Technical Hand Drafting Residential

New Dates TBC

Technical Hand Drafting Residential

Date: (awaiting dates)

Duration: 11 days (includes 1 day off)
Times: 10am-6pm
Capacity: Max. 6 participants
Fee: £2,500 (includes accommodation and meals)

Do you want to make a start in the art department? Wish you could learn invaluable hand drafting skills in an inspiring location?
In this newly developed residential course, six participants will have the unique opportunity to learn essential elements of traditional hand drafting from experienced Art Director, David McHenry (OUTLANDER, BLACK SAILS, GAME OF THRONES). This course is aimed at beginners in the art department, and students of screen and theatre design who want to work in film and television. The course covers location surveying, lens angles, camera projections, model making and traditional hand drafting – a highly valued and sought-after skill in film and television design. Unrivalled for its aesthetic and emotive qualities, hand drafting is a unique craft to be mastered prior to learning CAD (Computer-aided design).
This 11-day course will take place in David’s Napoleonic family home in the provincial town of Saint-Aulaye in southwest France. Participants will have individual bedrooms at the villa and there is a large sitting room, enclosed courtyard with a loggia for quiet reading and a walled garden at the rear of the house to be enjoyed during down-time. A cinema room with over 1000 DVDs to choose from can be used in the evenings and design-related films will be screened after dinner discussions.
The town of Saint-Aulaye has several places to enjoy coffee and drinks and sit back and watch the River Dronne. You can even have a swim in the river before or after a long, productive workshop day! 


  • Accommodation is provided for the entire duration of the course. Each participant will have a separate bedroom in David’s Napoleonic family home.
  • All meals are included and provided for along with two evenings dining out in the town.
  • All course materials are included.
  • Participants will have one day off during the course to explore the scenic landscape of Saint-Aulaye. 
  • Participants must arrange and pay for their own flights, insurance, and travel Visa (if required). 



Everyone working in the Art Department needs to be able to read a set of scenic plans. Part of the course will be devoted to the fundamental rudiments of hand drafting – to allow you to draw a simple set from a designer’s sketch. Reading a technical drawing is a language that needs to be learnt. Here, the symbols and mysteries will be explained.


Making a model of a studio set or location build is the second basic skill that is required. From a given set of plans David will explain the techniques of white card model making, enabling you to build an industry standard, professionally finished, presentation model.


This is one of the first big jobs an Art Dept. junior will be asked to do. Location surveying is the process of “measuring up" a potential location, then preparing and presenting a legible drawing to scale. You will spend time surveying the architectural wonders of Saint-Aulaye and learning how to write and collate the data. This will enable you to make a plan with all the vital information about the location. 

Drawing the Line: Technical Hand Drafting for Film and Television by David McHenry

David McHenry has compiled his knowledge into an essential resource for aspiring professionals studying and working in film and TV design. The book covers all aspects of scenic drafting by hand – a technique still used because of its unparalleled emotive and aesthetic qualities. Order your copy on Amazon!

Tutor profile: David McHenry, Production Designer / Art Director

David McHenry has over 35 years experience in film and television design. He is presently working on OUTLANDER. Recent work includes BLACK SAILS, Peter Kosminsky's THE STATE and GAME OF THRONES. His work in feature films as production designer include LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND, JACKBOOTS ON WHITEHALL and as set designer on DREDD and RUSH. Extensive TV design credits include INSPECTOR MORSE. 

His book Technical Hand Drafting for Film and Television is published by Focal Press and will be available in the USA on 16th February and in the U.K. on 30th March this year.