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Drawing Workshops

Would you like to learn how to draw? Why not take a Drawing Workshop with a professional artist!

Join us for a  whether you are a complete beginner or you are more experienced and want technical expertise on specific subjects or materials. We offer drawing workshops, both online and in person, that foster creative expression and technical advancement at any level. 

Did you know that drawing stimulates parts of your brain in different ways, compared to text?

Drawing can be a tool for creative expression, visual thinking and overcoming blocks – in addition to art making. 

Upcoming Workshops: Do you want to see which workshops are currently open for registration? Please check our homepage where all scheduled workshops are listed by date. This page contains all of our drawing workshops, but some of them might have recently ended or are planned further out in the future and we don’t have them all open for sign up. 

I wanted to learn how to draw comics or create a graphic novel. Books and classes I found and did so far, had quite a conventional approach. When I found Ali’s course, I had the feeling this is a bit different from the others. I wasn’t sure at the beginning, if it would be worth to book all 5 classes at once, but I absolutely didn’t regret that I did. Over 5 months I participated nearly every week in the online class. Ali offered a nice mix of warm up exercised, theoretical input, feedback, answering questions, sharing own experiences and several drawing exercises. She encouraged the participants to create and stick with a character. Since the course happened over a long period and I got feedback and input every week, it was possible to get into a process and develop something. I didn’t had any specific in mind, but over the time I created a wolf character, who is now part of several comics I’ve made and still make. I also liked Ali’s political awareness and openness. I didn’t have a favourite exercise, but I liked a lot, that we started with a short warm up, did another longer exercise and did a long exercise in the end of each class.

Maria Preußmann (Visual Storytelling Workshop Series with Ali Fitzgerald, 2021)

Best art workshops I’ve ever attended! I really enjoyed a botanical watercolour workshop with Mira, and have attended the Sketchbook Workshop series monthly for the past year. It’s changed my artistic life by keeping me motivated to create art daily, and I learn so much from the instructor and the other students each class. Best of all, the sketchbook series is completely online right now, so students from around the world can join in! I highly recommend classes from Berlin Drawing Room for students who are beginners, advanced, or anywhere in between 🙂

Lindsey Gould

Mira’s Botanical watercolor classes are wonderful on many levels! Not only does one learn watercolor techniques, but also the skills of observation and recording the natural world. Mira is very knowledgeable, inclusive and accepting of all skill levels. It was fun!

Michelle Soule

I took the Summer Botanical Watercolor Workshop with Mira O’Brien. It was a such a marvelous experience; clear, precise, informative and wonderful. Although initially slightly hesitant about taking an online class, I was especially impressed! The online nature of the class gave us up close access to watching Mira do demos which was a huge highlight! I would recommend this class to anyone who is either interested in learning about watercolor techniques as a beginner or as someone who has watercolor experience. Mira’s enthusiasm for botanical watercolors comes through in so many ways! For each class she prepared wonderful slide shows about plants and techniques – always giving us a context with which to understand that day’s class! Take this class! It’s marvelous!

April Gertler

The course about anatomy was great! It’s amazing how much you can learn in such a short time and G is a very precise and nice instructor. Thank you for that!

Nathalie Frank (Anatomy Drawing Workshop, 2017)

I recently finished Mira’s online Winter Botanical Watercolour series and it’s been a very special experience, not only because the class was wonderful, but also because I signed up together with my eleven-year-old daughter and my mum. I think it’s the first time the Berlin Drawing Room has seen three generations of one family in a class!

I’ve been taking drawing workshops all year online from California. They have been fantastic! I’ve notice huge improvements in my technical abilities, confidence, and overall passion for drawing. I highly recommend.

Derek Chan

I recently took a workshop with Ali Fitzgerald and it was absolutely wonderful! I am an illustrator, meaning I am used to working with single images, but I have always admired comic artists who work with multiple panels. Ali’s lessons were super insightful and she had so many simple and efficient tips that helped me actually put my single images together and tell a story with real emotional expressions and a storyline. Highly recommend it to any artists out there who are trying to take a leap into making comics or bringing their stories to life! But if you are a beginner this workshop will also be perfect for you 🙂 Ali is super patient, kind and willing to help with everything you might need.

Julia Mota Albuquerque

This class was a real eye opener in every respect – I never thought I could draw and then the magic happens with the help of the calm professional inspired guidance by Mira O’Brien. This sounds exaggerated I’m sure, but to me the whole drawing course was a real life changing experience!!! I recommend to everybody to dive in there and come out feeling like a talented artistic person with loads of new skills : ))) Drawing Workshop

Hannelore (Drawing from Observation)

Starting in January, I began a course in Writing and Illustrating Graphic Novels with Ali Fitzgerald through Berlin Drawing Room.  Ali is a fantastic instructor. She helps you find ways into your work: generative exercises, critical examples, interviews with artists about methods and materials. She also encourages you to find the ways to have fun. I was really intimidated by the idea of graphic novels – the undertaking seemed too daunting- but working with Ali and alongside artists with widely different approaches has been so helpful and inspiring.

