Online Course: Illustration and Wellbeing

A brand-new 6-week online course inspired by Gestalt art therapy.

When, Where

  • Zoom


Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.” Dorothea Tanning

Join illustrator and educator Merlin Evans for this brand-new 6 week course inspired by Gestalt art therapy and its practices of connecting, exploring and integration as tools for self-reflection and creativity.

During the course you will:

  • Focus on the three building blocks of Gestalt art therapy: reflection, safety and play (connecting), exploring barriers and blockages to creativity (exploring) and finding authentic expression and integrating learning (integration).
  • Work with materials including collage, Indian ink, graphite and mixed media to explore different aspects of selfhood in a safe and supportive space.
  • Make your own mark-making tools, brushes and pens.
  • Take part in meditations, journaling and exercises inspired by Taoist philosophy’s reverence for nature.
  • Embrace the art of making mistakes, exploring colour theory to create abstract ‘mistaken’ landscapes.
  • Engage with conscious and unconscious belief systems to find your unique visual language and overcome creative block.

How the course works:

  • Live online classes will take place on Monday evenings and include real-time exercises, tutorials, demonstrations, group discussion and feedback (please note that all timings are GMT).
  • We use Padlet for our courses, where all course materials will be held, including recordings from each week and a student gallery for uploading your artwork between sessions.
  • Participants will receive handouts a week before the course start date and login details the day before – these will be sent to the email address linked to your Paypal account so please email as soon as possible from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

You will need:

  • A4 cartridge paper
  • Sketchbook or scrapbook (optional)
  • Scrap paper (optional)
  • Coloured paper (optional)
  • Dotted, lined and/or graph paper (optional)
  • Black 0.5mm fine liner
  • Black 0.2mm and 0.7mm fine liners (optional)
  • HB and 2B pencils
  • Charcoal pencils or sticks
  • Conte (optional)
  • Coloured crayons (optional)
  • Indian ink
  • Bamboo kebab sticks, chopsticks or sticks from the garden/park
  • Small set of cheap paintbrushes in 3-4 sizes
  • Collage materials, e.g. newspapers, magazines or recycling
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Masking tape
  • Fixative or hairspray for setting charcoal (optional)

Participants will receive handouts in a Padlet link a week before the course start date and login details the day before.

Please note that while the sessions are inspired by Gestalt art therapy, this is not a therapy programme and the tutor is not a therapist.

Experience: no prior experience needed, but a desire and intent to engage in self reflective practices would be helpful.

About the tutor:

Merlin Evans is an award-winning illustrator, scribe and educator who’s been teaching at House of Illustration since 2011. Merlin specialises in medical illustration, and currently holds the post of Medical Illustrator in Residence at the Centre for Performance Science, a partnership of the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London. She has lectured internationally and taught at numerous art colleges, schools and universities across the UK. Selected previous clients include Tate Modern, The British Library, The Design Museum, Central Saint Martins, NHS, John Lewis, Bloomsbury Books, Latitude Festival and Time Out. Read our Q&A with Merlin.

Feedback from Merlin's previous courses:

"Merlin was a fantastic tutor and managed to fit in a load of content without it feeling rushed. Thanks!"

"The tutor was fantastic – very focused, helpful, engaging and enthusiastic."

“You really reminded me what makes a great teacher, finding ways to connect with your students and finding things in common with us, helping us find our passion and be true to ourselves. Thank you!”

Course dates and booking:

This course runs for 6 weeks: Mondays 8 March – 19 April 2021, 6-8.30pm GMT.

The price refers to the whole course, not individual sessions. This course is for those aged 18+ only.

IMPORTANT: Your ticket confirmation will go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please email from your contact email address if this is different to the one linked to your Paypal account.

Any questions? Please check our FAQs.


Tickets Price Number Total price
Total amount £0.00
Full 6 week online evening course for adults with Gift Aid£275.00 £275.00
Full 6 week online evening course for adults£250.00 £250.00

Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and subject to our general terms and conditions. Age 18+ only.

Your ticket confirmation email may go to the email address linked to your Paypal account. Please contact immediately if you do not receive it.

Gift Aid

The Gift Aid price includes a voluntary 10% donation which allows us to claim back 25% of the total price paid. This small donation makes a huge difference to a charity like ours which receives no public funding – thank you! UK taxpayers only. Find out more at our Gift Aid page.