From Sketch to Painting - Studio Practice Sessions with Tom Rickman

Mixed Media / Various / Abstract

Book Selected Date

Course details

Demystify painting and learn the nuts and bolts of studio practice by watching an artist work through a process live. Join artist Tom Rickman in his studio where he will share with you the creative journey of transforming an idea for a landscape painting into reality.

This is the first of our Studio Practice sessions designed to compliment our Thursday webinars with practical in depth demos that can help motivate you by building confidence in materials and process. Tom’s is broken up into two sessions lasting two hours sharing with you different parts of the process he goes through to take a sketch to a finished painting in oils. You can come along to one or both. There will be an opportunity for students to pose questions to Tom during the demonstrations.

You can watch the session live or later. We record it so we can let you revisit the session to refresh your memory for up to two weeks after. We will also send you a PDF record of the journey from sketch to painting that you can keep for your own reference.

Once you have booked a session, you will receive a link. There is no need to register with Zoom. You will also be invited to join our Facebook Alumni group so you can share your discoveries with our community of fellow students from around the world.



These studio practice sessions are different to our Thursdays webinars. Our artist tutors will be mainly working in the studio live to share with you a process. Questions will be taken throughout the session. We expect each one t0 last around 2 hrs.

Session 1, Friday 25 September

Preparing the Ground

Starting with looking at sketches and paintings done out in the landscape Tom will talk through all the different ways he gathers his ideas together. After selecting an image to work from he will demonstrate how to size up to draw on to canvas. Over two hours watch Tom set out his painting, create the composition and explore tone and colour palette. He will share with you his approach to following the rules of painting but also when to trust intuition.

Session 2, Saturday 26 September

Reality into Imagination

In this next session Tom will move the painting into the next stage and explore how to take the basic bones of a painting further. He will talk you through the practicalities of mixing his colours, removing and repainting but also the challenges of being both critical and kind to yourself. Finally he will grapple with the question of when is a work finished enough. How to keep a painting fresh and not overwork and even keep it in state of flux.

If you miss session 1 there is an option to buy a recording available to view until Monday 12 October.

What will I learn?

Learn the secret of creating lively and contemporary landscapes inspired by reality but not constrained by it.

Insights into how to take a rough sketch into a finished piece

Approaches to mixing your palette

insights into how grounds can create a painting that glows with light

Insight into how an artist decided when to stop, and when to decide a painting is finished.

Who would this course suit?

Anyone with an interest in art, and the nuts and bolts of how to take a painting from first idea to finished piece.

How Does an online session work?

Once you have booked a session, we will send you a link so you can join the session. You don’t need to register with Zoom just follow the link you revive when you book.

You can put questions to Tom using the question and answer function during the session. We plan to record them so you can revisit the session to refresh your memory for up to two weeks after. You will also be invited to join our Facebook Alumni group so you can share your discoveries with fellow students from around the world.

From Sketch to Painting – Studio Practice Sessions with Tom Rickman

Mixed Media / Various / Abstract

Book Selected Date

Taught by

The process of learning a practical discipline such as painting, can seem both daunting and frustrating. In the landscape and the studio I assess each individual student’s ability and use this as a starting point, trying to keep the teaching just beyond the curve of what they can and want to do. As much as teaching them the basics and certain techniques of oil painting, I wish to show them pointers and possible directions of development within their own work.

What to Bring

You don’t need to bring any materials to the session. This will be a demonstration rather than a tutorial to follow.

You will need access to the internet and ideally a PC or laptop or a tablet with audio. Phones are not really suitable to watch a webinar on as the presenter will be hard to see when they share their screen with you. But we will be sending you a recording of the session so you can revisit it.

Timings and Breaks

We will start the session at 10.00 am. We expect each of our Studio Practice sessions to last about two hours. In the session please pose questions to the artist using the Q & A function. We will pause for questions at different points during the session.



Do I need a webcam/any equipment.

If it’s for our 1hr webinars no webcam 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 or tablet. A phone isn’t ideal as you will struggle to see enough. So far no art equipment has been necessary but this will depend on individual sessions.

For the longer online courses you will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

I have registered for the webinar but I cant find my joining link

The link will have been emailed to you at the time of booking in your booking confirmation. You don’t need to register separately with Zoom. Please check your junk mail. If you can’t find your booking confirmation email please contact and we will resend it.

I paid for the session but missed it, can you send me the video?

The video recording will automatically be sent to all who booked on the session. You will have two weeks from the date of the session to watch it.

Our 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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