Chiaroscuro – painting light and shadow with George Popesco

Ref: SLW13525

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About this course

Explore the balance of light and shade through expressive drawing and painting. Discover the power of dramatic lighting, contrasts and shadows to enhance both your drawing and painting skills.

Course Description

Discover the balance of light and shade through expressive drawing and painting of an elaborate still life setting. Make use of the power of dramatic lighting, contrasts and shadows to complete both preparatory drawings and a finished painting.

The studio setting will have a theatrical appearance and the chiaroscuro drama of 17th and 18th century paintings to inform and inspire your response. You will learn how to use contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume when painting three-dimensional objects from an elaborate still life setting that has a figurative context.

Your tutor’s style is very direct; through engaging exercises and tutor demonstrations, you will be fully instructed on how to make your approach to bold mark-making, colour, light and shade. Both acrylic and oil colour will be taught, allowing you to achieve subtle yet surprising results in your preferred medium.


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)

Course Materials


  • A selection of oil paints and paint mediums shared amongst the group are included in the course fee.
  • Students are to provide the materials listed below – please bring or purchase them from the shop.

What students need to bring

  • Brushes and painting palette (a disposable painting palete provided)
  • Pencils
  • Painting surface – canvas or MDF or hardboard (plus primer if required)
  • Personal sketchbook – A4 or equivalent
  • Acrylic paints OR oil paints and their various mediums/thinners
  • Please note: White spirit is not to be used in the studio; please use a safer alternative, such as Zest-it or Sansodour odourless solvents.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good supply of art materials, including: brushes, painting palettes, pencils, oil paints and mediums, acrylic paints and various mediums, canvases, boards, A4 sketchbooks, Zest-it and Sansodour.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


George Popesco: Self Portrait

George Popesco

Since completing his academic training at the Royal Academy Schools London, George has taught extensively in varied Art & Design education structures alongside developing his own work and exhibiting both in group and solo exhibitions. George lives and works in Dorset, specialising in Oil Colour medium exploiting its tactile wet in wet qualities to form the mediums expressive and sculptural qualities.


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

Courses of interest

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.