Acrylic painting – abstracting the landscape with Claire Chandler

Ref: SLW33206

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About this course

Devlope your own visual language and improve your understanding of the principles of painting through experimentation, using the landscape as reference.

Course Description

This course will consist of practical demonstrations and individual practice. It is suitable for those who have taken a related course or have some existing skills in drawing and painting.

This course will benefit those interested in exploring abstract art in greater depth, further developing and building their painting skills, working towards independent practice.

We will take inspiration from the beautiful setting of West Dean College and draw in the surrounding landscape. Some time will be spent working outside, ‘en plein air’, drawing with charcoal within the grounds of the college. You will complete several guided drawing exercises outdoors using the surrounding landscape as inspiration. You will take these drawings back into the studio to develop further.

We will explore the fundamental approaches to creating abstract paintings. Inspired by visual references, you will develop an understanding of colour, gesture, scale, form, shape and line.

You will create a series of abstract landscape compositions. You will be encouraged to experiment with various acrylic paint techniques to further your painting practice.

You will be learning about the work of contemporary abstract landscape painters to inspire and enrich your own explorations and discoveries.

This course is an opportunity for you to:

Loosen up your observational drawing with charcoal experiments.

Observe and respond to the landscape creatively.

Develop the confidence to employ a variety of painting methods and materials.

Explore the fundamental approaches to making abstract art, developing an understanding of colour, gesture, scale, form, shape and line.

Recognise greater creative potential in your painting.

Produce a number of experimental abstract landscape paintings in acrylic paint.

You will be encouraged to use a sketchbook to record notes, sketches, colours and ideas during the course.

Your tutor will provide exercises, demonstrations, inspiration and subject matter for this course.

Please come prepared for drawing outdoors in all weathers, with a waterproof and layers/hats/sunscreen and suitable footwear.

Course Materials


  • On this course the college will provide, some charcoal, A3 cartridge paper, fixative spray, gesso and paint mediums to share amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • A jar for water
  • Pencils and rubbers
  • Acrylic paints - most importantly, the 3 primary colours: red, yellow, blue, plus a larger amount of white
  • Brushes – a varied selection of different size brushes from large decorating to delicate sable rigger brushes
  • Glue stick
  • Palette knives and a large palette
  • Plastic tubs or yoghurt pots for mixing paint
  • Canvases and paper
  • Rags/ sponges/ other mark-making tools
  • Suitable clothing for painting
  • Sketchbook

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials including acrylic paints are available to buy, including pencils, rubbers, masking tape, glue sticks, brushes – various sizes from large decorating to smaller, more delicate brushes, palette knives, palettes, canvases in various sizes and paper.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


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


Claire Chandler

Claire Chandler is a professional artist and art tutor living in south London.


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.