Abstract painting – an introduction with Robert Sosner

Painting - Subject Led

Ref: SWE12306

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About this course

Learn ways to start an abstract painting using line, colour, shape and frottage, then develop and complete abstract paintings. Gain insights into abstraction with brief talks on historical and contemporary themes.

Course Description

Learn about abstraction and discover the answers to key questions such as:

- How to start an abstract painting

- How to build your work once you have made a start

- The different ways of making an abstract painting

You will be guided through a series of practical exercises using line, colour, shape, frottage, resist techniques and collage. You will learn how to edit and develop your work to achieve surprising and exciting results.

The focus will be on expressive abstraction, and there will be short talks showing various types of abstract painting, using historical and contemporary examples.

At the end of the course, you will have gained an insight into the diversity of expression that this type of painting offers. You will have some tools that will enable you to make and develop your work after the course, and you will start to look at abstraction in a more informed way.

There will be group and individual tuition throughout.


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


  • Paper for the first evening and some acrylic paint to get you started.
  • We have a generously stocked craft shop, which opens daily from 8.30am–2pm.
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed with your tutor.

What students need to bring

  • Water pots – jam jars/yogurt pots (some pots are available from the College). Suitable clothing for working with acrylic paint.
  • Canvases
  • Graphite pencils – 2B and 2H
  • A selection of brushes - round and flat head - quality of your choosing
  • One flat head brush 2 inches wide
  • Acrylic paint minimum of 59ml tube in the following colours: Cadmium Red Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Magenta, Ultramarine Blue, Pthalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Lemon Yellow, Black, Titanium White and a green of your choice.
  • Palette
  • Paper 12 sheets – A3 to A1, an A4 sketchbook
  • Oil pastels

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Canvases, acrylic paint in a good variety of colours, pencil, a good selection of brushes – round and flat
  • Palette, paper in various weights and sizes, A4 sketchbooks
  • Oil pastels
Have fun and experiment. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Robert Sosner

Robert studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and has been a recipient of a bursary from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, New York. He has taught artists throughout the film and broadcast media industries and is a mentor to local professional artists.


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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