The New Year is a great time to think about trying a new medium, or finally tackling a subject which you have always found difficult. Short, weekly or weekend courses are an ideal way to learn, but it can be difficult to find a course which is local to you. To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a short list of fun and practical courses taking place in the first half of 2017, region by region. This list is intended to be a complement to our general listings, which can be found here.
Introduction to Collagraphy, a weekend course at Glasgow Print Studio (18 to 19 March 2017).
This weekend course at Glasgow Print Studio focuses on the medium of Collagraphy (printing from collages constructed on a rigid surface such as paperboard). Students will learn how to use a variety of textures, how to ink their plates, and how to print in monotone and colour. The cost is £145 (£125 concessions) and the course can be booked on the Glasgow Print Studio website.
Beginners Life Drawing at the Leith School of Art (4 February 2017).
This one-day life drawing workshop is aimed at complete beginners. Students will draw from a model, who will execute a mixture of sustained and quick poses to encourage spontaneity of mark-making. For more information see the Leith School of Art website.
Life Drawing class at Cardiff Metropolitan University (10 weeks, starting Monday 17 January).
This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to figure drawing from life, using short and extended poses. The price of the class is £182 for ten sessions; all you need is a box of willow charcoal and a putty rubber.
Woodcuts with Michael Carlo at Gainsborough’s House (16 to 18 February 2017, 10am to 4pm).
During this course at Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, tutor Michael Carlo will teach students how to design, cut and print woodcuts. The cost of the course is £200. For more information and a booking link, see the Gainsborough’s House website.
Flowers in Pastel: A one-day workshop at Norfolk Creative Arts, Grimston, Norfolk (13 May 2017).
This one-day workshop offers plenty of one-on-one tuition and is suitable for complete pastel beginners. The morning will be given over to tuition, and the afternoon to an extended study where students can apply what they have learned. The cost of the day is £90. For more information and a booking link see the Norfolk Creative Arts website.
Life Drawing in Print in Romford, Essex (Various Wednesday nights throughout Spring, including 1 February and 1 March).
This interesting class in Romford, organised by Essex Print Studio, is almost a two-for-the-price-of-one affair. You will learn both life drawing skills and monoprint, the aim being to come away with a couple of figurative prints of your own. Classes are held on Wednesday nights and cost £15. For more information and a booking link, see the Essex Print Studio website.
Screen Printing for Beginners at Essex Print Studio (25 March 2017).
This one-day workshop with tutor Lynne Blackburn is designed for beginners, who will be taught how to use stencils and hand-drawn painted marks to create a design. Students will also learn how to mix inks and use a squeegee and how to pull a print. The course costs £75 per person; for more information, see the Essex Print Studio website.
West of England
‘Mastering Monochrome’ Linocut Course with Lisa Takahashi at Takahashi Prints, Bristol (Wednesday evenings or Thursday mornings throughout March)
This course will explore what makes suitable subject matter for a monochrome print, and then develop ideas through drawing in a variety of media, before embarking on the cutting, inking and printing stages of creating a monochrome print. The cost is £150 for all five sessions (book. Courses run either on Wednesday evenings throughout March (i.e. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th March), 6pm – 9pm, OR Thursday mornings throughout March (i.e. 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th March), 11am – 2pm. For more information see Lisa Takahashi’s website.
Trees in Woodlands, Gardens and Landscape (30 January 2017).
This full-day workshop with Catherine Stott takes place at the artist’s studio in Bampton, Devon. The course focusses on trees; how to sketch and paint them, and how to use them as part of watercolour or pastel compositions. The cost is £50, which includes a 2-course lunch and refreshments. For more information see Catherine Stott’s website.
Contemporary Encaustic Wax Workshop in Dorset (various dates available).
This one day introductory workshop costs £120 per person, which includes all materials, a light lunch and drinks throughout the day. The day will begin with a short introduction to R&F encaustic paints, followed by a demonstration of building up layers of wax medium, fusing the wax with a heat gun. The tutor, Lyn Kirkland, will discuss various techniques including shellac burn, photo-encaustic, mixed media collaging and wax casting and encaustic mono printing. You will have ample time to experiment and will leave with a finished panel and lots of ideas for your own studio. Sessions are planned on demand, so please contact Lyn Kirkland for a mutually-convenient date using the contact form on her artist website.
London and the South East
Wood Engraving and Relief Printing Taster Day at St Bride Foundation (various dates including 4 February 2017).
