This course will use interior and exterior locations as a means of exploring all kinds of pictorial possibilities, both narrative and formal. The first part of the course will focus on creating work in response to interior settings. Starting in the studio, we will consider issues of perspective such as establishing the eye level, key vanishing points and receding lines. We will consider how to interpret light in terms of tone, colour, reflection and shadow, in order to create interesting paintings that capture a sense of atmosphere, working with a series of oil sketches. We will then look at gathering information through photography, sketching and taking notes in different off-site interior locations, with the aim to create a more developed painting in the studio, relating the choice of composition and focus of the painting to the individual student’s practice. We will also discuss how other artists, historical and contemporary, interpret and make use of spaciality, atmosphere and location in their work.
For the second five weeks, we will explore exterior spaces, working both from the urban architectural environment and the greenery of the London parks. We will start with a recap on perspective and understanding light, considering the challenges unique to working in the exterior. We will then start to develop painted sketches in locations such as Borough Market and down by the River, creating compositions that generate a sense of place and feed off the energy of the city. Quick “alla prima” paintings done on site will be used as starting points for more considered paintings in the studio that resonate more with the individual student’s attitude to painting. Finally, we will draw inspiration from one of the London parks, working initially “en plein air” as a means of making exciting paintings of the landscape in a short space of time. Returning to the studio we will consider landscape painting in a contemporary context, before developing a painting based on the individual student’s interest in the subject.