Painting & Drawing

This structured course aims to give you a basic knowledge of the language of painting and drawing through fun exercises in a relaxed studio atmosphere.
Themes vary a little each term so you can practice, improve and develop your skills whilst investigating new subjects. Subjects include mostly still life, some portraiture and some landscape (summer term, weather permitting).

Course Content

Autumn Term:

The Terms begins with a practical introduction to drawing, covering basic observational methods. If you are a newcomer or beginner this term’s course gives you the opportunity to begin with basics. The course is structured so it covers a range of drawing media, including drawing with charcoal, a putty rubber and a plastic rubber, while later you will mastering drawing with chalk pastels.

Depending on your personal preference you can either learn to become more disciplined in your approach to drawing (learn to recognise and apply measuring techniques) and spend more time looking and discovering drawing skills at your own pace. If you prefer you may wish to refresh and develop your drawing style whilst experimenting with a range of exciting drawing materials to find your own expressive style.

You will discover and experiment with the shapes, proportions, textures and tonal values from an array of simple everyday but visually exciting objects.

The course includes a mixture of longer drawing sessions (technical, with measuring and blending/shading techniques) as well as break-away exercises that will allow for shorter, bolder interpretations enabling you to be expressive and relaxed. Experimentation with new drawing materials will let you find your own drawing style.

If you are a returning student or you are an intermediate or advanced learner this course will allow you to master your skills in drawing and painting and develop and let you focus on your preferred individual style. You will continue where you left off; for example, you will have the opportunity to interpret the subject in a more inventive way and experiment with new media or mixed media. For ideas and extra inspiration all still life set ups are influenced by historical and contemporary artists where you can try out and learn from the artists’ use of medium, mark making and composition.

After the Half Term you will be introduced to colour. At this point you will study the colour wheel, mixing complementary colour to produce muddy, dirty colours (secondary colours), crucial colours on any artist’s palette. You will work through a series of exercises using coloured pastels (best suited to the stage between drawing and painting) or oil or acrylic paints (intermediate – experienced student) producing work from an array of objects and still life arrangements from the natural world. You will then move towards working from more detailed and sophisticated 2 week still life set ups before finally using paint where more organisation of materials is necessary. You might not feel you are ready for painting this term; you are very welcome to take this step in your development at a later stage, in a new term.

Spring Term:
More elaborate still life arrangements (inspired by historical and contemporary still life artists) and after half term fun portraiture exercises and The Clothed Model (two or three week poses inspired by historical and contemporary portraits artists).

Summer Term:
More portraiture exercises and The Clothed Model (two or three week poses inspired by historical and contemporary portraits artists) after half term Landscape and Cityscapes around Richmond.

Entry Requirements

This course is suitable for all levels. It is a mixed ability level class, with some returning students. Beginners and newcomers are very welcome and will thrive in a mixed ability class because you can see what's possible and learn from fellow students. This course is also suitable for those looking to further develop their style. Your course tutor will guide you through each session and recommend strategies and approaches to achieve your aims.

The course will include a mini exhibition at the end of each session giving you the opportunity to discuss your work and give and receive group feedback in a friendly environment. You will feel proud of your achievements whatever your level.

First Class Requirements

Willow charcoal, putty rubber, plastic rubber(for pencil), hairspray (fixative spray), masking tape and A1 cartridge paper.
Paper can be bought in the class room.

Please note: The model fees for portraiture sessions in terms 2 & 3 are included in the course fees

Attendance Requirements

It is advisable to attend the class regularly as some classes will be based on previous knowledge and experience, however, if you miss a class the tutor will do the best he/she can to fill in the gaps

Assessment Methods

There is no formal assessment for this course, but your progress will be monitored via group and individually tuition, demonstrations and corrections, visual presentations and handouts via Moodle. You will be taught by tutor-led discussions. You will be given regular verbal feedback with suggestions as to how you could improve your work.

Additional Information

If you require further course information or advice & guidance that is not answered in this outline please email

If you would like general information about the college, for example, fees & finance, funding, term dates or opening times please email or drop in to our main reception area.