Expressive painting from nature with Emily Ball

Mixed and other media

Ref: S4D11474

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About this course

Use mark-making to produce a rich tapestry of sensations and textures from nature. Work in black and white with acrylics, inks, oil bars, graphite powder and felt tips to explore light, space, atmosphere and loosen up your mark-making.

Course Description

You will be working outside as much as possible, using black and white drawing and painting materials on both primed canvas and papers to create rich and experimental drawings to capture these qualities.

The tutor will encourage and demonstrate experimentation with materials and mark-making. There will be helpful exercises and processes offered to help you move away from just copying what you think you see, and instead to produce drawings and paintings that are alive in their own right, poetic responses to the nature in the landscape and gardens at West Dean.

The tutor will then help you to develop work from your studies back in the studio.

You will come away from the course with a series of finished pieces of work that explore working with mixed media in black and white. You will be more confident about the practicalities of working on location and understand the huge benefits of having a first-hand experience of the subject to inform your work. These two outcomes will result in the development of your versatility in drawing and painting, and give you many processes that you can apply after the course.


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

What students need to bring

  • Lots of pots with water-tight lids, layers of warm clothes (as we will work outside as much as possible, weather permitting). Plenty of rags and baby wipes.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Black inks, brushes, charcoal, paper, acrylic paints, masking tape, white and black chalks, felt tip pens, oil pastels, graphite powder, plastic portfolio carriers, bulldog clips, palette.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Paper to purchase by the sheet, and drawing materials to try out and experiment with.
  • Primed canvas off a roll to purchase by the metre.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Emily Ball

Emily Ball trained at Exeter and Surrey Universities and is director and tutor of Emily Ball at Seawhite Studio. Her book Painting and Drawing People - A Fresh Approach was published in 2009.


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

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