Short courses


Life Painting and the Sustained Pose (Summer School Short Course)

  • 60 hours
  • 2 weeks


Slade Life Painting course photo

This two-week course will give you the opportunity to work directly from a sustained life-model pose for two weeks.

You'll also explore the nature of sustained observation and concepts connected to it.

The two weeks will include discussions, slide talks, workshops, invited speakers and one-to-one tuition.

The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day. You'll also have the option of attending extra-curricular events such as talks and exhibitions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

This course is part of the annual summer school run by the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL.

Course content and structure

At the start of the first week, you'll take part in a collaborative creative process to decide on the model poses and colour environments. These poses will then be fixed and sustained for the full two weeks.

Conversation and one-to-one tuition will be offered on issues specific to the experience of a sustained visual exchange, such as:

  • perceptual shifts taking place between the artist and subject
  • colour mixing
  • tone and temperature
  • form and the role of structure in terms of proportion and spatial relationships

The course will also include discussions, slide talks, workshops and invited speakers. These will act as a catalyst to exchange, discover and articulate ideas which inform and unfold from this particular activity.

Perceptual issues will be considered and contextualised in relation to recent developments in the neuroscience of vision. (This includes ideas about optics in relation to illusion and the imagination.)

You'll explore the practice of 'painting from appearances' and the various strategies employed by artists working in this way to enrich the experience of making a sustained painting from the life model.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for those with some experience of drawing and painting.

This course complements two other Slade Summer School courses - Life Drawing and Life Painting.


You can request an attendance certificate after completing the course. These can only be supplied during the year you take the course and can't be produced retrospectively.


This two-week course costs £800.

A 10% discount is available for UCL current students and staff. You'll be asked to enter your UPI number (available on your UCL ID card) when booking.

Course fees must be paid in full at the time of booking.

Only basic materials will be provided. Once you've been accepted onto the course you'll be sent details of the materials you'll need.

Slade Summer School

The Slade Summer School offers a unique opportunity for you to work within the studios and vibrant atmosphere of the Slade - a world-renowned school of fine art. 

You'll become part of a wider community of artists and will have a real sense of studying in an art school environment among Slade students and alumni. You'll test your abilities while learning new skills and different approaches to making art.

You can take part in a lively range of extra-curricular activities, including: 

  • art history lectures and artist talks introducing the varied contexts and histories of fine art
  • exhibition openings and talks by Slade undergraduate and postgraduate students about their work
  • a series of artists' projects run by Slade tutors, alumni and recently graduated student residents - you'll be invited into these studio spaces to discuss the works with the artists 

Evening events take place at 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

Take an extended programme of multiple courses

Many different one, two and three-week courses are available. You can build a personalised programme of study by taking a series of short courses over the ten-week period. 

Please call the Summer School team if you'd like do this - they have detailed knowledge of the curriculum and can help you plan a programme.

All the Summer School courses available are listed on the Slade website.

Further information

Read more about this course and others on the Slade website, which provides information about booking and cancellations.

Course team

All tutors are practising artists

All tutors are practising artists

Course leader: Andy Pankhurst.

Learner reviews

"Each tutor offered a different viewpoint, which I found very useful. They each had their own specialisation. They were all very supportive and encouraging."

Course information last modified: 29 Oct 2021, 09:52