All lessons are taught from my home (except on Tuesday in Albury Village Hall), we can therefore retain a relaxed, informal atmosphere. We all have different interests and abilities, and adjusting to this is important when guiding students to explore the variety of different media, and techniques that are available.
In the beginning, the emphasis is on developing one’s own pictorial language; with the aid of a still-life, photo’s, props and of course the observation of art from all the corners of the world. Even though your art lesson is in Guildford which in itself offers some great visual stimulus through its history and the beauty of the Surrey Hills, we can look anywhere to find your niche. This is a very rewarding and enjoyable process that will build confidence and will lead to the development of your own individual expression.
How lessons are set up
Since the groups are small and sometimes one to one, there is plenty of individual attention available for everyone. There are no age restrictions, everyone benefits from exploring and developing a variety of skills that will build confidence in their own personal expression whether this will be pictorial and representative or abstract.
As mentioned before our personal interests play a big part, and since the groups are small it is possible to teach a variety of techniques and adjust to different needs, for example, it might be that you would like to learn to make watercolours or oil paintings from holiday memories or maybe you want to improve your drawing techniques so that you can develop a sketchbook at home or when travelling. You might be an animal lover and want to learn how to make a portrait of a favourite pet in pastel or maybe you love colour and you feel you need guidance in developing your own abstract or pictorial language.
Lots of choices from an experienced local art teacher in Guildford
Different art materials offer different expressive possibilities, we will look at a variety of mark-making in drawing and in painting. We will look at different times in the history of art, and we’ll also look at art from different parts of the world.
My own background is steeped in art from a young age, I feel very privileged to have been taught privately by some very good art teachers and I achieved a degree in fine art (BA) from the much-respected Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I also finished a course in practical teaching for the lifelong learning sector (PTLLS). I regularly exhibit my own art at the Guildford House Gallery.
Duration and outcomes
The duration of the lessons is two hours, and I have some materials available for everyone to enable you to find your preferred media…..this gives you time to acclimatise and see what type of brush you like to use, which paints etc.
I have been delighted to help students with successful applications to Farnham University of Arts and Westminster, and I also help students with skill building for the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Besides learning to paint I always encourage everyone to improve on their drawing techniques which I personally think is invaluable to the creative process. Over the years I’ve observed this to be of great benefit to the painting process whether the student is as young as 7 years or more advanced in age. After all, art is all about this process which involves taking risks, stepping out of your comfort zone, to develop and give shape to observation and imagination.
This process is definitely adventurous, yes – sometimes – frustrating but often very rewarding.
Inspiration and Techniques
My background as an artist is classical as well as modern; I love the art of the impressionists and expressionists…..it is a great moment in the history of art where painters left the studio and art became more vibrant and direct in quality. This probably is the reason why oriental art inspires me, especially the style called “freestyle”. I feel a mutual affinity with the aim in oriental art to come close to the essence of nature, to create a kind of visual shorthand language for landscapes, flowers, animals etc. Like the impressionists, the paintings created, have an immediate quality that is full of vitality. Then there is the amazing quality of imagination in the work by William Blake, which offers an inspiring reminder that there is so much more artistic potential to explore.
We are living in a very interesting time where we have such easy and immediate access to artwork from the past and fascinating modern drawings and paintings, via the internet, modern media and museums.
Techniques covered in the lessons include:
- Drawing with materials like conte, charcoal, pencils, watercolour pencils etc. We will focus on “thumbnail sketches”, tonal values, mark-making to name a few
- Oil painting (adults)
- Acrylics; this media can be used in thin transparent layers or in a thick impasto treatment
- Soft pastels; a wonderful medium for those who love to explore colour in a direct approach
- Watercolours; can be used in a traditional way of building transparent washes but can also be used wet in wet or mixed with other media.
- Mixed media; for example collage with acrylics, watercolour with pastels, inks and watercolours, gouache and pastel etc.
- Gouache; this dries to a matte consistency which can produce beautiful results.
I will help you choose the right paper or the right support from the numerous choices that are on offer in art shops and online.
If this all sounds a little bit serious…..don’t worry, from experience I must tell you that the process of developing your work, whether it is making a portrait of your favourite pet, painting a classical landscape, or painting a non-figurative or figurative abstract, and gaining confidence in your own ability is very enjoyable.
Please get in touch about lessons and art holidays.