with artist and tutor Graeme Swanson

Thursdays from 1.00pm

10 Weeks

Thursday 23rd September to Thursday 2nd December

(no class 21st October)



In order to fulfil our obligations to tutors and models, as well as sustaining cash flow to the school, please note that we are only able to offer 50% of each class capacity to those booking with credit. If you are not able to redeem your course credit this term, we will endeavour to honour your credit in the following term. Please read our Refund Policy closely.

What does abstraction mean to you?

During this course, you will have opportunities to explore and express, what abstraction means to you by creating your own abstract images or visual story.

You can develop ideas, sketches, consider patterns, shapes, textures while experimenting with various techniques in painting (with acrylics), drawing, or mixed media.

  • Creating an abstract composition – getting started.

  • Tutor advice and demonstrations

  • Colour and Composition - considering your colour scheme tips on composition

  • Expressive Exploration - alternative applications, using different brushes, rollers, spatulas, old credit cards to create an abstract expressive style

  • Mark Making with acrylic paint (dries in a short time, no smell, brushes wash in water)

  • Try different surfaces, cartridge paper, board, maybe a small canvas?


An element of informal theory will also be included looking at how some famous artists developed their own abstract style and links to virtual galleries.

The course is suitable for all levels, including complete beginners or those with some painting experience who would like to learn how to develop an abstract style.

If you have not used acrylic paints before, no problem it’s easy and fun to learn.

If you have used acrylics before and perhaps attended other classes, then don’t let your paints sit idly, try something creative and exercise some lateral thinking!

We will be exploring the versatility and vibrancy of acrylic paints, applying acrylics in different ways onto different surfaces (e.g. paper, board, canvas) and exploring a variety of techniques such as impasto, brush, rollers, mixed media.


The course will also provide an opportunity to create compositions using and experimenting with colour values and colour mixing techniques.


You will be encouraged to develop your own individual project.

Before the course commences, your tutor Graeme will make available a 'welcome and getting set up' video tutorial  and also send out an email to encourage your abstract creativity!


Each week, there will be a live interactive session  and Graeme will schedule individual tutorials by either Zoom, WhatsApp or email (student preference)

Materials List

A bit like home delivery or click and collect shopping where you may not get everything you ordered, this materials list is basic and you can add things to it as we progress through the course!

  • Acrylics paints (a set of mixed colours or beginners/starter pack)  although you can mix most colours from just blue, red, yellow, black and white

  • An old cloth, dishwashing sponge 

  • Out of date plastic cards (e.g. bank/credit/supermarket/club) - these are great for spreading, scraping, lifting paint.

  • Old spreader paintbrushes, with synthetic bristles, min 2- 3

  • A household DIY paintbrush

  • Sketchpad or sheets of strong cartridge paper, perhaps a small board (MDF or hardboard) or canvas board or a small / medium canvas

  • Palette/plate 

  • A jar for water