Study Scenes of Oxford: Sketching & Photography with our Oxford Summer School 2018 | Students aged 13-15
Class Summary

In this Sketching and Photography course students practise their artistic skills in a number of practical sessions. They learn about different aspects of scenic art, sketching, composition and photography in the beautiful setting of Oxford University and its exquisite architecture. Students are introduced to the theoretical concepts surrounding different artistic schools, which can then be applied in their own work.

This course is all about encouraging the students to find and turn on their creativity. Students work both individually and in small groups developing skills in sketching, drawing and composition. Students are encouraged to see their surroundings with a photographer’s eye, and to take photos which they can later use as a backdrop to their sketches. On-site sketching visits range from the Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, housing art and artefacts from all over the world, to its picturesque Botanical Gardens. The course is primarily about the students’ individual ways of seeing and capturing creative images.

The course boosts students’ confidence in judging a scene or subject’s artistic and photographic potential. The course enhances the students’ skills and instincts in this field, which they will develop in the sessions and hopefully take away with them for use in the future. Although much of the syllabus is focussed on sketching, with students advised to do at least one sketch in every lesson, students are encouraged to use these lessons to explore their photography as well.

By the end of the course, students will have produced imaginative sketches, drawings, photography and other visual art that is both original and of value. They will have explored and experimented with ideas, materials are techniques. Students are encouraged to take risks and learn from mistakes, in order that their skills can develop. Students are shown how to investigate, analyse, design, reflect and evaluate effectively so that they can improve.


There are few places in the world better suited to a sketching and photography workshop than the city of Oxford. Admired by artists, writers and poets throughout history, Oxford’s stunning architecture with its famous ‘dreaming spires’ is sure to inspire students to produce their best possible work. Oxford contains examples of every significant architectural period in British history from the Saxons onwards, so whether you are interested in medieval towers, Gothic spires or the sharp lines of Functionalism, Oxford’s architecture will offer something to catch your eye. Alternatively, it may be the abundant parkland, such as Christ Church meadow, or the rivers that flow through Oxford that draw your attention as an artist or photographer.

Even if you do not think of yourself as an artistic type, Scenes of Oxford is designed to take students from beginner level and guide them in terms of skills but also in confidence; so if you are interested in sketching and photography but are worried that your skills are insufficient, don’t be concerned – that’s what this course is for. Students are actively encouraged to be bold, to make mistakes and to try out new things as the best possible way to improve.