Approaches and processes to drawing and painting with Philip Tyler

Ref: SSS30001

About this course

Explore experimental approaches to drawing from a variety of subjects and learn how this can be developed into ideas for abstract colour paintings using acrylic paint and collage.

Course Description

Consider how drawing can be used as a series of starting points to inform the development of abstract, experimental paintings and collages. Acquire a more comprehensive understanding of processes by considering a range of approaches to drawing and painting the figure, landscape and still life. These will include translating ideas from two to three-dimensions, drawing place as well as colour workshops where you will be encouraged to work serially to develop lots of different images.

You will explore a variety of approaches to observational work, including blind drawing, gesture drawing, the Notan, tonal studies and research drawing. You will also be encouraged to work intuitively with mark-making, touch, layering and visual incident, using a range of two-dimensional dry and wet media.

The course will introduce you to acrylic painting techniqes and colour mixing, exploring the language of colour harmonies and serial image making where you will work on multiple colour studies simultaneously to arrive at new and surprising abstract colour paintings which, in turn, will inform larger works on paper.

Using drawing as a starting point, you will be introduced to the process where two-dimensional images can be transformed three-dimensionally using paper and photography, redrawn and reiterated through different compositional formats.

Experimental workshops will help you gain a more expressive approach to reinterpreting both the landscape and the figure though drawing and painting, as well as the potential of the figure in the landscape.

If you want to kick start your creative thinking or just want an insight into some new ways of working and thinking visually, this is the course for you.

Subjects covered include:

Drawing from the life model – how to draw and interpret gesture and movement of the figure

Landscape– introduction to mark-making, a sense of place and atmosphere

Still-life – interpretation of shape, tone and negative space

Colour theory

By the end of the course, you will have a more comprehensive understanding of your visual language and have an insight into how to develop ideas.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionists exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully.


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • On this course, the College will supply some of the materials, including a plastic eraser, some thick willow charcoal, a 3B compressed charcoal stick, a 2B pencil and some A2 cartridge paper, masking tape, Indian ink, some acrylic paint: Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Crimson, Ultramarine, Phthalo Blue, Black and Titanium White to share amongst the group.
  • The model who will sit for a part of the course.

What students need to bring

  • Stapler
  • Brushes
  • Palette or painting knives
  • A basic set of acrylic paints
  • General drawing materials

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of general art materials, including paper, drawing materials, brushes, palettes, palette knives and a good selection of acrylic paints

Additional information

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


Philip Tyler, tutor at West Dean College

Philip Tyler

Phil Tyler trained at Loughborough College of Art and Design, Virginia Commonwealth University and Brighton Polytechnic. He has taught for 33 years and runs the Printmaking Degree at Brighton. He has appeared on Sky Portrait artist of the year twice and has a track record of exhibiting nationally and internationally.


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.