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Painting with Expression (intensive)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course enables students to develop their own personal and expressive language negotiating the creative territory between representation and abstraction. Through exercises and tutorials, students will research and develop studies from observed ‘starting points’, to reveal and sustain an expressive, abstract use of drawn, appropriated and found images, underpinned by an understanding of composition and structure.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Some drawing and painting skills desirable

Special Infomation


Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • easels and drawing boards
  • tables and chairs
Essential Materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves: (Estimated cost: £15 - £40 depending on usage)
  • Drawing
  • small box Willow charcoal
  • 2 sticks of compressed charcoal
  • small pot of Indian ink
  • putty rubber or similar
Painting Materials
  • polystyrene or formica palette approx. A4 size or larger
  • old jars, pots or plastic containers for water and mixing paint
  • acrylic paint: either a starter pack or cadmium red; cadmium yellow; cerulean blue; white (medium sized student quality colours)
  • PVA glue.
  • several sheets of A1 cartridge paper
  • 1 sheet of A0 single sided card

Additional recommended materials and equipment students can provide: (Estimated cost: £0 - £20 depending on usage)

  • old sponges, rags, sticks or scrapers for experimenting with paint application, any other drawing materials you enjoy using, and any additional paint mixers for using with acrylic.
  • Content of Course

    The course will comprise of an intensive 5 day teaching block followed by a period of independent study in the students’ own time.

    Class hours:
    • Day 1 - Black and white observational drawing and painting
    • Day 2 - Colour observational drawing and painting
    • Day 3 - Colour and expression: project work part 1
    • Day 4 - Colour and expression: project work part 2
    • Day 5 - Colour and expression: project work part 3
    Directed and Independent study:
    Students will be required to follow up and reflect on their learning from the classes through the completion of directed projects and their own independent study.

    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 five days, 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 or designers and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness of expressive painting in visual culture. Students will be expected to demonstrate how the research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks or visual journals 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 through class hours, directed and independent study, students will be able to;


  • use a visual sketchbook/journal to research, record and reflect on their own technical methodologies and explore composition / structure to develop abstract representation with a contextual awareness.

  • use drawing and painting techniques in a challenging and imaginative way from a range of observed and sourced information

  • select, edit and present a coherent and ambitious series of related artworks which consider the potential of expression and abstraction.
  • Transferable skills

    • Observational drawing and painting skills using a range of media
    • Understanding of structure, form and composition
    • Ability to undertake research and reflective practice and apply these in the context of drawing and painting within visual culture.


    Core Readings

    Bayrle, T., 2002, Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting, London: Phaidon Publishing
    Saatchi Gallery, 2005, Triumph of Painting: Saatchi Gallery, London: Jonathon Cape
    Collings, M. and Flowers East, 2001, British Abstract Painting 2001, Albany, USA: Momentum

    Web Sources

    Web sources may be provided during the course

    Class Handouts

    Course information will be provided on enrolment and hand-outs provided during the course.


    All practice-based art and design 10 credit courses are assessed by the submission of a portfolio of visual art and/or design works within the discipline studied. This will include a selection of resolved art and/or design works, preparatory studies, visual research and evidence of a contextual awareness through a completed sketchbook and/or visual journal. The work must be presented in a clear and professional manner appropriate to the discipline. The submission should include work undertaken within the class as well as directed and independent study out with the class. Typically, this will comprise:

    • Class Contact hours: 27.5 (work you do during the class)
    • Directed hours: 27.5 (work your tutor has set for you to do each week in your own time)
    • Independent Study Hours: 45 (work you set yourself to do, relevant to the discipline studied)

    The combined submission will be assessed against the three learning outcomes for this course. These are equally weighted and each will be given a percentage grade. To pass, you must achieve a minimum of 30% in each learning outcome and an overall combined mark of 40% minimum.

    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.

    Student support

    Please contact Art and Design Studies on 0131 650 4400 if you think you have any specific study requirements that may need to be put in place to enable you to study an Art and Design Studies course. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.