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We are fortunate in the UK to be surrounded by a diverse range of garden birds who display an array of colours that can be easily transcribed into our artwork.

This introductory bird drawing course covers technical elements of texture, tone and water washes. Use a brown ink pen with a light wash à la ‘Nature Notes of the Edwardian Lady’ to create beautiful investigative compositions celebrating the intricacy of feathers and the birds to which they belong.

This course is taking place in the beautiful Quarry Bank Mill, in Cheshire near Manchester. A wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by the very best of local scenery and historical architecture.
Location: Quarry Bank Mill near Manchester Airport
SatNav: Use SK9 4HP and follow brown heritage signs

Join one of our talented art tutors who will support you with techniques and knowledge to bring the subject of birds alive through your artwork using images, hands-on resources and first-hand observations of the subject. The artistic skills will be complemented by knowledge of the species to really give depth and understanding to the pieces that you create.

There is no accommodation provided with this course

Bookings will close if course capacity is reached

Who Should Attend?

Nature enthusiasts, Students, Keen artists.

Knowledge Level

Introductory. Level descriptors can be found on the following webpage: Eco-Skills Framework and Course Level Descriptors

Prior Knowledge

No existing knowledge, or experience is needed for this course. Just a willingness to explore and learn.

What will be covered during this course?

  • Drawing in pen
  • Creating pen textures and patterns in relation to birds
  • Mixing colours intuitively
  • Applying Water colour
  • Placing subjects in context
  • Developing a broader view of nature drawings from the work of others and from a historical perspective

By the end of the course, you will be able to create drawings of birds incorporating:

  • Pen texture
  • Surface detail
  • Colour
  • Environmental context

This is a place-based training course from FSC Eco-Skills, including a balance of classroom-led learning to impart important knowledge and irreplaceable hands-on drawing opportunities from images, specimens and live observations giving individuals skills and confidence in their art.
After attending this course, you may like to progress your learning within the Birds learning framework through further relevant FSC courses or branch out into other areas of natural history. The FSC offers both online and in person courses, so you can choose the course and the learning style that suits you best.

The course gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new subject and acquire novel skills with our fantastic tutor Debora Cane.

  • See the ‘Example Timetable’ and ‘What’s Included’ sections below for more information about this course.
  • Upon booking you will need to provide individual details of all attendees
  • Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Group Bookings Made Easy

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals wanting to complete one of our courses, our team are available to discuss your options – from discounts to private team courses.

  • Discounted rates
  • Privately run courses for your group
  • Bespoke courses developed specifically for your needs

Click here to find out more!

Tutor: Debora Cane

Debora is an enthusiastic art tutor with over 30 years’ experience. All of her courses concentrate on simple concepts and practical techniques and are suitable for everyone; no previous experience is required. Every session has planned content and takes varying approaches to help students build up their own techniques and style. Debora draws and paints daily (mainly in pen and ink) and undertakes illustrations for small commissions. She is a Professional Associate of the SAA.

Covid Measures

In order to keep our customers and staff safe, we ask that anyone attending our centres:

  • Wears a face covering when in shared indoor space (unless exempt).
  • Maintains social distancing.
  • Cleans their hands regularly.
  • Takes a Covid-19 test before they arrive.

Book with Confidence

We understand the difficulties of making plans in the current situation when guidelines continue to change, and insurance conditions are being tightened. In response, we will continue to offer additional flexibility. Find out more here

Example Timetable

Example Timetable

This timetable is subject to change but should give a clear outline of what to expect

    • Please arrive in time for the course to start promptly at 10:00am
    • The course will end at 5:00pm
10:00am Introductions
10:15am Group discussion, Historical context, Realism
10:30am Initial drawing explorations using pattern and texture 
11:00am Pattern & Surface Detail Creating drawings of specimens relating to surface patterning and texture
12:45pm Lunch – Not provided
1:45pm Work in Colour
Creating drawings of specimens relating to colour, mixing colour and applying watercolour
3:45pm Environmental Context
Applying a background context to drawings
4:30pm Review group artwork and discussion
5:00pm End of course

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition

What’s included?

  • Classroom learning covering artistic skills and their application
  • Field excursions to observe the subject first-hand
  • Expert tuition for which the FSC is renowned
  • Clear objectives and progression

You can rest assured that the absolute best content from an expert in environmental education will be provided. In choosing an FSC course, you will be joining thousands of people who learn with us each year.

PLEASE NOTE lunch, refreshments and accommodation are not included

Bursaries and Subsidies


Before You Attend

Before you attend:

  • What to Bring
  • A4 cartridge paper, loose leaf or a sketchbook
  • 2B or HB pencil
  • Set of brown fine liner pens of varied thicknesses
  • Small set of watercolours
  • 1 or 2 medium fine brushes (around size 3 or 4)
  • Rubber
  • Please bring your own refreshments & pack lunch

There will be a member of staff with first aid training and access to a first aid kit on site. If you have special medical or access requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can make any necessary adjustments.

Sorry this course has ended