Drawing to painting in oils – the figure in summer with Tim Patrick

Ref: SSS31586

About this course

You will explore the relationship between the figure and its surroundings, looking at how painters have depicted the human form and its relationship with the light and the atmosphere of these hottest months.

Course Description

The human figure and the summer season have been a staple subject for artists throughout history, from John Singer Sargent’s paintings of languid figures reclining in the shade to Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’. How the human form behaves in the light and the atmosphere of these hottest months will be the subject of this course.

Working from the model and outdoors, you will be guided through approaches in drawing and painting the figure from life, developing observational and imaginative approaches to picture making. Looking to artists past and present, you will create your own summer scene, inspired by the surrounds of West Dean Gardens, and using the figure as the staple subject.

Whilst the figure and summer are the main themes of the course, the fundamentals of oil painting and observational drawing will also be taught. The emphasis of the course will lie in helping you find an approach which you can perpetuate beyond the time at West Dean College, nurturing your idiosyncrasies and interests, celebrating the plurality of approaches to painting.

By the end of the course, you will be equipped with drawing, painting and observational skills which are applicable to your own work beyond the course. With an emphasis on encountering the subject and responding with earnestness and observation, it is hoped that by engaging with the figure in the context of the College’s rich surroundings, you will leave with an excitement to engage with in your own place and time.

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 Impressionist 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 paper, charcoal, ink and some paint to get you started, alongside the model who will sit for the course.

What students need to bring

  • Oil paints: (some will be provided but you will need some of your own as per below)
  • Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, Magenta, Ultramarine, Pthalo/Viridian Green, Burnt Umber, Payne’s Grey
  • Several wooden palettes – the larger the better
  • A wide selection of brushes, particularly large brushes (hog hair and synthetic)
  • Canvas/oil painting paper
  • Sketchbooks
  • Drawing materials
  • Zest-it or other low odour solvent
  • Linseed stand oil
  • Rags

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials including oil paints in a wide range of colours, brushes, palettes, canvases, oil painting paper, paint mediums and Zest-it solvent, sketchbooks, plus a variety of other drawing and painting materials and equipment

Additional information

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


Tim Patrick

Tim Patrick (b.1988) is an artist based in London and the South West. Having initially trained in traditional portrait painting in Florence, Italy, Tim subsequently studied in Brighton and the Royal Drawing School in London. His work was recently exhibited in the 2018 Threadneedle Prize and various exhibitions in 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.