Every student, regardless of professional experience completes the ten session introductory Foundation Course.  This is the basis of our philosophy and is very informative. The course runs three times during the academic year and once in July. Ten 3 hour sessions to be completed within a term, held both in the mornings (9.15-12.15) and on Monday evenings (6.30pm-9.15pm).


  • Proportion: To catch the likeness of an object or person, you need to see and accurately reproduce the distances between the features. We show a century old, brilliantly simple way of doing this.
  • Line/Volume: By making, at the outset, the longest outlines of the subject, one can reduce the essential bulk and movement of an object to a few lines. This is a similar process to that of a sculptor taking a block of marble and slicing off the largest bits not needed. We do this with plaster casts, charcoal, and cheap paper.
  • Chiaroscuro: This is the distinction between the dark (shadow) and light. To simplify the teaching of this principle, we use a white plaster cast and a single light source against a black background. Once the students have understood the importance of tracking down the shadow shape, we introduce the idea of modelling, ie the variety of tones in the dark or light areas.
  •  Colour: Finally, colour is introduced with a simple still-life, lit by a single light source to exaggerate dark and light. One captures the essential elements of a still-life, sometimes practicing under the pressure of a stopwatch. Before the students moves on to a full colour palatte they must complete works in grisailles.