Painting - Subject Led

Colour, tone and division – thinking visually about painting with Matthew Collings

Ref: S5D08935


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About this course

Think visually about painting and focus on what makes it worth looking at and what gives it visual intensity, regardless of the subject. Through a series of exercises investigate colour, tone and division, to enhance the visual power of your paintings.

Course Description

In this course you will learn to think visually when creating a painting. The subject matter can be anything you like. Or there can be a complete absence of subject. The point of thinking visually is to focus on the question of what makes a painting worth looking at, what gives it visual intensity, regardless of what the painting is "of".

Through a series of exercises three ideas about visual meaning will be investigated: these are colour, tone and division (or dividing up the canvas so that there is an efficient layout with which to work).

At the end of the week you can expect to have produced one painting in your chosen medium that you feel has visual power, plus supporting try-outs that demonstrate the thinking that went into the final work.


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, 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

  • Please bring one reproduction of any painting from history, modern art or pre-modern, which you feel is visually powerful. This will be analysed during the course of the week, from different points of view.

Available to buy

  • Canvas up to A1 (you can bring larger if you like, up to four feet (1.2m)
  • Painting materials, oil or acrylic
  • Drawing materials of any kind, including paper ranging from small to large sheets
  • Scissors, masking tape, tracing paper


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

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