Expressive Painting in the Elements

Acrylic / Abstract / Landscape - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Explore expressionist painting in the elements with artist Amy Albright as you immerse yourself in the Cornish landscape to sketch and paint with playfulness and emotion. 

Acrylic Seascape Painting by artist Amy Albright

This three-day course will lead you from Porthmeor’s beachfront studios to the sprawling seascapes beyond, painting outside in various locations in St. Ives, from gardens to dramatic shorelines. Begin with black and white studies using paint and charcoal before developing your work using water-based paint. 

Explore colour, tone and abstraction by mixing, applying, and layering paints during this fun and stimulating course.  Through practical demonstrations led by Amy, discover unusual tools and exciting expressive exercises to free up your painting and help you to capture the essence of the landscape.

With Amy’s expert guidance, follow in the footsteps of artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Peter Lanyon, whose abstract expressionism will help to inform and inspire your own individualistic style. 

This course is ideal for anyone wanting to paint with acrylic paint in a looser way to create semi-abstract pieces based on a personal response to both place and the process of plein-air painting. It combines working outside with the opportunity to assess and further shape your landscapes inside the studio to produce a brand-new series of paintings on paper and board. 

What will I learn? 

  • Learn exciting ways to loosen up your drawing, using charcoal and abstraction techniques.  
  • Improve your sketching and painting techniques using watercolour and acrylics. 
  • Learn how to ‘loosen up’ your style, using new tools and techniques 
  • Be guided on how to add details, layers, and resolve your work  

Who would this course suit?

This course is suitable for those who wish to paint outside, and who enjoy the process of painting and creating semi-abstract pieces of work. Amy specialises in experimental approaches to art, helping students to relax and find confidence in using their emotions effectively within their artworks. All abilities are welcome; the course is designed to enhance all skill and experience levels. 

Expressive Painting in the Elements

Acrylic / Abstract / Landscape – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Amy’s Work

My approach to teaching is to share all, to demonstrate my unique way of painting in layers and share my love for paint and it’s never ending possibilities. It’s all about the process, experimenting and those happy accidental discoveries. St Ives School of Painting is very special, with stunning inspiration on the doorstep and an aura of creativity in the studios that is contagious.

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

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 Long Stay Car Park, both a 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at Trenwith 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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