Illuminating Landscapes

Acrylic / Mixed Media / Abstract - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Explore and celebrate the incredible light and perspective that Cornwall has to offer us, and discover ways to paint with boldness, colour and joy.

Alex Yarlett

See how to capture the mood or atmosphere of a place, and experiment with working between landscape and abstraction on this fun, experimental course. Alex Yarlett will show you how to experiment with colour palettes, tones and textures.

Working across multiple pieces, Alex encourages you to let go of any preconceptions of how a work should look, or that you should focus on one final finished piece. See how a serial approach to image making can allow a more experimental approach, focused on process rather than outcome. Reject pieces which aren’t working and develop those that are!

There will be some walking and exploring on the mornings of the first and second days, where you are encouraged to record your experience via notes, sketches and photographs. Using this information, as well as your own memory, experiment with various ways forward, back in the studio. See what you are drawn to, and what you’re not. Alex will help you to develop your own process and most importantly, to find your own voice.

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

Start the course by gathering sketches, notes and photographs about St Ives and the stunning coastline. Return to the studio in the afternoon to play with ideas and experiment using the information gathered in the morning.

Day 2

Heading out again in the morning, you will have a chance to expand on the sketches and notes gathered on the first morning. Returning back to the studio, work across multiple pieces on a small scale using different colour palettes. Explore how colours change throughout the day.

Day 3

The final day will be a chance to gather everything you’ve learnt and to develop either one, or a series of, paintings. You will end the course with a group session to obtain feedback from your peers and course tutor.

What will I learn?

  1. Learn to work across multiple pieces, letting go of control and focusing on process rather than outcome.
  2. Build confidence in drawing and mark-making.
  3. Find new ways in to creating expressive and lively paintings which respond to changes in the light.
  4. Capture the landscape in new and exciting ways.
  5.  Transform your observations into abstract landscape paintings.

Who would this course suit?

This course is suitable for anyone. If you are interested in loosening your approach to drawing and painting, as well as finding new ways of capturing the environment around you, this course is for you. Most importantly, this will be a chance to explore and experiment without judgement.

There will be some walking on the morning of the first and second day.

Illuminating Landscapes

Acrylic / Mixed Media / Abstract – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Alex’s Work

I love the process of painting and am excited to gather groups to experience the amazing nature we have on the door step and discover unique ways to experience and convey the experience and emotions of our wild world in dynamic and fresh work.

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

Alex was the perfect tutor to inspire and grow confidence in someone who is new to acrylics. So calm and patient, and yet full of energy and joy for what we were doing. And the venue of course is perfect.

Jayne M


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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