Sea + Rocks

Oil / Landscape - 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 both reality and imagination through the composition of a compelling painting.

Take advantage of our location and use the sea and the rocks along the rugged edges of St Ives for your inspiration. Artist Ashley Hold will take you through the techniques you need to compose fresh and lively studies in oils, capturing colour, movement and texture.

Working directly from observation you will explore the tension between reality, pictorial composition and imagination to help you create a compelling painting. If you have worked in oils before you will enjoy being shown new approaches and techniques to lift your paintings style. If you have not painted before you would benefit from one of our beginners courses in oils before progressing on to this course.

There will be some walking on rough terrain and if the weather allows large parts of the day will be spent outdoors so bring warm and waterproof clothing. 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.

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.

We will be spending some time in the studio but the majority of the course will be spent working in the stunning landscape that surrounds us.

Day 1

Choosing your subject, composing the image, tonal structure. Using drawing to study movement. Dealing with change.

Day 2

Developing tonal structure with washes and a limited palette.

Day 3

Working with a broader palette and impasto paint to develop mid and light tones.

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.

What will I learn?

  1. Learn how to work outside with oils and what equipment to use.
  2. Observational skills to capture the landscape before you.
  3. Learn methods of drawing and painting which can be applied to many other subjects/situations.

Sea and Rocks

Oil / Landscape – 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.

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

I found Ashley very patient and understanding as a tutor. He was able to take our individual experiences and adapt to each of us. I haven’t painted sea or rocks before so it was a new subject and I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Nicola Court

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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