Art & design

Art & Design Courses - Online & in London  

Explore new and exciting subjects within a range of art and design disciplines, develop your skill set, get the support required to change career or launch yourself as a freelance artist or designer. All this and more delivered through our practical and engaging art and design courses at City Lit.

Our range of part-time, weekend and evening art and design classes are taught by successful artists and practitioners to ensure you get the skills, knowledge and experience you want and deserve. From experimental painting and drawing to contemporary jewellery making, there is sure to be a course for you. Study from 1 day to 2 years, whether you are a complete beginner or a practising artist preparing for an MA. Our courses are designed with you in mind, so you get to spend more time doing what you love. New for 2020 we now offer a creative portfolio of live online courses as well as our face-face studio based teaching.

Set a new goal, start your next creative adventure with City Lit and let us support you to realise your ambitions.

Many of our courses are delivered online. For more information about our live online courses, please see our guide to online learning.

Any questions? Contact our visual arts team on visual.arts@citylit.ac.uk or call us on 020 7492 2700, Monday to Friday between 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. Photography in a day: beauty photography
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Jan 2022

    Location on this date:  PS - Photography Studio

    Tutors:  Ed Gregory
    This is ideal as a first step into the specialism of beauty photography. This is a practical course. You will be working with the lighting and equipment that is associated with beauty photography. By the end of the one day course you will be well on the way to creating your first beauty image.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £79.00
  2. Funding for artists and designers: how to make a strong application
    Course start date:  Wed 9 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Stoddart
    Thinking about funding is more closely related to thinking about your practice than you might imagine. This workshop looks at how to get ready to apply for public funding so that when you come to writing, all the planning has been done and your idea has improved in the process! We will examine how funding will help you to develop your work, in the short, but also medium and long term, and how to find the sweet spot between what you want to do and what the funders are looking for. Public funding means that our work has to have a public benefit, so we need to show how it does this. The challenge of funding can make you reconsider your project in exciting ways. We will look at applying for Arts Council England project grants, partnerships and a quick look at local trusts and foundations. Finding a fit between your need and funding criteria is key; from there we will look at how to write an application to make a compelling argument.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  3. Explore life drawing
    Course start date:  Mon 17 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrea Voisey
    Discover new ways of drawing the human body in a fun, fast paced day that combines practical exercises with basic theory and techniques.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £99.00
  4. The design brief
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    This workshop provides a forum for exploring and discussing the process (and sometimes challenges) of working with clients over a commercial design brief or commission. While some design briefs are relatively straightforward, and perhaps require a simple rendering of the client's vision, at other times the client can be unsure of what they actually want, and it can be a frustrating, uncertain and time-consuming process for the designer to identify and produce a solution to what is, perhaps, a poorly-defined question. Referring to real-life examples and case-studies, this workshop will take learners through the process of making a pitch, deconstructing a brief to be certain of what the client wants and needs (and whether these are same thing), presenting proposals, and working within time, resource and financial constraints. These are invaluable skills for the design professional that are equally applicable, for the student, to project briefs and coursework.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  5. Is meaning inevitable? Intention, action and interpretation
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lily Markiewicz
    Does every creative act have meaning? Is there a statement – conscious or unconscious – inherent in everything we do as artists? Should we interpret or analyse what we see, what we do, what we’ve done? In this one-day workshop, we will examine a range of specific works, considering the question of whether and how meaning has been embedded (intentionally or otherwise) and can be identified and interpreted. This will, to some degree, touch on how individuals and societies make and ascribe meaning, perhaps as an attempt to process and come to terms with, for example, otherwise seemingly arbitrary events like a natural catastrophe or suffering. We will discuss and workshop these themes in the larger group, draw on examples presented, and the experiences of the members in the group. Other questions that may be considered include: discerning meaning as an attempt to find order in chaos, and whether or what we might lose by attempting to impose meaning, by attempting to explain within the confines of critical analysis, that which may, in fact, be critical to the character or intention of a work of art.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  6. Design thinking: creative problem solving
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    The term ‘design thinking’ describes an adaptive and reflective approach to problem-solving that is, in many ways, congruent with the kinds of processes that underpin creative practice generally, and is fundamental to the development of many of the systems on which the world’s current production, logistics, communications and supply depend. Although generally considered largely in relation to system design, information and interaction design, and product design, it is a way of thinking through and deconstructing creative and/or technical challenges that is equally valuable as a lens through which to examine creative processes and problems in any discipline. In this professional practice workshop, we examine the 5 classic stages of Design Thinking, and look at how we can use them to refine our thinking processes, apply our insight and focus our imagination, to solve both creative and practical problems.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  7. Sketching at the museum: British Museum
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Diane Martin
    Work from a fascinating range of artefacts and objects in the British Museum while developing your drawing skills. Explore the challenges and pleasures of sketchbook drawing methods using a variety of drawing materials under expert guidance from the tutor.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £79.00
  8. Digital fundamentals: media and protocols for creative practice
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rolina Elsje Blok
    Whether or not we use digital media in our creative work, we rely on digital tools and resources to disseminate, communicate and organise, both in our art or design practice and in our lives, generally. While most digital and social media tools now allow us to do most of what we need to without understanding how they work, it is sometimes still necessary, and important, to know how to work with the technology to ensure the right results, so that we can archive, present and collaborate effectively. This workshop provides a thorough grounding in digital media concepts and principles for visual artists, including: the fundamentals of how real world information is encoded in data and saved in file formats; how digital data is accessed, transferred, processed, archived, manipulated, both locally and via the cloud or sharing services; how and when to use different data formats and how these affect quality or accessibility; technical principles, and creative potential.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  9. Photography and graphic arts colour management in a day
    Course start date:  Fri 4 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  PS - Photography Studio

