Arts and Crafts

Stepping into Art

Stepping into Art


New for 2014

If you've sometimes thought about painting and drawing and wondered about taking it up but haven't really known where to start, then this is the place. You're going to play with acrylics, watercolours, pastels and charcoal. But not all at once! You will be guided gently through an introduction into these lovely media. This is a process of discovery, where you will have the opportunity to learn some of the basic techniques of painting and drawing and with that knowledge you can begin to find your own expression. You'll discover what pleases you. This course isn't about producing a great work of art; it's about enjoying the process. It's about daring to fail.

We will provide all the materials you need. Just bring with you a sense of exploration and prepare to have fun.

Course notes

We will begin each morning with a conversation. This will give us the chance to consider the plans for the forthcoming day and to reflect on the previous day's work. We'll have the opportunity to share ideas and whilst the week is essentially quite structured it will enable us to incorporate some flexibility.

Day 1 is based around acrylics. We'll commence with an introduction to the medium, the ways that the paint can be applied and the instruments and surfaces that can be used. Then it's time for you to start painting and we'll begin with something simple. After this fairly formal start you can go on to develop your own ideas and try some experimentation. We will be focussing principally on the process of applying paint and seeing what it does and how it works.

Day 2 will be looking at form and how we can represent an image. We're going to start drawing and we'll be leaving colour behind for the day and moving into charcoal, pencil, ink.

Day 3 is back into colour and you'll be using watercolours this time. We'll experience using different types of paper and techniques. We'll use wet on wet, colour resist, colour mixing. I'll show you how to avoid the horrible job of ‘paper stretching'.

Day 4 is moving on to pastels. And if the weather is fine we'll go outside so that you can experience painting away from the studio.

Day 5 is a day of personal exploration and individual work. A chance to work further with something you enjoyed or to challenge yourself with something you didn't. And if you would like to, you can mix it all up and have a go at mixed media. I'll bring in some objects for a still life composition. And we'll reflect back on where we've been and what ideas and practices you want to take with you.

As this is a course for people with no practical experience of art, we don't expect you to provide any materials. We will provide you with a limited palette of all of the above. However, if you have any materials to hand, you can bring them along. It would be useful to bring some images that interest you – maybe some photographs, birthday cards, pictures from magazines, art books etc. We're not going to be ‘copying' but sometimes an image can provide a helpful spark of inspiration. And if you think you might like to start using a sketch book, find a nice new one and we'll start to mess up those blank white pages.

Marlborough College, Wiltshire SN8 1PA Telephone: 01672 892388