Foundation Art Courses LondonThe Fundamentals of Drawing & Oil-Painting


This course is suited to all levels and strongly recommended for newcomers to the Studios, regardless of their experience. Students wishing to study full-time attend one session a week of the foundation course, alongside drawing from the figure model and working on longer cast and still-life projects.

Whether you are at the start of your training or returning after many years; whether a recent interest or a long-standing passion you will receive clear, step-by-step instruction in the craft of drawing and oil-painting.  Groups are kept between 10 and 12 students so as to allow for plenty of contact time (teacher-student).  Each has their own easel and receives regular critiques as well as group demonstrations, you will also find your peers to be a valuable resource in your learning.

Students attend one 3-hour class a week over the ten-week term. Class times as follows:

Monday or Tuesday: 9.15am-12.15pm; 1-4pm; 6.30-9.15pm

Saturday: 10am-1pm

You are asked to specify a first and second choice and will be allocated an easel in accordance with this. We ask that you attend the same class each week for the duration of the term.  Apply here.

Course Content:

The Foundation is split into two parts, spanning a minimum of 2 terms. The first offers a ‘big picture’ overview; the second drills deeper into the discipline of strong draughting and still-life painting. If you are only able to attend one session a week, students repeat the foundation course before moving onto figure drawing and painting. If however you are able to commit to more than 6 hours a week, your foundation course will be balanced with working on longer projects and working from the figure model.

Foundation Part 1:  Over 10 weeks students learn the 4 key principles of drawing and painting: proportion; line & volume; chiaroscuro and colour.

Students start in charcoal on brown packing paper, building towards drawing on textured paper.

By week 7/8 you will be experimenting in oils on canvas and start to gain an understanding of the medium and its challenges.

All work is either from the cast or still life set-ups

Foundation Part 2:  Following on from Part 1 this course affords participants the time to hone their draughting, which will make working from life more manageable and the transition to oil painting more logical.

Time will be spent in the Advanced Cast Drawing Studio, a smaller space where the group will work on longer drawing projects with a focus on proportion, line & volume and chiaroscuro.

Develop and consolidate an understanding the critical role of edges and values in your work.

The second half of term will be spent working on still-life painting, better understanding the materials, composition, and colour theory.


At the beginning of term students will need and buy in our shop: a box of charcoal and chamois (eraser).  This is an investment of approximately £5.  To start with paper is provided.

You will not need any other materials until week 4 when it becomes necessary to buy good quality paper so as to more effectively work the chiaroscuro stage.  In week 7 or 8 students start to work in oils, for this will you will need a Starter Painting Kit.  Beyond this the amount invested in materials is at the discretion of the individual.

The Studio Art Store, Lavender Hill Colours, stocks all required materials at subsidised prices. Students are asked to bring any materials they already have with them and we will advise as and when it is necessary to buy more.



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