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.

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  1. 50 drawings in a day
    Course Date:  Fri 4 Jun 2021 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A high energy programme of directed and self-directed drawing projects, with rapid shifts in materials, scale, subject and focus. Strictly no discards - come ready to play, risk, invent and discuss! For those with some drawing experience.

    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
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  2. Drawing and mindfulness: one day workshop
    Last Few Places
    Course Date:  Fri 4 Jun 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    An opportunity to explore the beauty and simplicity of the ancient practice of mindfulness in the context of drawing. Each one-day workshop will take a mindfulness theme which we will explore through a range of guided drawing approaches to stimulate new directions and help you to integrate mindfulness into drawing. Suitable for beginners to mindfulness as well as those with some experience who wish to explore the two disciplines or integrate mindfulness into drawing. Some drawing experience is helpful.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £99.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  3. Looking at artists: focus on relief printmaking
    Course Date:  Mon 17 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this short course you will look at how and why artists make use of the technique of relief printmaking. The tutor will guide you through what woodcut, linocut and related relief printing techniques are, how they developed historically, looking at artists such as Durer, Hiroshige, Picasso and Bawden, and how they are still relevant for contemporary artists such as Anne Desmet and Bill Fick. There is no practical element to this course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00
  4. Friday lates: art, war and creativity
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 21 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Delve into the creative humanity of artists working during the Blitz; from Henry Moore and Lee Miller to the dozens of government-employed ‘war-artists’, we explore the insight of artistic expression in war.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  5. Book arts drop-in
    Course Date:  Tue 25 May 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    A one-day, tutor supported book arts workshop. This short course is ideal for students who would like some technical or conceptual advice and the space to work on a personal project. Students will work independently with one to one support.

    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 £49.00 Senior fee £49.00 Concession £49.00
  6. Friday lates: Joseph Beuys and his coyote - charlatan or prophet?
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 28 May 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the work of one of the most controversial figures of post-war art, a passionate believer in the power of art to transform the world, an artist whose work remains a vital reference for many artists today.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  7. Social engagement through creative practice
    Course Date:  Thu 10 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    The spectrum of socially engaged arts practice ranges from a long term intimate arts project in a community with 6 participants to nation-wide works such as Jeremy Deller’s ‘We Are Here Because We Are Here’, 2016, or Steve McQueen’s ‘Year Three’, 2019, with its focus on the 7 and 8 year old children (the future adults) of London. This type of art-making practice is not new, but is deployed in different ways. We will discuss what we mean by this, and consider the aims and value of socially engaged art. We will examine its origins and development and look at the work of artists such as Rabab Ghazhoul, John Newling, Yara & Davina and Somewhere, who work with participants as part of the creative process with different outcomes and impact.

    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
  8. Friday lates: art and alchemy: from the ancient to today
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Delve into a magical world of hidden secrets and bizarre symbolism as we distil the heady mix that is art and alchemy; from early manuscripts and renaissance paintings, to the surrealists and contemporary art.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  9. What did narrative ever do for you?
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn about the structure and function of narrative, and find out how it relates to your creative practice. In this workshop we will consider film, animation, moving image or other time-based practices, primarily, in which there is a clear and accessible connection to the unfolding of meaning over a linear (or non-linear) sequence, but we may also discuss examples across potentially any creative discipline, and other forms of expression. We will look at principles of narrative and narrative structures in film, the ‘conventions’ of storytelling across a range of examples, and how these have been used or subverted within the form. Storytelling is fundamental to human civilisation: across all cultures, narrative plays a central role in our understanding of our place in the world, and addressing profound questions about our existence. Children learn through stories; cultures cohere through shared narratives. We will consider the role of narrative as a fundamentally important pillar in underpinning societies, belief systems, and values, and why an awareness of these relationships is increasingly important in these ‘unprecedented’ times.

