Experimental Figure

Mixed Media / Beginners / Figure - Materials included

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Course details

In a small group work with a live clothed model in this experimental and dynamic course designed to loosen your approach to capturing the figure in mixed-media.

Over three-days, see how to capture movement and character in a variety of media. Using the clothed-figure as a starting point, the course is ideal if you are looking for a way to increase concentration, improve observation, rapidly build confidence and develop personal style and expression.

Working from clothed (fashion) models in our Porthmeor Studios, Camilla demonstrates how to work more quickly and intuitively, working the figure towards a more abstracted or fluid form and embracing your own way of working.

Start with graphite, crayon or pastel and work towards acrylic, ink and collage in the following days. Simple exercises make it suitable for beginners as well as practised life-drawers, with the emphasis being on economy of line, understanding of pose, and innovative use of media to express the essentials quickly and confidently. This approach is not only freeing and fun, but enables your individual style to flourish and develop fast.

Camilla brings her expertise as a fashion illustrator for British, Italian and Japanese press following her fashion degree from Central St Martin’s in the early 90s.

Day to day plan

This is a rough indication of what to expect over the course. However sometimes the structure of the days may alter depending on the nature of the group and weather.

Day 1

Working in ‘dry media’ – graphite, crayon, pastel – explore new approaches to line drawing to express different aspects of the model, details, character and clothing, quickly and freely, so the result is fresh and dynamic.

Day 2

Moving into acrylic paint and ink, we will work fast with a focus on movement, weight, balance and 3-dimensional form to capture the attitude of the pose.

Day 3

On this final day, we use cutting, tearing and sticking waste paper and mixed-media in direct response to the clothed model. Working on slightly longer poses, as a culmination of the previous two days, taking your image-making to an even more individually expressive or abstracted level.

What will I learn?

  1. Learn to work more intuitively and expressively.
  2. Integrate a variety of media into your practice.
  3. Capture the figure in a bolder, looser style.
  4. Find your own voice and visual vocabulary.
  5.  Gain confidence in building a composition.

Who would this course suit?

This course is suitable for anyone. If you are interested in finding new ways of capturing the figure, this course is for you. Most importantly, this will be a chance to explore and experiment without judgement.

Experimental Figure

Mixed Media / Beginners / Figure – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Camilla’s Work

I find tutoring to be a constantly evolving project. It supports my creative work as it requires that I not only understand my processes but can apply them in a way that is useful to other people in their quest for creative flow. Harnessing a fluid and responsive working method, can address all sorts of practical or emotional obstacles that students face. It can be quite literally life-changing.

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.


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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