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Art Courses @ London Zoo

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Let the Animals out of Their Pen
london zoo, art courses, art workshops
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The animals at London zoo are locked up in a small pen and want to get out. But don't worry, this isn't animal cruelty, because I'm not taking about a cage with iron bars; I'm referring to an ink pen.

Like a cow desperate to be milked, pens are eager to be given a squeeze, so as to let their creative ink flow. The pens at London Zoo are special because they contain hidden animals waiting to be born.

Usually the animals born out of my pen have several birth defects such as a twisted ankle, elongated spine, or cross eyes, but all these problems can be avoided with properly trained staff guiding you through the delicate process. With help from professional artists you can breathe a healthy dose of life and realism into your sketches.

Throughout the year, London Zoo are offering a variety of art courses and workshops that explore the natural world. Catering for all ages and abilities, it isn't just drawing that you can learn, but also sculpture, animation, and writing.

Birds: Feathered & Unfeathered
12th & 13th, 19th & 20th July, 10am - 4pm, 80

Learn about the anatomy of birds through models and observation, while sketching in situ.

Children's Art Workshops: Drawing & Monoprinting
6th August, 10am - 3pm, 55 adult/child

Aimed at 4 - 11 year olds, you'll observe the animals in the zoo to improve your understanding of how they should be drawn. The workshop will include monoprinting, so that the children's artwork can be turned into take-home prints.

Sculpture Course
2nd & 3rd, 9th, 16th &17th, 23rd August, 10am - 3pm, 240 individual, 340 family

Focusing on invertebrates and small vertebrate animals, you will draw sketches to improve your understanding of anatomy before creating sculptures out of clay and natural materials.

Children's Art Workshops: Designing a New Enclosure
13th August, 10am - 3pm, 55 adult/child

Aimed at 4 - 9 year olds, you'll imagine that new animals have moved to London Zoo, and design an enclosure for them using recycled material.

Children's Art Workshops: Poster Design
20th August, 10am - 3pm, 55 adult/child

Aimed at 7 - 11 year olds, you'll pick an interesting animal fact to be illustrated in a poster design, using monoprinting and collage.

Animation Course
23rd - 25th, 30th & 31st August, 10am - 3pm, 220 individual, 320 adult/child

In 'Jumping Frogs, Swinging Gibbons' you will create short animated scenes by learning tips & techniques such as drawing, making plasticine models, paper cut-outs, filming frames, and using computer software. Get inspiration from walking round the zoo and taking sketches.

Children's Art Workshops: Animal Communication
27th August, 10am - 3pm, 55

Aimed at 4 - 11 year olds, you'll learn how animals communicate with each other by observing their behaviour, then create your own illustrations. This will include take- home monoprinting.

Fiction Masterclass
27th & 28th September, 10am 5pm, 200

The programme looks at how we write animals into fiction. Do we depict them in the wild or imbue them with human personality? The course will involve writing exercises and looking at published examples.
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Why? Improve your animal art
When: 12th July - 28th September
Phone: 0207 449 6200
Where: London Zoo
Cost: 55 - 340
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