.

The Artist Additional Information

The Artist

Nour El Saleh’s dream-like works explore notions of place, belonging and selective/relative memory. Working instinctively, without creating studies, figures with exaggerated features appear out of the bodies of larger figures replicating and morphing on the canvas—interacting with the denizens of the artist’s selective conscious. Awfully relatable but not quite human, the characters that inhabit those worlds appear to be nightmarish with their sagging skin, dry lips and often-malicious glares. However they still evoke feelings of comfort and nostalgia based on the context in which they are often placed.

El Saleh utilizes western European religious paintings as reference while she creates her own visual lexicon. Surrounded by sumptuous skies, archways and a paradisiac light, grotesque cherubs and malevolent faery-like creatures corrupt the larger, more naive figures. The artist uses hyper-dramatic compositions while creating her own archetypes. Playfully exposing family dynamics and going back and forth between the gossip and the hospitable martyr, the paintings become a satirical performance. Nour El Saleh was born in Beirut, Lebanon, grew up in the United Arab Emirates and currently resides in London, UK. El Saleh received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art in 2019, and completed a Postgraduate at the Royal Drawing School in 2022.

Additional Information

Adults’ courses are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

The building is fully wheelchair accessible. Please visit our access page on our website for more information on getting here, parking and facilities.

Evidence of concessionary status must be shown on the first day of the course.

For every season, each person can only book and attend one of the courses on a ‘pay what you can’ ticket.

Booking on a course at Camden Art Centre signifies your agreement to our terms and conditions as stated in our Learning Agreement.

Bookings are non-refundable, unless the course is cancelled by the Centre.

The course will only go ahead if the minimum participant requirement for the course to run is met. If the course does not go ahead, bookings will be refunded.