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Images and Ideas (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course will enable students to develop personal subjects or related themes by exploring compositions and visual ideas from drawing, painting, print, illustration of design outcomes. Students will undertake a range of focused drawing, painting and mixed media techniques to consider how they can inform and shape the content and mood of the finished work.

Course Details

Special Information

This course will include a limited supply of basic papers and cards. However please do acquire the materials recommended for this course.

Materials you will need to bring to the first class:

  • a range of drawing materials – eg. pencils, conté, charcoal, fibre pens, dip pens

  • any collected visual research - photographs, magazines, drawings, sketches and studies from previous classes

  • a starter set of acrylic paints (to include: red, blue, yellow, white, black

  • at least three hog hair or acrylic brushes

  • a craft knife and scissors

  • masking tape

  • Pritt Stick

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • an A4 or A5 sketchbook (hardback book -not soft cover)

  • a range of drawing materials - pencils, conté, charcoal, fibre pens, dip pens

  • a starter set of acrylic paints (to include: red, blue, yellow, white, black

  • a range of hog hair brushes

  • a craft knife and scissors

  • masking tape

  • PVA glue, Pritt Stick

  • cartridge paper

  • any collected visual research - photographs, magazines, drawings, sketches and studies from previous classes or own work

  • an assortment of collage material – papers, fabrics, wrappings, newspapers, etc.

  • a bottle of black drawing ink

  • a digital camera

  • further photocopying as required

Content of Course

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

1. Using a sketchbook as a means of routine recording of observations, ideas and development through drawing, mixed media, collage and photography.

2. Explore, appropriate and transcribe composition, colour, tone and technical approaches from a range of researched artists’ work.

3. Taking ideas for a visual walk through a series of drawing, painting and mixed media exercises.

4. Developing a thematic approach to picture making.

5. Develop a personal project which interrogates themes and ideas as means to drive visual image making.

6. Crate and present of portfolio of work as sustained exploration of personal enquiry.

7. Keep a log/blog during the period of the course to record learning, achievements and challenges.

Teaching method(s)

The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a ‘directed study plan’ which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes. 

The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Make visual enquiry through the use of the sketchbook demonstrate a range of strategies for recording and developing visual information.

  • Show an emerging individuality in exploring ideas, materials and processes to create a range of visual studies and resolved image-based artworks.

  • Evidence independent judgment in the research, selection and editing of visual images to reveal its value.


Core Readings


  • MORSE, J. D., 1972, Ben Shahn, London: Secker and Warburg

  • HAMILTON, J., O’DONOGHUE, H.  2003, Hughie O’Donoghue Merrell Publishers Ltd

  • BOYD, A., 1969, Retrospective exhibition of paintings, drawings and other work by Arthur Boyd, Edinburgh: Demarco Gallery

  • TAPIES, A., Ta`pies, Antoni, 1923-1972, London: Thames & Hudson, [text by] Vera Linhartova; [translated from the French by Anne Engel]

  • KIEFER, A., 2008, Bu¨cher : [anla¨sslich der Ausstellung "Anselm Kiefer. Bu¨cher", 18. Oktober-29. November 2008, Ausstellungsraum Celine und Heiner Bastian, Berlin-Mitte] / [Herausgeber: Heiner Bastian, Munchen.

  • JENKINS, D., 2003, John Piper in the Thirties: Abstraction on the Beach, London: Merrell

  • WEIGHT, C., 1982, Carel Weight RA, a retrospective exhibition, London: Royal Academy of Arts(Great Britain)

  • IKEGAMI, H., 1973-2010, Great migrator : Robert Rauschenberg and the global rise of American art, Cambridge, Mass; London: MIT Press


Details of the Art and Design assessment requirements can be found on the short course website. Please click on the following link for more information: Submission and Assessment Information

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.