Experimental Drawing + Collage

Mixed Media / Landscape


Course details

Enjoy creating experimental and abstract compositions inspired by your everyday surroundings in this online webinar.

St Ives Painting Course Kitty Hillier
Kitty Hillier, Experimental Watercolour and Collage

Join Cornwall based artist Kitty Hillier in taking inspiration from her daily wanderings around the Cornish coastline for this morning webinar. Benefit from Kitty’s contemporary take on landscape and nature. An approach that has been attracting attention both locally and nationally.

The aim of the workshop is to seek inspiration from your everyday environment through a process of close observation, slow drawing and playful mark-making. Using all of your senses, Kitty will show you how to pay attention to the seasonal transitions, forgotten spaces and discarded objects. You will explore how universal shapes connect the natural and manmade environment around us, and how one informs the other.  

Looking at the work of various artists who took inspiration from the Cornish landscape including Eileen Agar, Wilhelmina Barns Graham, Barbara Hepworth and Sandra Blow, Kitty will explain how these artists distilled natural shapes and forms into their creative practice, and how you can use these artists’ works to inspire your own creative journey.

Kitty will then guide you, live from our studio in St Ives, through a series of simple, intuitive mark-making exercises. Armed with a handful of sketches, you will then learn to distil your observations into abstract compositions by adding colour and texture to your drawings. Taking linear marks and finding abstract forms through ‘drawing’ with scissors, Kitty will help you to create intuitive and expressive abstract images inspired by the objects and landscape around you.  

This workshop will help you to find your own personal palette and visual vocabulary, encouraging you to experiment and loosen your approach to image making. Prior to the online class, you will be asked to collect objects from your immediate environment – be that city or countryside, woodland or coast – the aim of the exercise is to look at natural and manmade forms afresh.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for both absolute beginner and those with more experience looking to build confidence in new ways of working. Aimed to help you step out of your comfort zone and loosen your approach to drawing, painting and collage.  

In advance of the class, you will be asked to do some walking and gathering of materials and found things from you local environment.

What will I learn?

1. How to find inspiration from your everyday environment.

2.How to ‘draw’ in collage using scissors.

3. How to transform drawings into abstract compositions.

4. How to find your own colour palette using just three primary colours.

5. How to loosen your approach to mark-making.

How does an online session work?

We will send you a link the day before the session so you can join in live. You can put questions to the tutor using the online chat function.

We record the sessions so you can watch on demand, as often as you like, for up to 6 months after. This way you can pause a scene, rewind and finish your painting.

You will be invited to join our Facebook Alumni group so you can share your discoveries with fellow students from around the world. You can also share your work live with others on social media using the #schoolofpainting

You can watch on a PC, laptop or tablet and if you have chromecast or miracast you could even cast to your SmartTV from your phone.

Experimental Drawing and Collage

Mixed Media / Landscape


Taught by


View Kitty’s Work

It’s always great to hear that after trying some of these quick mark-making and drawing exercises, people are keen to repeat them at home regularly as a way to relax or reset. My approach encourages play, experimentation and trust in our gut intuition. 

What to Bring

Paper, card,  paint (watercolour, gouache or acrylic), pencil, marker pen, ink pen/fineliner, scissors. We will send you a handbook on setting up ready for the course covering equipment and materials. There will be a task sent to you before the webinar to help you gather objects and source material.

You will need access to the internet and ideally a PC, laptop or a tablet with audio. Phones are not really suitable to watch a webinar on, unless you can cast to your Smart TV, as the presenter will be hard to see when they share their screen with you .

Timings and Breaks

Live broadcast, 10:30am, Saturday 22nd January (2.5 hours)

During the session please pose questions to the artist using the chat function.

You can revisit as often as you like for up to 6 months after broadcast via the same links as the live events.

What our students say

Kitty was so brilliant throughout and created and encouraged a magical atmosphere of calm, alongside furious productivity. I enjoyed every second of it, it was exactly what I needed to loosen up my style and I will be embedding many of the techniques into my own practice. Wonderful people in a truly inspiring space!


Kitty has a lovely relaxed meditative approach and is so generous in sharing her personal processes.


It was delivered in a calming, easy to understand way. Kitty was supportive and encouraging, and pushed us out of comfort zones enough to get the best out of every student.



Online Broadcast

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

Do I need a webcam/any equipment.

For our webinar sessions which are broadcast on the internet and no webcam or microphone is needed as you just need to be able to see/hear hosts and you can communicate using the chat function. You can watch using a PC, Smart TV or tablet. A phone isn’t ideal as you will struggle to see enough unless you can miracast to a screen or smart TV.

For the longer online courses on Zoom you will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. If you have a PC without camera or speakers, you can purchase a plug and play webcam for approx £25 which connects to a usb port. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

All the art materials and equipment needed to participate in the course will be listed in full on the online learning platform, for live webinars this will be a minimum of two weeks before the session starts.

I have registered for the webinar but I can't find my joining link

You can access all the resources and joining link for your webinar via our online learning platform. You will need to have set up an account on our online learning platform in advance. You can do this during the checkout process when purchasing your webinar. If you are having trouble accessing your online account, please contact [email protected]. You can use a PC or tablet or even cast from your phone to watch on your Smart TV.

I paid for the session but missed it, how can I watch?

Currently all our online sessions are recorded and you can access the recording on our online learning platform until it expires. Usually 60 days for a webinar, 90 – 180 days for multipart webinars or online courses.

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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