    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
  10. From inspiration to action: how to turn a creative idea into a project
    Course Date:  Wed 16 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Turn that blue-sky thinking from a dream into reality. On this workshop, in a small group of other, similarly inspired individuals, we will show you how to take your moment of inspiration, however modest or grand, and make it happen. In one day, you will learn how to examine your idea to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and identify the various ways it can be expanded, attract partners, and engage with people and funding. Starting from the most basic questions (what is it, why do you want to do it, how can you communicate it easily…?), through examination of case studies, and of our own ideas, we will progress through practical, technical and budget considerations, using the framework of a simple project plan, to bring them to the point where you will be ready to plunge in!

    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
  11. Presenting and exhibiting: the exhibition website
    Course Date:  Wed 16 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    While an exhibition has a finite lifespan, this is not true of accompanying publications. The exhibition tie-in website can be said to have taken the place of the exhibition catalogue (or book, in the case of major venues), and for smaller galleries or individuals/collectives an exhibition website can provide opportunities for much wider exposure, globally and without time limits. Not only that, but, as recent times have demonstrated more clearly than ever before, when galleries and museums have been forced to engage more extensively (and perhaps meaningfully) with the public via their online platform and presence, a well-conceived and delivered website can augment (or even replace) the physical show in several important ways: accessibility, interactivity, research, forums, feedback, evolution over time…



    This workshop looks at how to maximise interest in conventional exhibitions through tie-in websites and social media links, and how the website can be structured to provide continuity and afterlife, which can be particularly relevant to practitioners engaged in research or community participation. It also considers how, beyond simply documenting the exhibition, a well planned and structured website can be the locus for on-going access and legacy activities. It will consider sites of different scope and scale, from small websites for a solo show to group sites, or sites that connect to a commercial gallery or institution’s own website, and the website as a location for sales.



    Please note that while aspects such as the structure of information and the design of a site will be covered, this workshop is not intended as website design or software training. Its focus is on helping participants to understand the capabilities of the website as a tool for creative professionals engaged in public dissemination of their practice.

    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
  12. Friday lates: magical modernism: modern art and the occult
    Evening
    Course Date:  Fri 18 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Discover Modern Art’s secret history: a mysterious melting-pot of mystic auras, magical colour theories, trances, alchemy and the spirit-physics of the 4th-dimension, hiding beneath the familiar stories of science, reason and industry.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £10.00
  13. An introduction to Homer in art
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Stories from Homer have inspired many works of art from the renaissance to the present day. Focussing on European paintings we explore how and why these works reflect the preoccupations of their time.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  14. Public arts: participatory projects and commissions
    Course Date:  Tue 22 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Participatory creative practice and events play an important role in contemporary arts, in terms of addressing and/or defining social, cultural or political contexts, in raising issues of importance from the global to the local, in widening participation and promoting awareness, access and engagement in the arts, and in the democratisation of culture. In this one-day workshop we explore what participatory creative practice can do, and consider various types of socially engaged practice, community arts and commissions. We will consider the value of understanding the motivations, aims and requirements of participatory practice for funding applications to awarding bodies or institutions, such as, for example, Arts Council England. The session is run by the Leader of City Lit’s highly popular advanced figure and portrait course, and will consider as case studies a number of artist projects that she has designed and facilitated, as well as the experience of participants, and, potentially, some hypothetical scenarios. Through this workshop, you will gain insight into working on commissioned public arts projects involving public participation, as well as reflecting on different scenarios and formats, including: mass participation or focused small group; adult or child group participation; one day events versus longer term participatory projects.

    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
  15. Looking at artists: focus on lithography
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this short course you will look at how and why artists make use of the printmaking technique of Lithography. The tutor will guide you through what lithography is, how it developed historically from its invention by Senefelder, looking at artists such as Daumier, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard, Vuillard and Picasso and its revival by artists such as Robert Motherwell and how it is still relevant for contemporary artists such as George Shaw and Diane Victor. There is no practical element to this course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £29.00 Senior fee £29.00 Concession £29.00

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