Intuitive painting – process and imagination with Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Ref: SWE32345

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About this course

Develop playful and practical approaches to painting using your imagination. Learn acrylic painting techniques, free your creativity and create unique painted realities.

Course Description

Explore a more intuitive way of painting through automatism, automatic drawing techniques and a number of painting processes. Led by an inspirational tutor, you will work with the dynamics of your imagination to create painted realities. These could be temporal distortions, dreamworlds, impossible formations and abstractions. A playful and practical approach to painting and drawing is encouraged on this partly structured course, which covers:

• Ideas and inspiration

• Generating ideas through automatic drawing techniques

• Technique demonstrations

• Acrylic painting techniques

• Discussion and encouragement of your ideas and approaches

• Practical sessions

• Tutor feedback

You will also be introduced to a selection of contemporary artists who are working with these themes.

By the end of the course, you will have increased your knowledge, approaches and confidence in painting, as well as developed further your ideas and direction.


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


  • The course fee includes the cost of providing some paper, shared amongst the group, and some paint to get you started.

What students need to bring

  • Rags
  • Empty window cleaner sprayer (for spraying water on artwork)
  • Cling film to keep paints wet
  • A portable music device with headphones and music (optional)
  • A range of acrylic mediums are available to purchase in the shop, except modelling paste and polyfilla.
  • Bring the materials you like to work with and grounds you like to work on, such as canvas, paper, boards, etc. There will be acrylic techniques and demonstrations, so it's advisable to bring some acrylics and mediums. You may bring oils if you wish, but please consider the drying time and transportation of work.
  • Please bring a range of inspirational images and reference material that you may find useful to work from as source material or simply to inspire your ideas. These could be images from books, magazines, illustrations, photos, poetry, text, or actual objects and items that you might incorporate into your paintings.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including acrylic paints, acrylic primer, acrylic retarder, acrylic flow improver
  • A range of brushes (including large household brushes), palette knives
  • Paper, canvases, ready-made in various sizes, boards primed, card
  • Palettes
  • Black Indian ink (water-resistant)

Additional information

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


Chris Gilvan-Cartwright

Chris Gilvan-Cartwright, aka The Baron Gilvan, is a painter, performer and animator.
Graduating from Central St Martins he won the Royal Overseas League bursary to paint in India and Nepal. He designed the BBC Proms logos for two seasons, has exhibited extensively and performed at the Jerwood Gallery Hastings. Chris also trained at Kracow Academy of Fine Arts, Poland, and University of Brighton. He has taught over 20 years from Foundation to Degree level. Chris is a member of Central Illustration Agency and has illustrated 20 children's books, including 'Becoming Me', Frances Lincoln Publishing.


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

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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.