Sketch into Painting: From Near to Far & Back Again (recording)

Mixed Media / 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 the studio as he concentrates on how to tackle the foreground / middle / distance and the subject of compositional space.

These Studio Practice sessions provide an insight into an artist at work and provide 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. There will be an opportunity for students to pose questions to Tom during the demonstrations.

PLEASE NOTE: If you purchase after 28 November you are buying a recording of the live sessions.

You can watch the sessions live or later. We record them so we can let you revisit them 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 on the sessions, you will receive two links. 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.



In these studio practice sessions our artist tutors will be working in the studio live to share with you a process. Questions will be taken throughout the session. There are two sessions and we expect each one t0 last around 2 hrs.

Session 1

Preparing the Ground

Tom will be looking at the spatial aspects of composition. How he deals with the transitions from the foreground, middle space and distance.

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

Reality into Imagination

In this follow up 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.


The sessions are broadcast live on 27th and 28th November.

If you missed them you can buy a recording of both 2 hour sessions dated 14th December. You can watch as many times as you like, pause, review and rewind until 14th December when the link will expire.

What will I learn?

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

Find out how to explore compositional space within landscape painting

Visualise the various picture plains and perspective within the landscape, from the foreground, through the middle distance to the far distance.

Insights into how to simplify complexity, colour and tone perspective, and the perspective of subject and detail.

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 live. You don’t need to register or download anything, just follow the link you receive when you book. This link is only valid for the live session the link to the recording is sent later.

You can put questions to the tutor using the question and answer function during the session. We record the sessions so you can watch on demand as often as you like 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.

Sketch into Painting: From Near to Far & Back Again (recording)

Mixed Media / Abstract

Book Selected Date

Taught by


View Tom’s Work

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 sessions so you can revisit it.

Timings and Breaks

We will start each 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.

What our students say

I think the webinar series are brilliant! I have seen them all. A big thank you to you and all the people involved with these innovative ways of generating courses. They’ve been a lifeline during these difficult times.

Pat G

Thank you very much to Tom for such a great session. I really loved his conversational approach – a lovely atmosphere to the session – and have gathered lots of good ideas!


Really enjoyable, happy morning spent with Tom Rickman! Inspiration for the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.


I loved listening to and watching Tom paint – I learned so much! Many thanks to you and your team for making all this possible – I am newly inspired!



Online Broadcast

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

Do I need a webcam/any equipment.

For our webinar sessions which are broadcast on the internet and no webcam or microphone 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, Smart TV or tablet. A phone isn’t ideal as you will struggle to see enough unless you can miracast to a screen or smart TV.

For the longer online courses on Zoom you will need a laptop or tablet with audio and camera enabled so you can have a screen near where you are working. If you have a PC without camera or speakers, you can purchase a plug and play webcam for approx £25 which connects to a usb port. You will also need reasonable broadband connection and speed.

All the art materials and equipment needed to participate in the course will be listed in full on the online learning platform, for live webinars this will be a minimum of two weeks before the session starts.

I have registered for the webinar but I can't find my joining link

You can access all the resources and joining link for your webinar via our online learning platform. You will need to have set up an account on our online learning platform in advance. You can do this during the checkout process when purchasing your webinar. If you are having trouble accessing your online account, please contact You can use a PC or tablet or even cast from your phone to watch on your Smart TV.

I paid for the session but missed it, how can I watch?

Currently all our online sessions are recorded and you can access the recording on our online learning platform until it expires. Usually 60 days for a webinar, 90 – 180 days for multipart webinars or online courses.

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.

You might also like...