Discover Painting

Acrylic / Beginners - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

A three-day fast track into painting from the heart, this course follows Jackson Pollock’s declaration that “painting is self-discovery.” Learn to guide your own way through colour, composition and critique to paint with confidence.

student still life painting

Experiment with acrylic paint using a variety of tools and expressive approaches, complete a series of compositions, becoming more playful and abstract as you go to draw out your unique take on a subject.

You’ll work in acrylics, a forgiving and fun medium that gives you a solid foundation for painting in other media. Using principles of colour theory, texture and tone, you’ll be able to decode paintings, understanding what makes a composition ‘work’.

Ilker’s uplifting presence in the studio helps you listen more closely to your instincts while you paint. He shows you how to stop the mimicry, to cast aside the need to copy what you see around you and instead listen to yourself as an artist. Choosing your own subject from the landscape outside or the studios within, you’ll work in a series to develop its character. Ilker will show you how to develop motif in your paintings in the style of Matisse or Hockney, rather than fixating on rendering exactly what you see.

This permission to be bold, loose and abstract in your work is invaluable, whether you’re a beginner or a slightly more experienced painter looking to liberate your approach. You’ll learn to reflect on and react to your own work, finding your ‘colour voice’, your sense of scale and the character of your shapes. Refining and reworking at pace helps you be less precious about your work and surprise yourself – and it’s here that you’ll truly discover painting.

Please note this course was formerly called Introduction to Acrylics

What will I learn?

  1. A technical understanding of working with acrylic paint.
  2. An understanding of colour, tone and texture.
  3. Approaches for refining a composition such as framing and scaling.
  4. Confidence in your own emerging style as a painter.
  5. Tips for critiquing and reworking your own paintings.

Who would this course suit?

This course is invaluable whether you’re a beginner or a slightly more experienced painter. It helps you discover the beauty of process in the studio, refining and bringing identity to your paintings.

Discover Painting

Acrylic / Beginners – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Ilker’s Work

I love sharing my knowledge and life experiences with others. My unique approach is to try to create individual, authentic voices in the curriculum within a conceptual and non conceptual framework. It’s great to be part of an historical, internationally renowned school.

What to Bring

Our studios are fully equipped and we provide you with all the materials you need for your course. However, if you have a favourite set of brushes or any specialist materials that you would prefer to use, please bring them with you.

Timings and Breaks

The first day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm, please aim to arrive ten to fifteen minutes before the start time.

All course days after that start at 9.30am and finish at 4pm and there will be an hour for lunch. There are plenty of nearby places to eat and we will serve tea and coffee at break times during the day.

What our students say

It would be easier to say what I did not like – which was nothing.

Ilker was friendly, approachable, and helpful. He instilled confidence and encouraged us to have a go at things and think out of the box.



Studio Courses

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How do I get my work home?

Tutors have special techniques for transporting oil paintings and the school has plastic folders available in our shop for £3.50 or do bring a portfolio.

For international students we are happy to arrange transportation of your work back home.

What do I need to bring?

Absolutely nothing! All materials and aprons are provided although some people do like to bring their own set of brushes.

What do I do for lunch?

Courses allow an hour’s break for lunch and there are numerous places nearby or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch into the studio.

What times do courses run?

Most of our courses start at 10am and end at 4.30pm on the first day. Subsequent days we start at 9.30am ending at 4pm.

Weekend Courses run 10am – 4pm on the first day but the final day starts at 9.30 and ends at 3.30 with a short lunch break to enable people to get home that evening.

Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

Booking a Course

Can I pay by cheque?

Please get in touch by phone and we can hold your place for a few days whilst you post your cheque (made payable to: St Ives School of Painting) to us at St Ives School of Painting, Porthmeor Studios. St Ives TR26 1NG

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

About St Ives

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon both 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at the big top car park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

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