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5 Day Still Life Painting Workshop

10 August 2020 until 14 August 2020

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As we find ourselves currently reoriented towards living a more localised life, what can the objects and landscapes in our immediate surroundings offer us as a way of reassessing our values at this time?

This course will teach ways of looking, seeing and depicting objects in your immediate environment with a renewed sense of visual inquiry and pictorial intrigue. Students will develop a series of paintings over the course of the week which will push our seemingly ordinary surroundings into the realm of the extraordinary. The course will guide students on how to work from simple still life set-ups and how to work from observation from their homes, gardens, or safely outdoors. Students will be introduced to a variety of different artists to provide historical context and inspiration for their work, such as Mike Geno, Audrey Flack, Pierre Bonnard, Mamma Andersson and Fairfield Porter. We will be searching for surprising, new and unusual approaches to working with our chosen subject matter, framing compositions in unexpected ways and creating ‘portraits’ of objects, food and nature. Students will gain experience of working with the formal elements of colour, form, volume, the reading of space and composition in their paintings. By the end of the week, students will have completed a small series of paintings representing objects and three-dimensional spaces, which speak of the metaphorical implications of drawing and painting our immediate surroundings at this time in our lives. Though the course is suitable for beginners, it is most suited for those who have an established painting practice.


Students are welcome to work with oil paint and/or acrylic paint for this Summer School, dependent on their circumstances, needs and intentions for the week. If students intend to work with oil paint, they need to be in a well-ventilated area, and need to be considerate to others in a shared space. Students are encouraged to be resourceful with materials that they can access easily, and might already have lying around. Items like jars, newspaper, cardboard, pieces of plastic and old cloths/pillowcases should be stored at home in the coming weeks for painting equipment.

All UK-based students will be provided with an A4 Leith School of Art sketchbook and set of 3 paintbrushes. These will be sent by post prior to the course. If booking within 3 days of the course start date we can not guarantee that these items will reach you in time for the beginning of the course. Students must source all other required materials and advice on suppliers will be provided upon booking. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this.


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Posted by: Ginny Elston

Image by Suzanne Birch

Image by Suzanne Birch