Painting: focus on light and shade

Course Dates: 16/07/20 - 17/07/20
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore the potential of light and shade in art to create dramatic effects in painting. Make a still life come alive through the play of colour contrast and cast shadows.


What is the course about?

This course looks at the role light sources can play in the depiction of solid forms and the creation of exciting and dynamic compositions.

What will we cover?

- Observe objects in light to compare and contrast tonal sequences.
- Explore the potential of direct and reflected light to suggest volume and space.
- Understand and use warm and cool colours in a still life set up.
- Create a composition which has light as its focal point.

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

- Create strong dramatic forms with paint (oil/acrylic) and suggest objects in volume.
- Explore the making of space through light and dark.
- Use warm and cool colour contrasts to suggest convincing solid form.
- Create a composition which has a dramatic play of tonal contrasts.

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

Some drawing skills are helpful, but basic techniques in painting will be taught.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

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

Demonstration and practical application. One to one and group discussion.

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

Basic materials will be provided but you are welcome to bring any extra or special materials.

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

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

This can lead on to a Painting I course, Portraits 1 VH497 and Life Drawing classes in September.


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This is an excellent introductory course for painting, with a great deal covered over 2 days especially with regard to mixing paint tones
Course Rating
Review by Cath / (Posted on 26/07/2019)
Very worthwhile course
Course Rating
Review by Grace / (Posted on 22/07/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Brian Sayers

Brian has taught painting and drawing for over 30 years in a variety of different places and at different levels. He graduated from the Slade School of Art in 1978 and has continued to practise painting ever since. He has had over 10 one-person shows in the UK and exhibited in Germany and the USA. Although still life has been a principle interest, he has completed a number of portraits and exhibited 3 times in the National Portrait Gallery and is often in the RA Summer Exhibition. Brian particularly likes to include knowledge of art historical contexts with practical work to extend students' methods and approaches. He aims to focus on painting from diverse periods and cultures to develop individual ideas. When teaching he hopes to encourage a liveliness of approach with a solid understanding of technical issues involved. This can, in his opinion, lead on to a more confident, personal approach.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VM449

Thu-Fri, day, 16 Jul - 17 Jul '20

Duration: 2 sessions

Full fee: £149.00
Senior fee: £119.00
Concession: £91.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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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.