Sea + Rocks

Oil / Landscape / Seascapes - Materials included

Book Selected Date

Course details

Learn to make fresh and lively oil studies of the breaking waves and rocky outcrops of St Ives, explore drawing media to capture compelling compositions and then paint directly from observation on the Cornish coastline.

Join us for this weekend course led by artist Ashley Hold exploring the rugged coastline of St Ives. Ashley will demonstrate how to capture the rich landscape of West Cornwall in oils. Taking you from shoreline to studio, learn to work en plein air.

The course starts with Ashley taking you through the techniques you need to compose fresh and lively studies in oils. Capturing colour, movement and texture, you will work directly from observation, learning the techniques to help you choose successful pictorial compositions. In the following days, you will learn how to transform your initial studies into a compelling painting. If you have worked in oils before you will enjoy being shown new approaches and techniques to lift your painting style.

Our studios are situated just a short walk away from stunning coastal scenery. There will be lots of opportunities, if the weather allows, to wander out on to the beach and coastal paths on our doorstep and sketch outside. We will be taking some photo and video clips as a visual reference (a camera/phone or tablet will be necessary) to help us deal with the challenge of suggesting the movement of water and the changes in light, tide and the unpredictable weather. 

oil painting of sea and rocks

Who would this course suit?

It would be helpful to have at least some experience of drawing and painting but otherwise this course would suit those at all stages of their creative journey.

Please note we will be spending time outside in the landscape so you will need to be mobile and comfortable walking over rough terrain. However we do have portable stools and we wont need to walk far.

What will I learn?

  1. Increased confidence working with oils.
  2. A better understanding of the tension between reality, pictorial composition and imagination.
  3. Insights into best practices for working outdoors.
  4. An awareness of the possibilities of capturing colour, movement and texture through oil paint.
  5. An understanding of transforming smaller studies to larger compositions.

Sea and Rocks

Oil / Landscape / Seascapes – Materials included

Book Selected Date

Taught by

I’m a representational painter and all my teaching is oriented for those who want to make representational painting, whether landscape, or figure-based. Most of my teaching has focused on the individual students’ needs, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and offering strategies to develop the latter. Generally, the things that people struggle with in their work are counter intuitive

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.

As the weather is never completely reliable, as part of the course, it is useful to be able to gather video clips to work from as a way to help you deal with capturing the movement of waves, which can then be replayed over and over. If you have one, please bring along a digital tablet/phone that could be used for this. The workshop is usually a mix of working outside and in the studio, depending largely on the weather.

It would be useful to bring a packed lunch for each day so you can spend more time outside as you may be working some distance from the town.

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 3.30 on Sunday after a short lunch break to try an enable people to get home that day.
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

I learnt a huge amount in three days. The studio was a fantastic physical environment Excellent teaching and support.


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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