The Short Course Programme provides a variety of courses for all levels of experience. In addition to our evening lecture/gallery programme, classes include slide talks and seminars to complement the studio timetable. We hope that you will look back on your Summer School experience as a time of artistic stimulation and personal fulfilment.
Drawing - Course Full - Cancellation List
1 - 12 July / 2 weeks
This course is suitable for beginners, or those who have some practical drawing experience and want to develop more confidence in their practice. It will explore the issues underpinning the making of a drawing as well as encouraging students to broaden their horizons and develop individual vision. The emphasis of the course is on the introduction and exploration of the many aspects of drawing and its uses – drawing as a means of articulating form, as a tool for thinking, as a feeder for ideas into art practice and to encourage students to explore and nurture ideas through drawing. The course is tightly structured, and at the start of each day a subject is set to explore a particular aspect of drawing. The subjects studied include traditional methods of working such as observation of objects, the human form and light; the use of line, measurement, scale, geometry and proportion; investigating transcription and translation of existing art works; the organization of pictorial space; contemporary ideas about spontaneity and immediacy; memory and imagination; abstraction and construction, and recording the creative process. Students will experiment with a variety of techniques and materials including pencil, ink, white chalk, willow and compressed charcoal and a variety of alternative media. Through group and individual tuition students are encouraged to explore their personal vision at their own pace, whilst at the end of each week a short critique of work will be held along with discussions of future plans at the end of the course.
15 - 26 July / 2 weeks
This is an advanced level course for students with prior drawing experience who wish to broaden their approach to drawing through a rigorous set of question-based projects. These will be focused on the drawing process as an act of engagement that directly connects the seeing process to the totality of one’s sensate experience of the world. We will start by explor- ing the ways in which senses other than sight are related to observation, and how our own sense of body and identity is active in the way in which we perceive our surroundings. We will then investigate how memory functions in describing our experience, and, later, how information from all these sources can be pieced together to develop the ‘grammar’ of drawings, and we will relate that to other language structures, such as writing and music. Participants will work from observation, memory and imagination to draw a wide range of subjects in and outside the studio. Practical sessions will be punctuated by seminars, informal discussions and critiques.
Drawing into Painting
15 - 26 July / 2 weeks
This course is suitable for beginners, or for those students with experience of drawing and an interest in developing their
drawings into paintings by learning some of the first principles of painting. During week 1 the course begins by exploring
some of the formal issues of drawing through observation, looking carefully at tone and mark-making. These drawings
will then be translated into paintings via tone and temperature and through the use of colour. Special emphasis is put on
the translation of tone and line into colour, the role of colour in both painting and drawing, and the ways in which it can
be manipulated. In the second week we explore composition and paint handling, i.e. the organisation of pictorial space
and how colour and surface are changed by the quality of paint and the tools used, as well as strategies to generate and
develop personal ideas in painting. Students will use a variety of materials including pencil, charcoal, emulsion paint,
ink and acrylic or oil. Each student’s personal development will be encouraged through the taught studio sessions, informal discussions, slide talks and regular critiques to discuss ideas and methods.
15 - 26 July / 29 July - 9 August / 12 - 23 August / 2, 4 or 6 weeks
This course is aimed at students who are interested in developing their own ideas and preparatory material with tutorial support and guidance. Students are encouraged to develop their own practical and aesthetic interests by setting up an individual studio-based enquiry from the first day. This will be supported by a series of optional morning workshops which include working from secondary sources such as paintings and drawings; mixing and applying colour; discussing supports and grounds; methods demonstrations and learning some of the essentials of the painter’s craft. A life model can be booked on selected days to generate source material. There will be individual tutorials, slide shows of tutors’ work and group critiques. The tutors represent a wide spectrum of professional practice in terms of style and subject matter. We strongly recommend that students have a rudimentary knowledge of drawing and prepare note and sketchbook work before joining the class in order to gain maximum benefit from the course. This course may be followed for two, four or six weeks as appropriate.
