21 Jun

BBC Radio Solent Art Interview

BBC-Radio-SolentWe have been approached by BBC Radio Solent to conduct a live interview concerning the relationship between an art student’s age and the benefits of learning how to paint and draw.

This follows a discussion with the internationally acclaimed artist David Hockney. The Principal Tutor for our Bournemouth and Christchurch art classes, Amanda, talked live on air earlier today about the many positive benefits associated with art, particularly during retirement.

These include more than just meeting up with other like-minded students once a week who want to learn how to draw and paint and enjoy the social side of things. There are also positive links between taking up a new hobby such as painting and keeping the brain and memory active.

In fact we’ve had a number of pupils on our part-time Christchurch and Bournemouth art courses who have been recommended to attend art classes by their doctor following anything from depression to a stroke, and we frequently hear comments about how learning art has hugely improved their mental wellbeing.

A hobby such as watercolour painting, vibrant acrylics, or just sketching with a pencil can keep the mind active and help link up neurological pathways, and many pupils report switching off completely from other things going on in their lives while they are painting or drawing.

This can be a very effective way of relaxing while you concentrate on something other than the more mundane things that are inevitably part of everyday life.

So Amanda’s radio discussion provided a real insight into some of the unlikely but nevertheless positive aspects of joining a well-structured art class and learning how to draw or paint for the first time.

22 Sep

Tutor Amanda Cycles From London To Paris

Principal tutor of The Seasons Art Class in Christchurch and Bournemouth, Amanda, has taken a short break from her painting and sketching and cycled from London to Paris, raising money for the charity Bloodwise at the same time.

A keen cyclist, Amanda and her husband set off from London and finished in Paris just 4 days later, raising money for the charity set up in 1960 to fight blood cancer.

Many of our Bournemouth and Christchurch students sponsored her in her challenge and the short video below talks a little more about what they all got up to.

Well done Amanda!


20 Feb

New Seasons Art Class Van

Our New Van

The Seasons Art Class in Christchurch and Bournemouth have recently purchased another brand new van to help transport the increasingly large amount of equipment and painting materials that are needed for every lesson.

As you would expect, the van has been professionally signwritten with the logo, telephone number, email address and other relevent information clearly displayed, and we have already had a number of enquiries about our painting and drawing courses from students who have made contact with us as a result.

Adrian Kay from The Seasons Art Class comments “We do everything we can to present a professional image, not just within the classroom but in everything we do. The van is just another extension of this and makes it that little bit easier for potential pupils to make contact with us if they are interested in getting more information about our Bournemouth and Christchurch art courses“.

If you keep your eyes open you may well spot us on our travels. If you do, we’d love to hear from you!


21 Apr

Oil Pastel Module News

Cray-Pas Oil PastelsWe started teaching the oil pastel module a few weeks ago in our Bournemouth painting classes, enabling the students to introduce colour and blending techniques to their art for the first time.

This proved a real eye-opener for some of the pupils who were able to skillfully create paintings with real depth and tone, producing pictures from both still life examples and prints that we provided for the class to work from. We taught them how to paint a piece of fruit (with the leaves still attached), replicating the pores of the fruit and the veins on the leaf by using techniques such as sgraffito.

The following week we then moved onto painting family pets and other animals, again using colourful pastels. This allowed the students to practice their skills at recreating life-like animal fur and feathers, while getting the important artistic details right such as the eyes and overall body outline.

They painted all sorts of different animals and birds ranging from Welsh Border Collies and their own pet cats, to lovebirds, colourful parrots, amusing cows, sea eagles and other birds of prey, mainly in close-up so that they could enhance the facial features, texture and tonal qualities of their artwork.

We also used a variety of different coloured pastel papers including relatively neutral shades, through to deeper reds, various tones of blue and green, and a selection of darker colours including graphite grey and black. These latter shades can be very effective when used with oil pastels, providing great contrast and enabling the artist to replicate light and shade using the positive and negative areas of the paper while making the most of the paper’s tooth to enhance the texture of the finished picture.

All in all these pastel lessons have proved to be very popular with the pupils, with many buying additional pastels and coloured paper so that they can continue practicing at home once the class has finished.

We are now about to start the watercolour lessons, which will doubtless prove just as encouraging.

“Watch this space” as they say!


17 Feb

Spring 2014 Class Dates


Our Art Courses Are Ideal For Complete Beginners and Improvers

Our Spring 2014 art course is due to start on Tuesday 18th March at The Suncliff Hotel, Bournemouth, BH1 3AG.

These part-time drawing and painting classes for beginners will last for a total of 14 weeks and the curriculum will follow our usual format, starting off with a 3 week module covering basic pencil sketching techniques including perspective, shading, creating form using light and dark tones, setting a ground, and so on, before moving onto oil pastels. Returning pupils who have attended one of our foundation training courses in the past will do a slightly more advanced set of studies and projects, allowing them to progress further.

The second section of lessons (oil pastels) will introduce you to colour and blending techniques using tortillons (or blending stumps as they are also known), to bring depth and tonal qualities to your pictures.

We will then move onto watercolour painting, concentrating on a selection of different projects, before studying acrylics — an impasto medium that many students find particularly interesting.

The final sessions will teach you how to mount your finished artwork using sugar paper, before exhibiting your best pieces in a gallery-style exhibition held during the final week of your lessons. Don’t be put off by the idea of showing off your completed art at this show — you’ll be surprised how many pupils who have never drawn or painted anything before in their lives are really excited about the opportunity to show off their artwork to their friends and family when the time comes, despite being very sceptical at the start of the course!

They never believed they would learn to paint as competently as they were able to by the end of their first course of lessons, and the standard of the pictures they were able to create left them itching to show them off properly!

Our art classes are perfect for absolute beginners who have never even thought about picking up a paint brush or pencil before, and also for what we affectionately term ‘improvers’ — those students who have received some professional tuition in the past, but want to now progress to the next level.

To learn more about our part-time adult-only art courses in the Bournemouth area, just call us on 01202-580909 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

We look forward to hearing from you.