Summer Art Courses London

The July Course

Book here.

Course Overview

Our popular summer programme is the perfect immersion in fine arts training.  Students will focus on a different discipline beginning with Foundation and progressing through Figure, Portrait to Landscape or Sculpture.

Artists and students can choose to commit for the full four weeks, layering their knowledge and skills over the month; alternatively they than can select a single or combination of weeks to meet their needs and interests.

For some of our students it is the opportunity to consolidate their learning; for others, new to painting and drawing, it is the chance to learn the fundamentals and how to develop them; for those wishing to join us for the long term it offers a snapshot of the school, the method and the community.

We always work from life, whether from the plaster cast, still life, portrait and figure model or landscape. We believe it is the best way to improve our drawing and painting skills, while allowing for our individual creativity.

Many of our students have used their artwork from the courses for portfolio building and to gain acceptance into the universities of their choice.

Course Content

Week 1:     Foundation  Working with plaster casts and still-life’s, students learn the 4 key principles of representational art: proportion, line and volume, chiaroscuro and colour. Work starts in charcoal, gradually building to oil painting. 

Week 2:     Figure From a figure model, students learn proportion, gesture, values and paint application. Work begins with short exercises in charcoal to value and mass studies in grisailles, to longer studies with a limited palette.

Week 3:     Portrait Students start with charcoal to understand the importance of shapes, mass and values in finding a likeness, then progress to painting using the “Zorn” palette. There is a mix of short exercises and sustained poses. 

Week 4:      Sculpture From a portrait model, students learn to handle clay and check planes and proportions using calipers and comparative measurements. The focus is on gesture, anatomy and scale.

Week 1 or 4: Landscape Painting outside, the course covers composition, value exercises, tree and sky studies before developing a large landscape oil sketch using a full-colour palette.

2-day           Materials Course Students will be introduced how to size and stretch canvases from linen fabric; the medium and oil for oil paintings; making gesso and oil paints. 

For further details in all these courses please refer to the detailed sections for each discipline.


A list of materials needed will be sent out before the start of each course, all available from Lavender Hill Colours.


Recommended Further Studies:

We encourage students to complement their studies by taking the time to visit exhibitions and practice sketching in museums. In addition, the Studios host a range of events throughout the term aimed at enhancing the artist’s understanding of their craft and the tradition that they are working within.

We recommend the following books available from Lavender Hill Colours.

Alla Prima II – Richard Schmid (paper back or hard cover)

The Painter’s Methods & Materials – A.P.Laurie

Charles Bargue & Jean-Léon Gérôme Drawing Course – Gerald M. Ackerman

The Art Spirit – Robert Henri

Oil Painting Techniques and Materials – Harold Speed

The Practice & Science of Drawing – Harold Speed

Portrait Drawings – John Singer Sargent


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