Our Syllabus Covers A Range Of Different Techniques

Keeping the content of our adult art lessons interesting, varied and creative is an important priority for us. It encourages students to maintain their artistic focus and enthusiasm, while letting their painting and drawing skills develop at the pace that suits them best.

We therefore put great thought into the syllabus and timetable for each one of our 14 week long part-time art courses, working in consultation with our experienced teachers and classroom helpers to create a fun and educational curriculum that is different for each new term.

A brief summary of a typical term’s syllabus is shown below, although it’s important to remember that each session we teach is different so that returning pupils can gain as much artistic variety as possible. The curriculum below is only therefore intended as a guide, so please feel free to telephone us on 01202-580909 if you require a more detailed breakdown of our next tutor sessions.


 Art Class Syllabus:

A typical timetable for one of our beginners painting courses across all of our classrooms which are now located in Poole, Christchurch, Salisbury and Bournemouth, will normally include the following (those students returning to us will be taught different, more advanced projects):

  • Weeks 1-3: Drawing Techniques:

Aimed at beginners who have never drawn anything before, the first few lessons of your term will cover the basic elements of picture construction using your sketch pads and cartridge paper. You will learn things like perspective, the importance of scale, balanced picture composition, shading and depth, creating form, observational sketching, enlarging pictures using a drawing grid, accurate figurative work, and simple strategies to help you sketch human facial features accurately and in the correct proportions.

This introductory module is ideal for both complete novices and slightly more experienced artists and provides a firm foundation for the remainder of your tuition, teaching you how to compose your artwork correctly while observing your subject in the same way that an experienced painter does.

  • Weeks 4-5: Studies In Pastel:

This is where you will start to introduce colour, texture and tone to your art using oil pastels. This is an exciting module for many budding artists as you begin to create colourful artwork using the sketching, scale and perspective techniques you learned in the first module, together with texture and depth using blending sticks and other tools.

Our experienced and friendly classroom assistants and teachers will help you every step of the way, ensuring that even at this early stage in your artistic journey you will find you are able to compose and draw appealing compositions including still-life projects and pet portraits.

  • Weeks 6-8: Watercolours:
Orchid In Bloom

An Orchid In Bloom

Watercolour painting can be harder to master than many students initially realise, and this is something we take into account in the style of tuition we provide.

Unlike acrylic paint or gouache for example, watercolour is partially transparent allowing the base wash to show through any subsequent coats you apply. The quantity of water used (particularly when including a background wash) can also cause some thicknesses of paper to crinkle and buckle if they are not correctly pre-stretched, so this is technique we also show you.

Our tutors teach you how to correctly mix the different pigments on your palette , the importance of paper preparation and stretching, using a colour wheel to create tonal harmonies, how to apply a flat wash, a graded and a variegated wash to your paper, wet on wet techniques, wet on dry paint application and the different effects this creates, dry brush techniques, and the various paint brush strokes you will use and the impact they will each have on the style and feeling of your finished pieces.

By the end of this session, you will have a number of beautiful paintings of your own on both A4 and A3 paper sizes that you will justifiably be very proud of.

  • Weeks 9-12: Acrylic Painting:

This is another exciting part of the course that many of our students really enjoy. Acrylic paints can be watered down and applied to the canvas or paper in much the same way as watercolours, but used straight from the tube they also take on a thicker impasto quality, meaning they can be a great substitute for traditional but messy oil paint as well. And because acrylics are water-based (unlike oils for example), they dry much faster, making your whole composition much easier to work with.

Still Life Flowers

A Still Life Study

This flexibility is appealing to both beginners and more experienced artists as well, and can allow you to create vibrant and colourful pieces with relatively little artistic experience, using impasto techniques applied with both paint brushes and palette knives on either canvas or specialist acrylic papers.

Pupils love the richness of colour and the general sensation of brushing the pigment onto the canvas, and many go on to choose them as the medium they use to create much of their artwork in the future.

You will create a selection of traditional, abstract and semi-abstract studies using stiffer bristle and hog hair brushes on specialist acrylic paper up to A3 size under the expert guidance of your tutor, producing a range of different artwork to take home with you at the end of your art classes.

  • Week 13: How To Display Your Pictures:

All good artwork whether contemporary or traditional, fluid or structured, abstract or more detailed and figurative, needs to be displayed properly if it’s going to look its best. In this short module we teach you how to temporarily mount your compositions from A3 down to A5 size, ready to show off to your guests at the private invitation-only exhibition we will hold at the end of your tutorials.

  • Week 14: Exhibiting Your Art:

Free tickets are available for you to invite as many of your friends as you wish to a gallery exhibition of your finished paintings, together with those of the other pupils on your course as well.

You can pick your best works to display, choosing your watercolour pictures over your acrylics for instance; Or maybe you are more proud of your pencil sketches than you are of your pastels. Or you might be really pleased with everything you have painted and decide that you want to exhibit the whole lot!

The choice is yours, but this exhibition provides a relaxed and sociable conclusion to your time with us and has proved a great success with students in the past.

  • After The Course Has Finished:

Many pupils return for additional lessons or workshops with us (remember, the curriculum is different for each one). All of our Poole, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Salisbury art classes are suitable for complete novices, competent amateur painters, and slightly more experienced practicing artists too, and there’s nothing we like more than to see the same student’s faces time and again… proof in other words that they see real value in the teaching we provide.

Learn more about our lessons by clicking here: Our Art Courses

Book into one of our sessions by clicking here: Booking Details


A Comment From One Of Our Pupils