Introduction to Tonal Drawing with David Hamilton

Level: Beginner
Ages: This course is designed for adults
(Students aged 14 -18 who are studying art may be able to attend, please contact us to discuss suitability)


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3-week Short Course

  • Dates: Saturdays, 20-Nov, 27-Nov, 4-Dec, 2021
  • Time: 1 – 4 pm
  • Location: MAC Glenferrie Studio, Level 1, 817B Road, Hawthorn
  • Course fee: $288 inc. GST

David Hamilton specialises in a painting and drawing practice that uses tone to establish sensitive and evocative images. In this three session workshop, David will introduce you to the fundamental principles of tone or value. He will also explain how tone can be used to for its expressive qualities.

David Hamilton, Chloe (Black pencil on paper, 35 x 30 cm)

David will give brief introductions to the work of selected artists (past and contemporary) giving examples of tonal drawings as well as the technical approaches and methods employed.  

David will also include some observational drawing principles such as how to establish perspective and proportion and how to identify shapes in the positive and negative space.

Participants will have the opportunity to establish different approaches in creating a tonal drawing through:

  • exploring materials and techniques
  • the importance of paper/surface
  • ways of using graphite/pencil charcoal, conte and other tools for laying down areas of tone
  • understanding values (tonal scale) and how to apply this understanding to express form/space/atmosphere/mood

Participants will be working from Still life with the option to work from photo reference in weeks two and/or three.

Class places are limited to ensure one-on-one tuition.


This course will be taught by experienced Artist and Teacher David Hamilton. David has a wealth of experience to share with Melbourne Art Class students. David has a long teaching history at RMIT and Monash University and has had an impressive career as an artist for over 30 years.

David Hamilton, Laneway, Fitzroy (Charcoal on paper)

Enrolment details


Dates: Saturdays, 20-Nov, 27-Nov, 4-Dec
Time: 1 – 4 pm
Location: MAC Glenferrie Studio, Level 1, 817B Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Materials: All included
Cost: $288 inc. GST


Can’t make it this time? Please complete your details below to be notified of future Drawing short courses:


    Feedback from previous Drawing students

    “It was a true beginner’s course – exactly what I needed. There was always plenty of materials to use. Charcoal not my favourite but was good to have the experience.” – Bebe, 2019

    “This course is great for someone like myself who had zero knowledge about drawing. It’s a great foundation and gives the student an understanding of drawing with charcoal, perspective and light and dark.

    The content covered starts from the basics (which is what I needed) and builds up over the 5 weeks. This course gave me everything I needed to know to be able to break down objects into shapes and put them into perspective.

    The course is 5 weeks and not a huge commitment. I was able to fit the classes around my life and I left each class learning something new. I researched beginner art classes in Melbourne and this one was one of the very few that offered materials included with the price.

    As someone who was a little nervous about having zero drawing experience, I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxed and welcoming each class was. ” – Brooke, 2019

    “For an introductory course, I think the length/content/materials were all great. It’s nice that it wasn’t a huge commitment, only 5 classes, but still covered a lot of material, and getting to try two different styles (linear and tonal) was really useful. I loved using the charcoal, and getting to use some colour pastels in the final class was cool too. I had an awesome time and proud of myself for what I achieved!” – Luke, 2018 

    “The course gave me everything I needed to re-ignite my drawing passion.” – Tim, 2018

    “Firstly, I would like to tell you how I decided to enrol into your art classes. There were a couple of things that swayed me this way – one is that I was looking for a pure drawing course, after hours as I still work full time. The other and more important one was Marco’s (and others) posts and thoughts on your website that convinced me that Melbourne Art Class was a right place for me – I was not disappointed, on the contrary, the class atmosphere and going back to what I did very long time ago but loved doing.

    The course does start from the basics (which is what I wanted) and even though I knew I could draw, I have learned a lot in just six classes.” – Nada, 2018