Reconnect: Drawing in Nature

Art & Crafts |
4th October 2021

Reconnect: Drawing in Nature | Mon 4 Oct – Mon 6 Dec | 10am-12.30pm | £185 (10 weeks) | Tutor Karen Lester | 16+ | Footprint building and woodland at National Trust St Catherine’s Estate, Windermere

Immerse yourself in the natural world finding inspiration at the beautiful location of Footprint, Windermere. Take time to slow down and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of woodlands, becks, and fells as you connect to nature through drawing. Explore autumnal themes of nature, developing observational skills and using a range of approaches and different media. 

If this course has already started there may be places still available. Please contact

What will the course or workshop cover and how will it be taught? 

We will look at some theory around drawing and practice different approaches, using a range of media. There will be exercises to support drawing skills as well as working towards finished pieces. 

There will also be a unique opportunity to make your very own artists’ charcoal to use in your drawings. Enjoy a fascinating insight into the making of charcoal under the supervision of local experts from Woodmatters. The course is suitable for beginners and those wishing to expand their experience to develop skills to draw outdoors as well as explore different ways to approach drawing. We will look at the theories and look at traditional approaches to drawing covering some basic ideas.

The aim is to be outdoors whenever possible and the sessions will look at ways to work outside. Starting with more formal approaches to developing skills to record what you see. We will cover: 

  • Proportions and relative size using your pencil as an aid for measuring. 
  • Tone to define edges, shape and form – shading techniques.
  • Negative spaces – the shapes around the subject.
  • Exercises to focus on observation.
  • Perspective in the landscape.
  • Drawing work by other artists. 

Following this you will explore further approaches to drawing focusing more on a response to the landscape through exercises and experimenting with different media; water-soluble drawing materials, chalk, coloured paper.

The emphasis is very much on practical individual experience with tutor led demonstrations, discussion, example work and handouts which will support and guide you throughout.

What do I need to bring? 

Your tutor will discuss materials at the first session of Reconnect: Drawing in Nature. Initially, please bring: 

  • Pencils, ideally soft pencils, from the B range. Pencils specifically for ‘Drawing’ work best, ideally ones with a thick core work well. Avoid the cheap variety packs!
  • Cartridge paper, A3 size and some cheap paper such as lining paper or newsprint for exercises.
  • Board to rest paper on. Thick card would work or a hardboard back from an old picture frame.
  • Masking tape or clips to fasten paper to a board.
  • Rubber and sharpener.
  • You might like to bring a sketchbook but it is not necessary.
  • A stool, folding chair or cushion for outdoor work.
  • Rucksack or bag.
  • Please also be prepared for the weather, so some sturdy shoes and layers to keep warm, waterproofs for wet weather, hats, scarves etc.

Bear in mind you will be carrying equipment. Travel light! 

The aim is to be outside for the majority of the time so please be prepared for this.

We will be walking around Footprint and this will include uphill sections and uneven paths, which may be difficult for those with limited mobility. Please contact the Creative Learning Team if you wish to discuss any specific needs via email 

Tea and coffee are provided. 

Are there any additional costs?


Location and Access

Reconnect: Drawing in Nature takes place at Footprint, St Catherine’s Woodland, Windermere, a National Trust property. Participants do not need to be National Trust members to attend. Please visit the following link for more information about this unique eco-building, the first straw bale building in Cumbria to get here  

A small car park is available and the site is a 20-minute walk from Windermere train station. 

Address: Footprint Building, Patterdale Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1NH

footprint building





About the tutor 

Karen enjoys working with a range of painting and drawing media, including printmaking, sometimes combining these to create mixed media images. Each type of medium brings its own exciting possibilities and unique qualities, something she continually explores.

Her interest in Printmaking developed at Kendal College whilst completing a Foundation Degree in Drawing with the University of Cumbria. She finds the quality of marks made in the process of printmaking particularly fascinating and has produced prints using a variety of techniques. 

Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Cumbria and Lancashire over the last 25 years and she has been involved with projects including Printfest and C-Art and runs occasional print workshops for the National Trust at Allan Bank, Grasmere as well as for private groups. 

Karen is an experienced qualified teacher and has been teaching in the adult education sector since 2011. 

View all Creative Learning courses here

Karen Lester


4th October 2021

You might like...


Language Classes 2024


Learn a language! Whether you are a complete beginner hoping to strike up a conversation on holiday, or someone wanting to refine previous knowledge -...

Read more
Print Room Members Access

Print Room Members Sessions

Print Room Members Access | Tue 19 Sep to Tue 5 Dec | 11am-3pm | 6-9pm | Thu 21 Sep to Thu 7 Dec |...

Book now
Art & Crafts

Brewery Tots: Mini Mess Makers

Brewery Tots: Mini Mess Makers | Wed 20 Sep - Wed 6 Dec | 11.30am-12.30pm |£60 (10 wks) | £7 PAYG | Under 4 yrs...

Book now

Supported by