For further backstory: My cousin Jessica had found Berlin Drawing Room classes in the height of lockdown and recommended I check them out. The recommendation proved incredibly fruitful. After I defended my dissertation in 2020 and my drawing practice turned mostly into Zoom conference sketching (still very useful!), I felt a little lost. Starting with Mira O’Brien technical instruction in botanical watercolor, then G’s figure drawing classes, I had a new place to go every week that helped me get out of my head about academia and work and job prospects. I am so grateful for this community of artists. Something about the global span is reassuring. I know I could find regular classes in New York (and should, perhaps), but I’ve paradoxically appreciated the distance.

Had a wonderful experience at the Anatomy Drawing Online Workshop. The technical side of it was well organised and all the details before, during and after the course were excellently communicated by the tutor via email/dropbox! Overall a great experience. Would definitely recommend it to others! Liked it so much I’m taking another course there this month!

Heidy Wein

Out of all of the art classes that I’ve taken this was the one that I see my skills progress the fastest. My instructor taught at a great pace, had such care for their students, and patience. You guys rule!! Portrait Painting Workshop.

I took the Drawing Workshop and can highly recommend it. This is a great class for learning to observe and draw in a structured, yet playful and creative way. I was familiar with some of the ideas from Betty Edwards ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’, and I also met many new exercises and ways of approaching drawing. Mira is a gentle and supportive teacher, at the same time she is always stretching her students to try different methods and get beyond their self-imposed limits. By the end of the class, I noticed that my drawing had improved in ways that I hadn’t even realised!

Catherine Lupton (Drawing Workshop, 2013)

Mira celebrates her wonder of nature with her students. Whether for beginners or for more advanced participants, her classes provide technical instruction from the blank page and fresh paints to the finished work. Participants gain tips from her meticulous drawings, as well as courage from each other as we each develop our skills. Emotionally soothing and intellectually captivating, these drawing classes are a great investment for developing a new skill or honing an old one!

Wendy M K Shaw

Great drawing and painting courses. Teachers have a professional background and outstanding social skills – to make a group feel comfortable. Even beginners and people who feel insecure about their creativity are taken care of here. Definitely recommend! I’m currently participating in an online course and enjoy being creative in a group from the comfort of my home.

Pat Re

The watercolor workshop was excellent and my first online art workshop. I hadn’t worked with watercolor for many years and I was able to refresh my memory and learn new techniques each week. Each session was recorded so I was able to reinforce my learning. Each participant was able to upload their projects and get positive feedback and suggestions. The instructor is an organized, very experienced water-colorist and teacher who shares her passion for the medium. She cares about each student and their progress. The sense of community that developed was such a treat. I live in the USA and worked from my studio. There were students from four other countries. I signed up for another class immediately and hope online classes will continue to be offered.

Norma Bradley (Sketchbook Practice Workshop, 2020)

I loved the specimens that she chose for the winter botanical series. Mira is an excellent teacher. She was gentle and kind with her appraisals of my work (I was a beginner) and she was open to the needs of her students. I highly recommend this class!

Michele Villeneuve

I really recommend these classes to open minded people. Here you will learn basics or enhance your already established skills in a non academic way. You can always grab a book and learn about how you “should” draw lights and shadows, but this is different. This is about approaching reality, breaking through your “standards” and creating something that, sometimes surprisingly, is always definitely interesting. If you are not afraid of what can get out of your pencil when you let it go, just come to this workshop: it is the right place for you!

Simone Brizzi

Why should I learn how to draw?

Would you like to become more fluent in visual thinking and communicating? If you are willing to engage in the process of drawing thinking, rather than expecting one-dimensional solutions or quick results, then this workshop is right for you. 

The goal here is not to make a realistic drawing and you do not need to be a “talented artist” to make use of the skills we will develop. You will learn concrete, hands-on techniques to facilitate the switch from left to right brain. This is not a workshop on the concept of creativity, it is more about providing skills and techniques that one can practice and use. 

What does drawing do to your brain?

Find out why drawing is a way of thinking. Learn hands-on exercises for engaging the visual/creative side of your brain that cannot be accessed with language. Take for example, our lesson on drawing negative space. When you learn to draw the negative space surrounding an object, you are training your brain to be able to shift in and out of two modes of focus. The goal is not the finished drawing, but rather the clicking feeling of rapidly switching between perceptual modes at will becoming part of your muscle memory. This is the type of training that can lead to more agile visual thinking.

What is the benefit of drawing?

As we look around and see the demand for non-linear problem solving, innovation and visual communication in a variety of fields, we recognize that artists have a unique perspective to offer. Our drawing workshops are taught from an artist’s perspective and led by professional practicing artists. We have trained in and practiced the principles of drawing thinking for decades now we are ready to share our strategies with you. 

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