This one-day, small-class course at St Bride Foundation is designed to provide an introduction to wood engraving. Students will learn how to work from preliminary drawings, how to transfer drawings to blocks, how to cut blocks, how to proof engravings and how to print from engraved woodblocks. The price of the course is £120: for more information and a booking link, see the St Bride Foundation website.
Introduction to Oil Painting at The New School of Art: a 10 week course with Julia Hawkins (Wednesdays from 8 February to 10 May 2017).
This introductory course aims to teach students the essential elements of figure painting, still life painting and landscapes in oils. Working from life, students will learn the importance of working quickly and responding to light. The course costs £580: for more information and to book, please visit The New School of Art website.
Beginners Etching at East London Printmakers, with course leader Ann Norfield (3 full days: 25th January, 1st February, 8th February).
This course is designed to get you etching on zinc plates. By the end, you will be able to etch zinc plates to a variety of depths, to apply hard and soft grounds, and to print small editions independently using rolling presses. For more information on this and similar courses at East London Printmakers, see the studio website.
Life Drawing at Stamford Arts Centre Art Room
This regular workshop offers a crash-course in drawing the nude figure. Experienced artists and beginners are welcome. The cost is £12 a session; for more information and a booking link, please see the Stamford Arts Centre website.
Basic Screen Printing Course at Unit Twelve Gallery, Staffordshire (running from 10.00 – 16.00 on 1 April 2017).
In this Unit Twelve course students will learn the basic techniques of screenprinting: how to mix ink, how to use a squeegee, how to create paper stencils and how to print a small edition of simple images. The cost of the course is £50, and a booking link can be found here.
Life Drawing at the Old Lock Up Studio in Cromford, Derbyshire (every Tuesday Evening).
This life drawing course will be taking place on a fortnightly basis on Tuesday evenings (Monday daytime session is also available). The course is held at the Old Lock Up Studio in the beautiful and historic Derbyshire village of Cromford. All abilities are welcome; please note that Tuesday sessions are untutored. The price is £12 including all materials and refreshments. To book your place and for further information, contact Rachael Pinks on 07927 128989, email on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website.
Oil Painting for Beginners at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (20 to 21 February 2017).
This course in oil painting is suitable for intermediate oil painters and complete beginners. Materials are included and places are limited to 10, ensuring careful supervision from the tutor, Wayne Attwood RBSA. The cost of the course is £110. For more information and a booking link, please see the RBSA listing.
North of England
Working in Watercolours and/or Oils, with David Howell PPRSMA at Staithes Art School (18 to 21 May 2017).
This course in oil and watercolour painting at Staithes Art School does take place in mid-May, which is a little late to be ‘trying something new in 2017’. But it’s advisable to book this course early, as the tutor is the well-known local artist David Howell. For more information about courses in 2017, see the Staithes Art School website.
Expressive art with Robert Dutton in the Lake District (27 to 30 March 2017).
This course is designed for any artist who wishes to loosen up and become more expressive in their style. The course leader, Robert Dutton, will teach by means of demonstrations and one-to-one tuition. Costs for the course are £414 (residential) and £300 (non-residential). For more information see the Higham Hall College website.
Half-day Short Course in Drypoint at Northern Print
In terms of materials, drypoint is the simplest of the intaglio printmaking techniques. The images are scored directly onto plates; no acids are used; the tools are held like pencils. This course will show you how to transfer drawings onto plates and etch them in drypoint; students will also learn how to ink up and print from drypoint plates. The course costs £39 and can be booked on the Northern Print website.
Drawing for Beginners with tutor Karen Lester at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (27 April to 25 May 2017).
Over the several weeks of this course at Brewery Arts, Kendal, tutor Karen Lester will improve her students’ confidence and observational skills. For more information and a booking link, see the Brewery Arts website.
Watercolour and Ink Painting at Ard Arts (10 Tuesdays, starting from the 24 January)
These classes will centre on the use of watercolours and inks, featuring techniques such as wet on wet, wet on dry, dry brushing and so on. Students should bring their own materials. The cost of the course will be £60 (£55 concessions).
Speed Life Drawing at the Crescent Arts Centre (Sunday 5 March 2017).
This three-hour workshop is designed to increase the confidence, precision and hand-eye coordination of intermediates or beginners to the art of life drawing. Poses will range from seconds to ten minutes. Lead by Sharon Kelly MA. The cost of the session is £25; for more information and a booking link, see the Crescent Arts Centre website.
The image shown at the top of this article features students on a drypoint course at Northern Print. For more information about the many courses available at Northern Print please see their website.