Reading Matter - online course
Dates: 2 – 13 October 2023
or 1 – 12 January 2024 (select from options)
Continued access period: LIFETIME.
SYLLABUS: the aim of this course is to inspire fascination with materiality. It is about helping you to look primarily at the physical attributes of matter, as opposed to focusing on the form and function of an item made from matter. The exercises in this course were originally developed to help design students to push their use of materials; guiding them to curate, configure, and communicate their ideas with ingenuity and flair. In Reading Matter, we focus on using the exercises to generate abstract compositions based on the wonderment that comes with deep, slow engagement with a single entity. Each lesson will focus on observing and responding to a different material, providing a starting point for exploration and abstraction. In some lessons this will be a specific singular substance, such as steel or glass. In others it will be a collective material, such as foliage. Some materials will be manmade, some natural; some will be useful, others aesthetic. Many will be imbued with cultural meaning, and historic significance. Lessons consist of exercises designed to help you “read” (i.e. understand and appreciate), represent, and be inspired by matter, as we experiment with ways to combine and adapt drawing media and methods to describe material qualities (such as translucency, texture, sheen, and density) as they change in different light conditions, moisture levels, stages of decay and so on.
This course perfectly complements Sketch and the City. They both come from my background in and love of architecture and landscape architecture. They are therefore offered as a pair, with a reduced price. To buy both, go to the Sketch annd the City page and click options to select either the autumn/fall or winter dates. Material requirements are the same.
FORMAT: a new lesson (ten in total) will be uploaded to a course page on my website tansyhargan.com every weekday at around 9am UK time (BST or GMT depending which run you take) during the course of a specified fortnight. Each daily session will consist of a written overview - providing context, theory, and anecdotal details to support that day’s topic - and an instructional half-hour video. Some lessons may also include downloadable content, such as templates, printable documents, or stills from the video. The videos are hosted by Vimeo, which allows viewers to turn on closed captions (like subtitles) and slow down or speed up the playback speed. On each of the two Friday afternoons, I will provide a “Weekend Brief” in the form of a short bonus video, to inspire you to adapt or combine lessons from the week to make a new exercise to enjoy over the weekend.
The idea behind this format is that students may enjoy the pace, rhythm, and impetus of a course with defined dates and lessons that are released in real time; whilst benefiting from the practical advantages of recorded lessons, which can be watched, paused, and repeated anytime, regardless of time zone or schedule.
You will also have the opportunity to join a private Facebook Group dedicated to the course. Here you’ll be able to share your progress and see the work of other students. I will be available for help and advice via email throughout the course.
ACCESS: on the Friday evening before your run of the course commences, I will email you an access link and password. Please be sure to type your email address correctly when you book your place, and check your junk folder if you haven't received your email 48 hours before the course commences. Any problems, just email me: [email protected]
You will continue to have access for the LIFETIME of the course, regardless of how many subsequent runs of it I release.
PRICING: I offer a concessionary rate on an “honesty-box” basis. Please select the lower price if you are on a low income and genuinely struggle to afford enriching activities.
• Sketchbook (A5 or larger, with cartridge paper pages)
• Ruler, scissors, pencil sharpener, eraser, 2 fold back clips, low-tack masking tape, sharp knife, and paper glue
• Black fineliner pens (with a range of nib widths)
• Graphite pencils (HB to very soft)
• Watercolour paint (red, yellow, and blue, plus any other colours)
• White plate or palette for mixing colours
• Watercolour brushes (flat and round in a range of sizes)
• Fountain pen (with soluble ink in any dark colour)
• A selection of the following: pastel pencils, aquarelle sticks or pencils, and acrylic markers (any colours, but at least one light, one dark, and one mid tone in each)
• White fineliner pen
• White paint (gouache, bleed proof white, or a good quality watercolour)
• Printed/found collage papers
• Tracing paper
• A couple of loose A3 (or equivalent) sheets of each of the following: watercolour paper, cartridge paper, black paper, tonal paper (such as brown Kraft paper, or Mi-Teintes, Rico, or Tiziano paper in earthy colour).
COPYRIGHT: all content is my own. Bookings are for personal, individual use only. Sharing and reproducing course content is prohibited. If you are a teacher looking for lessons, please contact me to discuss the various options available for bringing me (electronically or in person) into your classroom.