8 seats available

Drawing from Observation


Artist-Instructor: Alma Sinai

Format: Alma’s Studio
12045 Berlin-Neukölln (near Weichselplatz, exact address given after registration is complete)

Language: English

Level: Beginners to more experienced.

September 12 – October 24, 2024
– 6x Thursdays
– 18:30-20:30

Cost: 220€ (inc. VAT)


Materials to Bring: Various pencils from soft to hard (a set of at least 4 pencils between 2B to 9B), A4 or A3 drawing paper sketchbook, soft graphite stick(6B or higher), kneadable eraser, hard white eraser, sharpener. Guide for where to buy art supplies.

What to Expect:

Have you always wanted to learn how to draw? Start by broadening your observation skills and develop a new way of seeing. This workshop will take you from complete beginner to having a basic competence to draw what is in front of you. From there… the possibilities are endless! By gaining confidence in drawing, you will open the door to countless applications of this skill, from meditative pastime to powerful communication aid. You will also learn the different expressive qualities of the mediums you work with.

In this workshop you will develop basic drawing techniques with a focus on drawing from observation. We will cover the fundamental building blocks of how to observe and draw accurately. Through a variety of exercises you will be able to make a stronger connection between what you see, what you think and what you draw. Whether sketching from a still life, wooden mannequin, portrait or a live model, you will learn the foundations of constructing and mapping out the main lines and tones of your drawings and gradually getting into details.

Class exercises explore technique, medium and strategies in visual thinking and expressing. We will start by short warm up sketches and continue with long drawing practices in which everyone can create their own unique composition. A perfect introduction for beginners, with new skills to be learned for the more experienced. See your skills improve, no matter what level you are starting at!

See your skills improve, no matter what level you are starting at!

Topics covered:
  • Observation
  • Contour lines
  • Tonality
  • Proportions
  • Composition
  • Balance
  • Negative space
  • Still life

Drawing topics are supported with examples from art-history and contemporary art, thereby providing a context for the technical instruction. For example, what can we learn about contour lines by comparing drawings by David Hockney from the 21st century with those by Henri Matisse from the 20th century? Guided exercises build technique, starting with the basics, followed by time for experimentation and longer drawings.

The formal topics covered in this workshop provide an overview of basic drawing techniques, as well as some more advanced applications. Gain an understanding of how concepts like negative space and tonality can take your drawings to the next level, while also appreciating how these universal building blocks have been used by other artists.

About Your Instructor:

Alma Sinai was born (1989) and raised in Tehran. After receiving an associate degree in Cinema from University of Art in Tehran she moved to the USA in 2010. She pursued a BFA degree at RISD followed by an MFA at Parsons. In the past decade alongside being active as an interdisciplinary artist she has also been working as a teaching artist.

Sinai primarily works in printmaking, drawing, video and installation and she usually focuses on binaries such as absence & presence, indoor & outdoor, visible & invisible. Alongside the repetition is one of the common aspects throughout her projects. In the process of recurrence in the print-motifs, patterns and looped video narratives with no exit points, meanings get lost, added and distorted.

She has had solo and group exhibitions internationally in venues such as Dastan Gallery, 009821 Projects, International print center New York (IPCNY), Slaturhusid Culture Center, Site:Brooklyn, University of Edinburgh and Pratt institute. In the past years Sinai has attended residency fellowship programs including Vermont Studio Center and LungA School in Iceland. She’s been based in Berlin since October 2021 after doing an artist residency program at GlogauAIR.