    Tutors:  Matthew Ward
    On this intense one day workshop in graphic arts colour management, learn how to achieve consistent digital colours using icc profiles, viewing on a monitor, output to web and desktop printingusing bothAdobe Photoshop and X-Rite software.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £69.00
  10. The creative industries
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    Creativity is one of the areas in which the UK retains a leading position, globally, and much is made of the importance of the ‘creative economy’, and its value to the country. But what exactly are the co-called ‘creative industries’ we hear so much about? What is the value of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ to the national and global economy, and does this extend beyond the overtly ‘creative’ pursuits of art, design and entertainment? How is so-called ‘creative thinking’ central to business, industries and services? In many countries around the world, the benefits of approaches to learning that are central pillars of ‘creative education’ are increasingly recognised in terms of their value in developing fully-rounded learners, and citizens. This workshop examines these questions, and considers the value of creative education in the context of a series of disciplines predicated on thinking related to solving problems, and its relevance for all aspects of contemporary life.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  11. Mindfulness sketchbook walk
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 17 Mar 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Helen Burgess
    Join us for a sketchbook walk in Central London to observe, record and engage with the busyness of urban life. Using mindfulness techniques combined with drawing we will be examining our experience and opening up to the magic and surprises that an evening in the city has to offer. It can be difficult to keep grounded and aware in urban environments but drawing offers a helpful way to direct our minds to the here and now, keeping a sense of purpose and deepening our attention.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00
  12. Making a statement: how to write a strong application
    Course start date:  Fri 18 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Kate Stoddart
    Almost everything we apply for as artists or designers has to be supported by a statement. Once we have identified that an opportunity or a proposal is right for us, we have to present a compelling case, which convinces the reader that we are a potentially suitable candidate. This is a different approach to talking about our interests or motivations as artists. In this workshop, you will learn how to consider your statement within the wider context of the application. What are the needs of the organisation behind the opportunity? How does your statement match them? This workshop will help you to see your statement from another reader’s point of view, so that you can communicate your ideas and points to the person reading it. You will learn how to consider the structure of your statement and to target it to the specific requirements of the application, whether for a course, job, residency, funding or an exhibition.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  13. Exhibiting creativity: alternatives to the white cube
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 22 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chris Hough
    Who decides which artists get to present their work to the public, in what spaces, and according to what criteria? What role does the curator play in the decision-making process and how much influence do they exert over artists and institutions, in making these decisions? How do artists whose work is not ‘current’ (or which perhaps deals with unorthodox or potentially difficult topics) get to show their work? This professional practice workshop is a provocative enquiry and discussion of the role of the gallery in enabling creative expression, and the influence that decisions have on representation, or the imposition of an orthodoxy. How are artists responding to the limitations and impositions of the traditional gallery space–and the authority of the curator or agent–and finding opportunities in public or private spaces, and through technology? How are traditional galleries responding? We examine the ways artists and designers are making their own opportunities, and taking back control, finding innovative and creative ways to put their work before the public on their own terms.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  14. Open source software and platforms for creative communities
    Course start date:  Wed 23 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rolina Elsje Blok
    Open source software provides alternatives to virtually all the available commercial creative software, apps and platforms. It is generally free, or otherwise considerably less expensive than the commercial products, and, while generally less widely-used than what we might consider to be the giant 'industry standard' titles, generally benefits from an extensive and committed developer base, who tend to have a more generous attitude towards the community of users, and to be responsive to security issues through updates, patches and so on. This workshop provides a discussion space to: introduce the principles of open source software and the developer community; survey and consider the available options for creative software; examine how alternatives to the standard commercial software titles can help users address concerns related to privacy, personal data and security. It also looks at the value of open source as an alternative to the uncertainty of subscription-based licensing, and the potential future risk, within the commercial model, of being prevented from using software titles you have paid for, when they are no longer the latest version, or being frozen out from accessing your own work if your subscription expires.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  15. Drawing and mindfulness: beginners guide to approaches and techniques
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Clare Barton-Harvey
    An opportunity to explore the enriching relationship of drawing and mindfulness and how when practised together they can support greater confidence, lightness and creativity in drawing. Through a variety of guided exercises, explore how the two disciplines relate and how each can enrich the other. This course is suitable for beginners to drawing and/or mindfulness.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00

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