The Expanded Field of Drawing
29 July - 9 August / 2 weeks
This course is designed for students from a wide range of art and design fields (painting, sculpture, drawing, new media, architecture, film, etc.) who have experience of drawing within their practice and are interested in experimenting and extending their skills and knowledge. It is not designed for beginners, but is suitable for those who wish to challenge their current practice through alternative drawing projects and develop personal work within a generative environment. As a starting point, we will open up the question of what constitutes a drawing and how contemporary drawing functions as its own discipline. By exploring a wide range of approaches to drawing, we will begin to investigate the cognitive act of drawing (drawing as a means of thinking), alternative methods for recording/observing, the use of paper as a physical drawing material, as well as moving beyond and off the page (drawing through and into space/time). Students will experiment with a variety of media and techniques and will be encouraged to work in and out of the studios, as well as in the larger communal working areas, to create a wide range of drawings. For the first week, tutors will lead students in group and individual exercises which explore various aspects of drawing. During this time, students will begin to develop new approaches and techniques and expand their language and definitions of drawing. The second week will enable students to develop their own approaches with individual tutorial support. This may either be generated from ideas arising during the first half of the course, or from issues pertinent to students’ own established practice, and will ideally be a combination of both. Though not a technical course, students have the opportunity to utilise various technologies (projectors, audio/visual equipment, computers, etc.) to expand their work into other areas. Throughout the course there will be informal group discussions, a day of gallery visits to relevant exhibitions in London, slide talks about the history and current trends in drawing, optional lunchtime visits by artists, and regular critiques to discuss individuals’ ideas and methodologies.
Life Drawing - Course Full - Cancellation List
29 July - 9 August/ 2 weeks
This two-week course is open to students of all levels. Drawing from the life model forms the basis for an enquiry into the experience of looking. Students will be encouraged to question, to look closely, critically and selectively. The course aims to foster an environment that allows students to discover and develop a personal visual response in their drawing. A range of situations, including short and sustained poses, present opportunities to engage with ideas of space, rhythm, light, movement, memory, mark and surface. The course includes slide talks each day, group discussion and a visit to the National Gallery to draw directly from the collection. The course concludes with a group crit and an individual tutorial, to review the body of work each student has created during the course.
Introduction to Contemporary Art
5 - 9 August / 1 week
The aim of this program is to provide a portal through which to explore contemporary art in an expansive and enjoyable way. The week will consist of gallery visits, lectures and discussions. These will be augmented by tutor-led practical sessions in the studio, experimenting with various materials and methods. The course is suitable for those with little or no prior knowledge, as well as those wishing to widen existing experience. We will be asking questions such as what do we mean by ‘contemporary art’? Is it different from, and how does it relate to modern art and post-modernism? To begin with, we will look at key changes from the Renaissance to Modernism, in particular the move from perspective and illusionism into abstraction and the ready-made. How did this then lead into post-modernism? Socio/political, historical and techno- logical developments will also be broadly traced and we will consider how all of this feeds into art now. Some of the main shifts in theoretical thinking will be touched on. There will be a particular focus on London as a centre for contemporary art, from the late eighties to the present and we will visit major London galleries such as Tate Modern as well as commercial and more alternative venues. (Students will need to pay their travel and food costs on these trips and the purchase of an oyster card is recommended.)
12 - 16 August / 19 - 23 August / 1 or 2 weeks
This course offers an intensive introduction to the methods and materials involved in the traditional and non-toxic techniques of etching, including hard and soft ground intaglio, drypoint, aquatint, sugar lift, spit bite and chine collé, all on copper in ferric. The Slade etching studios have a long tradition of printmaking and as in all disciplines at the Slade, drawing will play a fundamental role within the course. Students will be encouraged and guided in translating their ideas directly on to the plate. The course is suitable for students of all levels. Please note: copper and paper will be avail- able to purchase during the course.
Painting in Contemporary Practice - Course Full - Cancellation List
12 - 23 August or 12 - 30 August / 2 or 3 weeks
This is a two-week advanced painting course with an option to extend for a further week (see below). This course suits experienced painters who want to ask questions of painting as a contemporary art practice. Organised around informal discussions and regular critiques covering context, ideas and methods, the course will begin with taught studio sessions in the first week leading to the development of individual working strategies in the second week. For the first time this year students are being offered an optional third week to extend independent studio practice.
In the first week careful consideration will be paid to the particular properties of paint’s materiality, its inherent viscosity and potential. A passage from material to illusion will be explored through the introduction of a third term – the visual world. Students will be encouraged to experiment and expand their understanding of form and explore the physical, spatial and imaginative qualities of painterly materials. Attention will be paid to mixing colour, space, scale and light.
