Crossing the bridge to abstract painting with Robert Sosner

Ref: S3D33176

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About this course

Working from still life, landscape and narrative you will be shown how to make the transition from figurative to abstraction, through exercises and personal projects. Benefit from both individual and group tuition throughout.

Course Description

Through a series of practical exercises, including a personal project, you will learn how to make the transition from figurative to abstract painting. You will have the opportunity to draw and paint from both still life and landscape as a starting point. The tutor will teach you how to edit the work to reveal the beginnings of an abstract composition. You will then look at several types of abstract paintings from which you will be able to make choices, with guidance, on how to develop the work.

Colour, line, shape, composition and scale will be explored to achieve different results. Historical and contemporary artists will be referenced throughout.

The tutor will provide initial exercises as ways into abstraction, followed by one-to-one support with further guidance and group discussions.

By the end of the course, you will have gained knowledge that will enable you to start making your own abstract paintings. You will gain an understanding into the mechanics and motivation that goes into making abstract work, and some tools to help you develop the themes explored in your own time after the course.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some acrylic paint, PVA glue and papers to get you started and to be shared amongst the group. You will need to purchase more from the shop as required.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring three or more objects that you would like to use for your still life compositions.
  • You may also bring some work from home that you wish to develop in the latter part of the course.
  • Acrylic paints (minimum of 59ml tube) in the following colours: Cadmium Red Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Lemon Yellow, Black, Titanium White and a green of your choice; plus any other colours you would like to bring
  • A selection of brushes - round and flat head - quality of your choosing
  • One flat head brush, 2 inches wide
  • Palette, A3 sketch pad
  • Water pots – jam jars/yogurt pots (some pots are available from the College)
  • Suitable clothing for working with acrylic paint.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including acrylic paint in a good range of colours, including Cadmium Red Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue Hue, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Lemon Yellow, Black, Titanium White and Green, pencils, a good selection of brushes - round and flat, 2 inch wide flat brushes, palettes, paper in various weights and sizes, A3 sketch pads, canvases, etc.

Additional information

Have an open mind and be prepared to experiment. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

General Information


Robert Sosner

Robert studied painting at Chelsea School of Art and has been a recipient of a bursary from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, New York. He has taught artists throughout the film and broadcast media industries and is a mentor to local professional artists.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.