Mythical figurative painting with George Popesco

Painting - Subject Led

Ref: SSS11635

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About this course

An evocative painting course which sets a figurative response within the unique West Dean Campus. Draw and paint from the human form, set within a themed allegorical setting, as the backdrop to an exciting portfolio of preparatory works and a finished painting.

Course Description

Experience and enjoy a highly evocative painting course which sets a figurative response within the unique West Dean atmosphere, combining the grounds and gardens as a backdrop to drawing and painting the human form.

During the Summer School, you will work from both female and male models in the studio and on location, using props to evolve a portfolio of studies which culminates in a final finished composition of allegorical odyssey.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, you will gain a range of responses from the clothed human form within an imagined theatrical context. Your tutor will make a strong critical and contextual reference to history painting, leading a contemporary connection to the inspiration of Rococo Art and the technical aspects of setting, designing and accomplishing the final painting. Your tutor will instruct and demonstrate using both oil and acrylic painting techniques and use of mediums.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening, with a surrealist theme inspired by Salvador Dalí, who was one of West Dean founder, Edward James’ friends and collaborators. (Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.)

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully. A detailed timetable will be given to all students on arrival.

(Please note that plans may be subject to change depending on GOV.UK guidance at the time.)


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • The model who will sit for the course. Some introductory drawing paper and charcoal. Clean odourless solvent (Zest it) for students working in oil paint.

What students need to bring

  • This Summer School can be approached through both oil and/or acrylic paints (both welcome and applicable). As a guide to which colours to have ready for the course your tutor recommends the following: ‘The Magnificent Seven’
  • 2 x yellows – one must be a primary colour such as Lemon Yellow – you may choose an additional yellow of your preference
  • 2 x reds – one must be a primary colour such as Scarlet or Vermillion – you may choose another red of your preference
  • 2 x blues – one must be primary colour such as Cobalt – you may choose another blue of your preference
  • 1 x green such as Viridian or Emerald.
  • Not forgetting white paint – Titanium White
  • Your own particular selection of additional colours will form an interesting shared class discussion as part of the course.
  • Painting support such as canvases or prepared boards no smaller than A2 no larger than A1
  • Applicable painting mediums for example: Oil colour – Zest it, pure turpentine, refined linseed oil.
  • Acrylic/polymer colours – acrylic/ polymer medium (gloss).
  • A variety of applicable brushes
  • Palette knife/knives
  • Sketchbook (A4) minimum
  • Drawing media
  • All of the above media should be available for purchase at the College shop
  • Painting apron

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • See ‘what students need to bring’ list.
  • Available from tutor:
  • Prepared gessoed panels as required
  • Oil painting mediums as required
  • Acrylic painting medium as required
Please bring a painting apron or equivalent. Your tutor will instruct and demonstrate using both oil and acrylic painting techniques and use of mediums. 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.


George Popesco

Since completing his academic training at the Royal Academy Schools London, George has taught extensively in varied Art & Design education structures alongside developing his own work and exhibiting both in group and solo exhibitions. George lives and works in Dorset, specialising in Oil Colour medium exploiting its tactile wet in wet qualities to form the mediums expressive and sculptural qualities.


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

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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.

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