The Cyanotype method is an incredibly versatile, simple and fun process to learn. The Cyanotype was invented by Sir John Henry Herschel in 1841. This early photographic process produces distinctive and striking Prussian blue images which can also be toned in various other colours. Simple and economic, it remained in use well into the twentieth century as a means of reproducing architectural and engineering drawings as Blueprints. In more recent times, the Cyanotype has been rediscovered by contemporary artists.
Also sometimes known as sun printing, the Cyanotype process is one you can easily learn to do in a weekend. It offers a perfect introduction to alternative and traditional photographic processes and to the use of computers to produce photographic negatives for such processes. The course takes place in the Print Studio, which also offers a wide programme of evening, weekend and daytime courses throughout the year.
The Cyanotype process is simple, non-toxic and can be adapted and incorporated into a range of other printmaking techniques such as photo-etching and mono-printing. It also offers a gateway to exploring other alternative and traditional photographic processes such as Salt and Gelatine Printing.
This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish.
Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.
Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.
Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.
These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.
Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.
Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.
All attendees must be aged 18 or over.
What should I bring?
Students will be asked to send a photographic image in advance for us to print as film positive ready for the workshop.
Wear rough clothes.
Optional – if you’d like to test specific papers or fabric, you are welcome to bring those along.
Material costs are included in your course fee.
About Your Tutor
Helen Dixon graduated from Chelsea College of Arts in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art after completing a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Drawing pathway) at Camberwell College of Arts in 2010. She works predominantly with the cyanotype printing process, which she discovered during her second year at university when searching for a simple method for transferring images onto paper and fabric by non-digital means. She fell in love with the process, its simplicity, flexibility and its elemental character and saw a huge amount of unexplored potential in how this process could be applied. Since then she has adapted and refined the process, combining key elements of drawing, photography and print to create her unique images.
What drives her practice is a fascination with the continuous movement of energy in nature, in constant flux and without resolution. She uses archive media from the National Meteorological Library and Archive alongside her own observational drawings and photographs to consider the fundamental character of this elusive and shapeless phenomena.
Helen has exhibited widely and her work is held in private collections in the UK and internationally. In 2018 her work could be seen on the walls of the Wells Art Contemporary in Somerset, the RWA’s 166th Annual Open Exhibition in Bristol, Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair in London and at the Royal Academy’s 250th Summer Exhibition, amongst others. In the same year she featured on the longlist for the Aesthetica Art Prize, a list of 100 emerging artists selected from more than 4000 artworks internationally.
All students have access to a common room and kitchen. Here you will find tea and coffee, a fridge, kettle, microwave and eating area.
There is a wealth of supermarkets, shops and cafes in the area as well as the world famous Borough Food Market just moments from our Mermaid Court location.
We are always striving to improve our facilities but due Mermaid Court being an old building we have limited disability access. Should you have any access requirements please speak to a member of the Academy team before booking the course.
You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment.Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course.
Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
All artwork at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of.
Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some of our classes in progress. If you would like to not be photographed please let the photographer know!
To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
If you would like more information or advice on courses at the Academy please contact email@example.com.