Painting & Drawing - Projects

The course is structured across a year to provide a varied experience but can be taken on a termly basis. Each term will have a different emphasis. You will need to be motivated and able to take the initiative to further develop your work. Your tutor will share her experiences and tips with students.

Course Content

Autumn Term Project, 2019
Non-representational art: The act of painting

This term encounter different approaches to making abstract paintings while experimenting, developing and extending your knowledge and understanding of painting techniques, diverse materials and their combinations. A series of painting activities and exercises will cover the techniques and subjects of major contemporary and historical abstract artists. Learn how to develop your own abstract images and find ways to increase your confidence of and mastery in abstract and semi abstract painting.

You will be encouraged to use unusual painting tools and you will experiment in new and exciting ways of making an image, a painting to surprise yourself! Individual tutoring will enable you to take selected works through to completion. Your tutor will share her experiences and tips with you.

As the course progresses you will gain in depth experience and specialist knowledge needed to progress towards professional personal practice. Depending on your personal choice, this could be a portfolio collection demonstrating your creative skills for further study.
Examine major themes in non-representational art. Below are a few starting points:
Colour, shape, form, line, texture, composition, simplicity, essential elements, concept

Research and take inspiration from the work of abstract artists and explore their visual language. Some examples below:

Barbara Rae, Gerhard Richter, Joan Mitchel, Frank Stella, Agnes Martin, Sean Scully, Sam Francis, Peter Halley, Sol Le Witt, Barnet Newman’s zip paintings, Hans Hoffmann’s push & pull paintings, Richard Diebenkorn’s colour field paintings, Helena Frankenthaler

For the first half of the term you will examine major themes in non-representational art through a series of tutor lead activities. Subjects will include:

emotional energy: Pouring, dripping and throwing paint, action painting, gestural mark making, colour field painting, hard- edge, impasto, mixed media, geometric art, fauvism, cubism, Bauhaus, American abstract expressionism, concrete art, Op Art, contemporary abstract artists, lyrical Abstraction

Please see the 'Assessment and Further Study' tab for more information and 'Additional Information' tab for the course outcomes.

Entry Requirements

The course is designed for students with painting experience and advanced students who want to use the course for further development and extending knowledge and understanding through a series of termly projects throughout the year. Some experience with project work would be helpful.

Whatever your level of experience you should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, read hand-outs and you will be invited to take part in group discussions and critiques. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

To make maximum progress, it is advisable you attend all classes.
Regular attendance is beneficial.

First Class Requirements

Please bring basic drawing and painting materials including a sketchbook no smaller than A4. You should have your sketchbook with you for every session. As the course develops you may need to supplement basic materials with other materials necessary to develop your work for independent study etc. to suit specific needs or preferences and to provide variation depending on the type of work you develop. You will need to an A1 size portfolio case to carry work.

Attendance Requirements

To make maximum progress, it is advisable you attend all classes.
Regular attendance is beneficial.

You will be working towards project deadlines at the end of each term.

Assessment Methods

These structured activities should give you plenty of good starting points to develop your work and ideas further. The exercises are aimed to help you establish and choose your preferred way of working so you can then, discover what sticks with you and has left an impression. You can choose to develop an activity further or work with a new idea taking inspiration from experimentations in class.

Working with research in your sketch book is an important part of the course. Through a process of experimentation and ongoing evaluation you will build up a personal record of your investigation. You will plan, record and develop ideas in your sketchbook. The subject matter you work from and the level of abstraction can be open and set by you, but you will have gained many ideas from the tutor lead activities. You will be working from imagery you have collected (photocopies, photos, internet and magazines).

Outcomes will vary according to the individuals’ aims and experience.

New students will hugely benefit from regular class discussions, learning from and appreciating different level of approaches in class as well as giving constructive feedback to fellow leaners. Returning students will be able to take techniques and extend their possibilities through further experimentation or application to the specific project.

To start each lesson, you will discuss your plan and ideas (however insignificant it might seem) and the development of your work in pairs or present your work to the group if you wish. The tutor will also talk to everyone at length about their work.

Class discussion will regularly revolve around individual project work as well as research relating to the discoveries of contemporary and historical artists that use related methods and ideas to influence your own work.

New projects start January 2020

Further Study Options

You may wish to consider further developing your Fine Art skills by joining the next term’s course, or choose from our wide variety of visual art courses. These range from short courses to more substantive study such the Access to HE Art & Design Course or the HNC Fine Art Course.

Additional Information

Course Outcomes

• You will learn to use resources on Moodle for your work
• Follow a disciplined approach to your work. Be relaxed in your body, but focused in your mind.
• You will learn the art of thumbnail sketching
• You will learn to collect a range of ideas for you project in your sketch book
• You will learn to select an approach to enhance a particular idea
• You will learn to apply a wide range of new and exciting drawing & painting techniques, methods and materials
• You will learn to find your personal way/style of interpreting a subject

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 drop in to our main reception area.
For information on course fees and how to get additional help to pay for them look at our How to Pay for Your Course section.