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Michael Camilleri: Light And Shade – The Tonal Drawing Workshop

Session Info:

Artist Michael Camilleri is an expert in tonal drawing and offers workshops for variable levels of ability, length and intensity. At all levels the course creates an understanding of light and shade in a hands-on way, through lots of actual drawing by the participants.

The beginners’ course is full of practical drawing by the students from specially lit models. Students will learn to look for the range of tones from highlight to shadow, and draw them.

Drawing will begin with the classic sphere and other shapes and develop through more complicated combinations of shapes, culminating in the drawing of the human head. The beginners’ course is a great taste of a “serious” drawing class for students, and is also seriously fun. Students will finish having been challenged and accruing some concrete understanding of how we see light and shade on objects and how light creates the appearance of three-dimensional form.

Intermediate and advanced courses are available for those with experience. It is also possible to run the course over an extended time or a number of sessions to travel through the basics and develop to advanced topics. These look at historical sources  from the 19th century back to the early Renaissance. They include  more advanced drawing techniques, atmospheric perspective and the use of tone in pictures as a whole (composition). Participants will finish with rare insights into tonal drawing that have been gathered by artist Camilleri over two decades.


  • How we see light and shade
  • A tonal system from highlight to shadow
  • Drawing an edge and a curve
  • Drawing shapes
  • Drawing a human head


  • Creating space, atmospheric perspective
  • Historical tonal drawing techniques
  • Composition
  • Tricks

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