Painting - Subject Led

Large scale expressive figurative painting with Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Ref: S1D10393


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About this course

Create a large scale painting with a series of playful and inspirational approaches to painting from the life figure in order to create colourful, bold and expressive paintings using mixed media and acrylic painting techniques.

Course Description

This playful painting course explores expressive figurative painting in acrylics from the life model with both nude and clothed poses incorporating narrative backgrounds and theatrical make-up to gain fabulously bold, colourful, abstract and expressive paintings on a large scale.

The focus will be on colour, abstraction and mixed media techniques. You will start by making a series of quick drawings and studies from the life model who throughout the course will incorporate a theatricality to the poses to inspire your work. You will then move onto acrylic painting and explore abstract figurative paintings by looking at form, colour, texture and scale. The course will help you to explore making bold and colourful expressive paintings, experiment with mixed media techniques and work on a larger scale format.

You will broaden your knowledge of painting and increase your confidence in depicting the figure from both observation and abstraction. Gain knowledge of different approaches and techniques to loosen up and improve your ability to work on a large scale.

Led by an inspirational tutor, you will be guided through demonstrations, exercises, discussion and one-to-one tuition which will help you develop your painting and playful attitude to making work.

A playful and practical approach to painting from the model is encouraged on this partly structured course which covers:

Ideas and Inspiration to being more playful and freeing up your approach to painting

Acrylic painting techniques/expressive mark making

Painting from a life model

Line to colour and bold compositions

Larger scale painting

Form, colour and abstraction


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply some materials, including large Fabriano cartridge paper rolls to share, newsprint paper, white emulsion paint, some acrylic paint, PVA glue, Pritt stick, charcoal, oil pastels, coloured ink, masking tape, brown paper tape.
  • The model who will sit for the course.

What students need to bring

  • Acrylic paint - white, black, and include additional colours, i.e. red/ blues/ yellow etc.
  • You’ll be working on large scale so bring enough paint and a range of brushes.
  • (optional)
  • Any household emulsion paint colours (if you have any left-over colours to use up), large household paint brushes.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • All of the above
Please note: Registration takes place at the College 8.50–9.05 am. The course will be held in the Edward James Studios' Auditorium, about a 10 minute walk from the main College building. We return to the main College for lunch.


Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Chris Gilvan-Cartwright, aka The Baron Gilvan, is a painter, performer and animator.
Graduating from Central St Martins he won the Royal Overseas League bursary to paint in India and Nepal. He designed the BBC Proms logos for two seasons, has exhibited extensively and performed at the Jerwood Gallery Hastings. Chris also trained at Kracow Academy of Fine Arts, Poland, and University of Brighton. He has taught over 20 years from Foundation to Degree level. Chris is a member of Central Illustration Agency and has illustrated 20 children's books, including 'Becoming Me', Frances Lincoln Publishing.

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