Abstracting the landscape in acrylics with Geoff Hands

Painting - Water Based

Ref: S3D12199

Book now

Places available

About this course

Explore multi-perspectival, psychogeographic and time-based approaches to producing abstract compositions. Drawing and painting with an emphasis on physical application and colour exploration will enable you to develop abstract works in acrylic paint.

Course Description

An intensive three days of activity will encourage you to explore and develop abstract compositions from the visual impact of the natural and built environment. A multi-perspectival and Cubist-inspired, improvisational approach to drawing and painting, with an emphasis on colour will guide production.

With prompts and guidance from the tutor, you will develop strategies to break self-imposed boundaries in image-making with the freedom and discipline of abstraction from your own original raw, visual material, both in and out of the studio environment.

For source material you will draw directly from walking journeys around the College grounds, considering close-up and distant views. Active consideration of the experience of seeing and perception, making choices, and directly recording through mark-making, will transfer back to the studio space for planned and improvisational acrylic painting exercises. Various formats for compositions, including sequential configurations that reference notions of stillness and movement, near and far, inside and outside, space and occlusion, light and dark will be explored.

Various approaches to abstraction in painting will be discussed and provide visual and contextual stimulus. There will be both group discussions and one-to-one support in the studio. By the end of the course you will have gained insights into reductive and expressive painting and drawing approaches, have greater confidence in working with colour and abstract visual language, and have an expanded range of working methods to help develop your thinking, drawing and painting processes in future practice.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials including a Seawhite A5 (140gsm) concertina sketchbook and A1 (220gsm) paper, gummed tape and some paints to share amongst the group.
  • The tutor will supply information handouts (e.g. artist information and colour mixing guidelines).

What students need to bring

  • Soft pencils (e.g. 3B-6B) and other drawing media.
  • Stanley knife, gummed tape.
  • Acrylic paints – Primary colour guide (Cadmium Red/Crimson; Cadmium Yellow/Lemon Yellow; Ultramarine Blue/Pthalo Blue [Green Shade]; plus white and any additional greens and earth colours).
  • Assortment of paint brushes (flat and round), a small sponge, a palette knife.
  • A2 cartridge paper pad (140gsm). Masking tape.
  • Contextual preparation could include some basic on-line research into Cubism and Psychogeography (this is optional).

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A variety of acrylic paints, drawing materials, brushes and paper/sketchbooks/pads, masking tape and craft knives/Stanley knives, small sponges and pallet knives are in stock.
Please bring appropriate clothing for working in a painting studio and also for walking and drawing outside at this time of year. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Geoff Hands

Geoff Hands is a painter and exhibition reviewer based at the Phoenix Studios in Brighton. He has a degree in Fine Art, a PGCE and an MA in Creative Writing. He was a Foundation Art course leader for nearly 20 years and also teaches Fine Art at degree level.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.