Reveal a fresh and immediate approach to watercolour, emulating Turner’s rapidly made and highly expressive studies, known as colour “beginnings”. Create vibrant seascapes that evoke the boundlessness of sea and sky.
Explore techniques to capture the elemental power of the sea, inspired by JMW Turner, the pre-eminent painter of water. His rapidly made and highly expressive studies, known as colour “beginnings”, reveal fresh and immediate approaches to using watercolour. Learn to create vibrant watercolours, denote the sky, sea and beach, and animate and transform unadulterated colour into a boundless seascape.
Turner’s subject was light itself, reducing the landscape to its simplest forms to create a fusion of elements. Adopting a bold approach to using watercolour, like Turner, you will work on different scales, using different coloured papers and developing a minimalist style so forms are reduced to the barest description of sea and sky.
This way of working will feel like an approach to abstraction, although this concept was not understood or promoted in the nineteenth century, even by Turner who was renowned for his experimental nature. For Turner this was a means of training his eye, developing his imagination and thinking about landscape in pure colour, whilst gathering raw material to inform his studio paintings.
Explore this liberating approach to watercolour, working both inside and outside the studio. Move your approach away from a realistic depiction of a location, and instead explore relationships between the forces of nature and learn to harness the dynamic medium of watercolour painting.
In 1995 I became a tutor at St Ives School of Painting. Offering inspiration through my passion for drawing, water-based media and art history I strive to liberate a creative vision through direct observation and en plein air. My fascination in old buildings with a story to tell connects me to the studio’s historic narrative. Working in the space can feel like being inside one of my own drawings.
What to Bring
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 like to use, please bring them with you.
It may also be useful to bring a plastic folder or portfolio to transport your work home (although we have these available to buy from £3.50). If your course involves working outside we would recommend you bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy walking shoes or boots.
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. Please wear a mask on arrival.
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.
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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Unfolding Sea + Sky
Sat 5 - Sun 6 Jun 2021 - 2 days
Make your own concertina sketchbook, panoramic sea and sky unfolding freely across the pages. Make gestural work in a range of media, capturing the movement of light, air and water.
Painting a Fishing Community
Fri 26 - Sun 28 Feb 2021 - 3 days
Master the subject of boats and the inspirational setting of St Ives fishing harbour. Using watercolour, learn tips and techniques to embrace this evocative subject matter with confidence.
Expressive Watercolour Landscape
Mon 16 - Fri 20 Aug 2021 - 5 days
Inspired by the cliffs and rock formations of Porthmeor, reveal the dynamism and energy of watercolour. Develop your colour mixing skills and experiment applying washes, pattern, texture at different scales.
Painting Your Portrait
Mon 25 - Thu 28 Jan 2021 - 4 days
Gary Long + Hilary,Jean Gibson
Taking inspiration from the likes of Lucian Freud and Stanley Spencer, look at your own face in a completely different way. Understand the anatomy, tone and composition of the face, expressed in gouache and oils.
Saturday Life Live - Inspired by Toulouse Lautrec (recording)
Mon 30 Nov - 2 hours
Join Hilary Jean Gibson and our model in a series of theatrical poses and costumes inspired by the figures of artist Toulouse-Lautrec. Watch on demand, pause, review and rewind and create fanciful drawings.
Painting St Ives
Mon 28 - Wed 30 Jun 2021 - 3 days
Capture your time in iconic St Ives, its architecture and landscape with waterbased mediums, drawing and oils. Learn to capture vivid visual notes to develop into a small figurative oil painting.
Painting the Coast Path
Sat 17 - Sun 18 Jul 2021 - 2 days
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Boost your creativity and step out with us into West Cornwall’s landscape with inspirational tuition in drawing and painting.