The John Busby seabird drawing course

John Busby set up the seabird drawing course 30 years ago and although many SWLA  members have been involved, it is an independent course and open to all.
The course is currently based in Dunbar. It costs £395 Saturday to Saturday. Evening meals and a packed lunch are included in the price. The dates for 2020 are 13th – 20th June.
Our ‘headquarters’ is the Winterfield golf club. A great location and great hospitality.
Most participants stay at the Belhaven Bay campsite which offers a range of accomodation options.
B&B’s and hotels in Dunbar would also be an easy option.
We try to make crossings to the islands in the Firth of Forth whenever possible. This usually means the Bass Rock or Fidra. Payment for boat trips is separate from the course fee and payment is taken at the end of the course. Weather, tides & poor sea conditions can mean that an island trip isn’t always possible, perhaps better to see it as a bonus feature.
Our most frequent destination is the clifftop at St Abbs Head some 25 minutes drive from Dunbar. This is a thrilling location and has a huge range of subject matter.
We ask that everyone with a vehicle shares transport if possible.
We usually start the field drawing days with warm up exercises and we ask that everyone shares their work in the evenings (even if it has been a hard day). The overall ethos of the course is one of sharing our experience.
Although seabirds are a central theme we have had many artists focussing on the wider landscape, the flora, the sea, the rocks, the butterflies etc… it is an intensive drawing course with seabirds at its centre.

If you would like to apply to go on the course independently please write to with the following details
Date of Birth:
Some background about why you would like to attend the course… are you a naturalist who wants to get better at field sketching, a scientist looking to get more creative, a printmaker who wants to collect raw material or someone who just wants to share the outdoor drawing expeience.
– Some examples of your artwork.
Raw field sketches give us much more of a sense of whether the course would be right for you. Please attach these to your mail as regular photos, eg jpegs for ease of viewing.

There is inevitably an element of selection to who is accepted for the course because of limited places…. we try to keep the course diverse in all ways. This includes alloting places for relative beginners as well as for seasoned professionals.
NB. the deadline for applications is 25th January 2020.