We all know that the best way to get better at painting and drawing is to practise, practise and practise. However as the years draw on and we notice our mortality, time becomes more precious and endless practice is less attractive. Wisdom also shows us that we can just repeat the same mistakes again and again and worst of all, may not even be aware them.
Ideally we mix practice with learning, doing with thinking, action with reflection.
One of the best ways of becoming a better artist is to periodically attend workshops, masterclasses and tutored courses where you will be exposed to ideas that challenge you and bring insights. It’s not always a comfortable process, none of us like the shortcomings in our work pointed out to us but when it’s combined with strategies for overcoming them and intelligent support from someone we respect, it becomes bearable.
Even self taught artists like Henri Rousseau had some input from academic painters like Gerome despite claiming he had “no teacher other than nature” his paintings have lasted well and show technical skills he must have acquired somewhere. A good teacher will give you the skills you need to develop as an artist, working with who you are and without cramping your style.
Pathways to learning
If you are new to drawing and painting it may be helpful to think about what most visual artists need to learn in order to do what they do. Most will be able draw. Drawing is an essential tool more for training the eye rather than to produce finished drawings. We find many artists will practise observational drawing, particularly of the human figure, as a core discipline throughout their careers. So if you don’t know where to begin start with drawing.
We recommend attending our Introduction to Life Drawing on Thursday evenings or our Skills course on Tuesday or Friday mornings to kick you off. Then attend regular drop-in sessions to practice what you have learned and join up with one of our artist led tutored groups
MONDAY – PAINTING IN OILS WITH CLARE HAWARD
Mondays, daytime and evening sessions
April 29th – July 22nd
Bank Holiday May 6th
Half term May 27th
Evenings 7.00pm – 9.30pm
- Learn to paint directly in oil paint
- Unpack the secrets of great composition
- Explore colour and how to mix it
- Work from still life and the human figure
- Become expert in studio practice
- Get close support from experts
- Flexible format – attend all twelve classes or session one or two.
TUESDAY MORNING – SKILLS PART ONE
The Elements of Drawing – A foundation in visual art after Ruskin
Suitable for absolute beginners and those with skills gaps.
Tuesday mornings 9.30am-12.30pm
Summer Term 30th April – 23rd July
Half term 28th May
- Learn to draw and paint from the absolute beginning
- Gain the skills all visual artists need for effective representation
- Progress from simple mark making through line, shape, tone and colour
- Work in a variety of media in a friendly group
TUESDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS – PORTRAITURE WITH ALEX TZAVARAS
Tuesdays or Wednesdays 7.00pm-9.30pm for twelve weeks
Summer Term 30th April/1st May- 23rd/24th July
Half term 28th/29th May
Tutor: Alex Tzavaras
Learning portraiture in oil paint with an expert. Alex’ course is progressive, if you haven’t painted with him before the beginners portraiture is on Tuesdays.
THURSDAY – LANDSCAPE WITH DAVID SAWYER
Summer Term Term 2nd May – 25th July
Half term 30th May
- Learn to paint in oils
- Practice observational painting from still life and landscape
- Benefit from the practical experience of a celebrated artist
- Gain essential studio skills for painting from reference or life
- Learn to paint quickly and effectively – ideal for landscape painting
- Work out doors ‘en plein air’ when the weather is agreeable
AN INTRODUCTION TO LIFE DRAWING
Summer Term May 2nd – July 25th
Half term May 30th
7.30pm prompt until 9.30pm
Twelve week term – sign up for any six
Working from the nude model we explore a variety of drawing methods and you will discover what works for you. We have a demonstration early on in the evening which will introduce a technique or key concept. For beginners this can form the structure for progressive learning, for the more experienced it’s always good to be reminded or just to dust down old skills.
FRIDAY – SKILLS
A foundation in the elements of visual art – Introduction to oil painting. For beginners or advanced artists with gaps in their skills set.
Chief Tutor Simon Dunstan.
Friday mornings 9.30am-12.30pm
Summer Term May 3rd – July 26th
Half term May 31st
- Learn to paint in oils from the beginning
- Understand the mechanics of oil paint
- Discover ways of looking that lead to successful images
- Embrace your own visual language in this powerful medium
This is the follow on course from Skills part one where we move on to painting in oils.