Stilled Lives: Readdressing the 'Ordinary'

with guest artist and tutor Ginny Elston

Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd July

from 11am 



Materials List

Students will need to have:

  • A range of differently sized brushes, synthetic for acrylic and hogs hair for oil

  • Palette and palette knife

  • An A2 canvas paper pad or x5 A2 sheets of paper that has been primed with white acrylic. Students can divide A2 sheets in half to work smaller if they wish

  • Acrylic paint in Black, White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue



  • Oil paint in Black, White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue

  • Zest-it or solvent for oil paint

  • Kitchen paper


Optional materials that students can get are:

  • Charcoal/ pencils and paper for sketching

  • Boiled or refined linseed oil

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 3-day online course will teach students ways of looking, seeing and depicting objects and their immediate environments, with a renewed sense of visual inquiry and pictorial intrigue. Students will be helped to 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. 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.

Alongside the practice of observational drawing, students will also gain skills on how to read drawings and paintings spatially, symbolically and metaphorically. Students will be introduced to a variety of different artists to provide historical contexts for ideas surrounding their work. We will not only be thinking of the formal aspects of representing objects and three-dimensional spaces, but will also examine the metaphorical implications of drawing and painting our immediate surroundings. 

Students are welcome to work with oil paint and/ or acrylic paint, and are encouraged to be resourceful with materials that they can access easily. A basic materials list will be emailed to all students in plenty of time before the start of the course.


Relevant artists: Rebecca Scott, Mike Geno, Audrey Flack, Mary Pratt, Pierre Bonnard, Mamma Andersson and Fairfield Porter are some of the artists that we will be looking at over the duration of the course.


Daily structure: Each day will begin with a lecture at 11.00am through Zoom, which will help to set the day’s assignment, and there will be time for questions and dialogue. Students will have set times throughout the day for individual tutorials with the tutor to assist them in the progression of their work, ideas and visual style. We will come together to discuss everyone’s work at the end of each day at 3.30pm, where it is expected that students talk about their findings throughout the day. The day will finish at 4pm.

It is essential that students have access to a computer/ laptop/ mobile phone in order to join the week’s teaching, and must be able to send good digital images of their work in order for discussion of their work to take place. Though the course is suitable for beginners, it is most suited for those who have an established painting practice.

  • c-facebook
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

The Edinburgh Drawing School,

13a Great King Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QW

0131 556 0971  |   07791 121313   info@edinburghdrawingschool.co.uk

Terms & Conditions