Expressionist life painting

Course Dates: 01/02/20 - 21/03/20
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Desmond Haughton

Develop a personal response to life painting using a variety of expressive approaches. Explore mark-making, rich colour, thick 'impasto' paint, dramatic contrast, explore feelings and emotions through paint, inspired by Expressionist artists.


What is the course about?

This course is about letting go and responding to the life model without preconceptions or an obligation to paint what you see. Individual approaches will be encouraged and exercises will be set up with the aim of helping each person begin to feel in touch with the elements of art which are most important to them. The course will take inspiration from Expressionist artists.

What will we cover?

The course will focus on developing self-expression through the use of composition, paint handling, tone and colour. A wide range of artists who have been inspired to paint the figure expressively from life will be a source of study, as we consider how the process of painting and also the residue of layered responses, can form a basis for self-expression. Not all of the time will be spent in front of the model, as you will also be encouraged to consider the importance of such things as mixing colour, considering meaningful mark-making and textures and exploring the rigors of decision making to find solutions that help you best express your response to the model.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Feel confident in using both acrylic and oil paints to create expressive surfaces
Consider your personal response to colour with greater awareness
Approach painting from observation with a deeper sense of your own creative interests.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Some previous experience in drawing or painting from a life model is recommended as the course is aimed at helping those who have spent time working from life to develop an expressive response to the figure. However, the most important thing is to approach the subject with an open mind and a willingness to experiment.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be given direction and individual feedback each week as you paint and some options for considering textures or colours will be presented. Some weeks, the tutor will give simple and fun additional painting exercises to complete outside of class to stimulate group discussions and foster a closer examination of a particular artist’s work.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Basic materials for the course are provided. You will be completing 3 main paintings and may wish to bring in a stretched canvas or prepared watercolour paper to enable you to have a more durable surface to experiment with. The tutor will give advice about this in the first session.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VM063

Please choose a course date 

Sat, day, 01 Feb - 21 Mar '20

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

Full fee: £329.00
Senior fee: £329.00
Concession: £201.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.