From the Real
to the Imaginary

an online course by Susannah Garden
July 19 — August 15
4 weeks
Zoom calls on Thursdays at 6 PM
→ Course offered in English
As illustrators, we frequently describe ourselves as visual narrators, but we might actually imagine ourselves as visual scientists!

Indeed, we collect data in the form of sketches and notes, observe people's behaviour, gestures, poses and even eavesdrop on their conversations. We explore how light on a wall changes during the space of a day, or how a tiny dog runs around in circles in the park. But these observations often live just in sketchbooks, and many excellent ideas remain unrealised.

In this course we will translate our observational sketches to graphic drawings. We will move from the real to the imaginary and ask «what if…?»

We are going to approach our work step-by-step — with each decision bringing us closer to the execution of our final illustrations.
Whilst accumulating a collection of ideas we will discuss our concepts and the advantages of different versions, and then create a final work based on the best sketches. The final outcome could be a series of illustrations or comics..

Recommended for those who would like to
– Improve their drawing and observation skills
– Develop a way of thinking with the help of drawing
– Use resources of their sketchbooks for more serious projects
– Not get stuck in the brainstorming stage
– Boost their imaginative powers
– Take more risks with illustration
– Learn visual storytelling
– Study consistent narration
– Be inspired
– Improve their confidence in talking about their work in English

• Some experience in observational drawing
• The ability to discuss ideas in English (the required level is at least pre-intermediate)
• The ability to compose, edit and adapt your illustrations

Estimated time
3-4 hours a week

What will be developed
• Observational skills
• Participants' ability to make a visual notes and think at the same time
• Participants' ability to conduct effective visual research
• Overcomng a fear of a lack of good ideas
• Jumping from observational drawing to drawing from your head
• Visual narration, understanding of consistent narration techniques
• The ability to discuss ideas in English

You will receive
A collection of sketches and notes, drafts for further work, comics, or a small series of narrative images.

We will transform the observations gathered in quick sketches into complete illustrations. The key role in this course is not only drawing, but also reflection. We will discuss concepts, come up with ideas, analyse, make decisions, and edit and improve our drawings.
Susannah Garden — educator
Australian illustrator and artist. Susannah currently lives in Berlin, and graduated from the British Higher School of Art & Design (Bachelor degree in Illustration, 2016) and the University of Melbourne in Australia (Bachelor of Fine Arts and Film, 2003).

Susannah has been conducting art seminars and workshops for about 6 years. She previously taught illustration in the British Higher School of Art & Design. She is currently the co-organiser of Sunday Sketching Berlin - themed fortnightly drawing sessions held in interesting locations around the city.

14 100₽
16 200₽
Super price if paid before July 17
Susannah's drawings
How the course is set up
Teacher's feedback
Longreads with illustrations and zoom calls
Zoom-sessions with shared screen and explanation
Every day
We work using the Miro platform. The workspace looks like a huge virtual canvas and all the students have their own board.
If questions arise during the study process, they can be asked at any time and will be answered once a day
How to work online with us
To participate you'll need a computer or a phone with a photo processing application.
Participants receive assignments for the week and begin working.

→ By 12 PM Moscow time
Participants post drawings and write reviews: they describe the process and difficulties, ask questions.
Those who did not manage to finish
on time will notify the instructor and show when they can.

→ Until Thursday morning

The instructor comments on participants' works with text and video

→ Throughout the day

Course content
1. People
Collecting drawing observations according to a list of tips to make the process more intriguing. Analysis of work will be held at the end of the week.

2. Places
Observation of two to three different places. Sketches that will help understand the location, structure, and function of these places. Written and drawn notes about what is happening there, who visits this place and what interesting subjects are there.

3. Story creation
Writing simple stories based on feedback and recommendations. «Filling in the gaps» in stories about people or places. After creating a text version, participants will make some simple storyboards for a drawing series or comic strips.

4. Story ending
The final version of a series of images or comic. Free choice of materials and techniques, format — A4 or A3.

• A high quality sketchbook with thick paper. Format — at least A5
• Thick paper formats A4 or A3 — plain for graphic materials and textured for gouache
• Pencils — graphite or black, soft at least 2B
• Soft coloured pencils such as Faber-Castell Polychromos
• Gouache — Susannah recommends Schmincke Designer's Gouache or Caran D'Ache — or water color markers as Ecoline Aquarell Watercolour Brush Pens
• Black ink — required. Coloured ink — optional. Susannah recommends Windsor and Newton Drawing Ink
• Different sized brushes - it would be good to have thin, medium-width and wider ones
• A portable water container
• Markers like Faber-Castell. Tones from light-grey to black

Participants' drawings from the previous intake of the course
Ekaterina Bloshkina
Ekaterina Bloshkina
Ekaterina Bloshkina
Ekaterina Bloshkina
Olga Lukoyanova
Olga Lukoyanova
Maria Frolova
Maria Frolova
Ekaterina Voronina
Alexandra Zabelina
Lyubov Larkina
Elena Platonova
From Real to Imaginary
Any questions? — Get in touch!
July 19 — August 15
4 weeks
course enroll
- Installment works only with the full price.
- The installment is for four months.
- The price is simply divided into four parts, with no interest or extra payments.
- If the bank says no (it's rare, but it happens), write to us and we'll work something out.