Painting the landscape with David Sawyer RBA


Thursday afternoons 2.00pm-5.00pm

Dates TBA

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When you look at David Sawyer’s paintings, you are captivated by the way in which he orchestrates a symphony of marks and colours into the experience of landscape. He is particularly noted for his handling of the built landscape, architecture often forms the focus and structure of his paintings.

He is astonishingly gifted but as with many great artists the magic is underpinned by simple fundamentals, fundamentals that we can all discover when we paint along with him.

This course is a combination of studio practice and trips outdoors when the weather allows. In the studio we work from video reference which David has filmed when painting outdoors, this brings all of the immediacy of plein air painting with none of the irritations of wind, weather, passers by and dogs peeing on your lunch (it happens!). In all cases David demonstrates or paints along with you so that you can learn by watching and listening as well as through your own practice. David’s thoughts about painting can be bundled into these themes:

  • Composition and Design
  • Values & Tonal Painting
  • Colours & Colour theory
  • Mark Making & Edge Control

Drawing out - a work in progress by David Sawyer RBA

The initial lay-in, establishing shape and proportion, composition and tonal structure

This course takes place in our Covid-safe studio but you can also attend through Zoom if you prefer or mix and match as works for you, about half of the attendees are in the studio at any time.

About David

David Sawyer has been working as a fine artist since he left Canterbury College of Art in the eighties. During that time he’s won many awards and gained plenty of attention. His work often includes architectural motifs which he renders seemingly effortlessly in his impressionistic style. More recently he has been teaching and students appreciate his uncomplicated and direct method and the generous way in which he shares his knowledge. As a seasoned professional he knows every angle of painting and most importantly he knows where to expend his time and energy in order to get his image.

His teaching style is gentle and patient. For beginners he will set them clear tasks with a progressive step by step approach. For the more experienced artist he will allow you to get on and then when the direction is clear discuss your work with you and support you in your objectives. It’s these quiet chats with an expert that can make all the difference.

What students say about David’s courses:

David is a terrific teacher, encouraging and very helpful.  I love the way that besides supporting the group in improving their work, he paints alongside them. I found it inspirational to watch his unique and wonderful skills and technique in action. When the weather is too bad to paint en plein air, he provides excellent material to paint from in the form of real-time videos of interesting scenes and the changing weather. ” Rosemary Clark

“David is an excellent teacher: sensitive, perceptive, detailed, always ready to comment on your personal methods and results rather than expecting you to adopt his way of seeing and painting.” John Knepler

The more I paint with David the more value I get from it. Sometimes I learn from watching him and sometimes he says one or two words which drop like pebbles of wisdom into my pool of ignorance, enlightening as they go.” Recent student “I would like to say how much I enjoyed painting with David. He is such a good teacher and shares his secrets very well. The zoom sessions worked very well, better than l thought. The camera over his shoulder gave such a clear view, at times better than the studio.” Fred Czulowski  


To book

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Six weeks course