In week two students will follow their personal enquiry built upon the foundation established in week one. This will provide a space for working strategies to be initiated and extended with close one to one tutorial guidance emphasizing students’ individual creative approaches. Students can expect to deepen their confidence in visual awareness and discover fresh imaginative ambitions for the realisation of their work.
The optional third week allows for further independent studio practice. Particular consideration will be given to questions such as: how are ideas interrogated and sustained within the studio; how are questions generated through modes of display; and what is the position of painting in contemporary art practice. It is anticipated that these question may lead to a collective ‘show of work’ at the end of the week. The decision to undertake the third week will be assisted and supported in consultation with a tutor in the later part of week two through discussion of the work.
Life Painting I
12 - 23 August / 2 weeks
This course offers the opportunity of full-time working from the model. It is open to students of all levels from beginners to more experienced painters (although we do recommend that students have a rudimentary knowledge of drawing). It allows for sustained perceptual concentration, with the freedom to experiment and revise. The course begins with a series of studies, using a variety of poses, exploring tone, colour, light, space, composition and pictorial structure. This series develops into a single pose which continues to occupy the final week. The course is supported by slide talks, group discussions and critiques. There will be demonstrations on canvas preparation, paint application and colour mixing. Technical support will be available for those students who wish to construct canvases. Though we encourage the use of oil paint, other media may be used.
Life Painting II
26 August - 6 September / 2 weeks
This course gives an opportunity for experienced life painters to work with the life model without having to undertake a structured, taught programme. Individuals will be expected to work at their own pace and to set their own goals within their work, but will be given close tutorial support from artists whose working focus is the figure. During the first week students will work from one of two model poses set by the tutor. Each pose will be sustained for the duration of the course and will enable artists to make one piece of work or several studies from a number of perspectives. During the second week students may continue to work from the sustained unclothed pose or shift their focus to portraiture and the head. Whilst students can set their own parameters, the core teaching emphasis is placed on engagement with analytical approaches to drawing the human form and the anatomy of the head; systems of measurement; development of form through tone; understanding of broad and local use of colour; appropriate exploitation of materials and their properties.
Colour in Practice
26 August - 6 September / 2 weeks
Colour is a fundamental phenomenon in culture and a major element in the practice of artists and all media professionals. To understand the many aspects of colour, this course explores the subject through lectures and seminars, practice and critiques. It interweaves aspects of colour science with colour practice to equip students with an in-depth knowledge of colour theory and its practical application. It aims to inform students’ creative decision-making and increase their ability to realise the power of colour in their own work. Through a series of morning lectures we will examine the chemistry and physics of colour; the history of colour in art; the role of our culture and language in colour concepts, and the psychology and emotion of colour. The practical element of the course will follow the lectures and will involve exercises in the articulation of form and spatial dimensions through colour; the mixing of colours; the interaction of colour; colour in relation to memory and perception; texture; scale and the fundamentals of organization. There will be workshops with invited fine artists for whom colour plays a key role in their work, including the making of paints and mediums. Project work will encourage students to experiment with the medium and develop their research skills as the basis for their practice. During the second week students will have time to develop their personal work in relation to their colour research, with individual tutorial support. This work might either be generated from ideas arising from the lectures and practical exercises in the early part of the course, or arise from issues pertinent to students’ own established practice. The emphasis will be on the development of ideas, preparation and process, using a variety of approaches and techniques.
Extra Curricular Programme
This optional programme is open to all students taking part in our various courses throughout the Summer. It aims to enrich students learning experiences, and to encourage Summer School students to meet and work with colleagues on different courses, as well as Slade students and alumni. There will be a lively series of artists’ projects hosted in the studios, run by a mix of Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student interns. These artists will open their studio spaces to Summer School students and invite discussion centred around the work.
In addition to this, mid-week evenings host a regular series of extra curricular events at 5pm, Tuesday through to Thursday Tuesdays This year there will be hour long ‘drop-in’ drawing sessions taught by a range of invited artists, designed to extend the Summer School student’s drawing experiences. Wednesdays Exhibition openings and floor talks are hosted bi-weekly on Wednesday evenings in our exhibiting space. The Exhibition Programme provides an opportunity for students to respond to art immediately and directly, with an eclectic range of mediums and artists. Slade Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, both current and recently graduated, talk about their work on alternate Wednesday evenings. Thursdays A combination of Art History lectures and artist talks run each Thursday, providing an introduction to the varied contexts and histories of fine art.