Summer School


Owen Normand:

Portrait Painting

1st to 5th July, 2019


This course will guide students step-by-step through the process of making a painted portrait. Starting with sketches in charcoal students will be taught the basics of portraiture, such as how to measure proportion to achieve a likeness. They will then learn how make a monochrome underpainting to determine the tonal values of the portrait. Finally they will learn to mix colours and create finished portraits in acrylics. Working from a live model, students will make several finished portraits during the week, thereby practising and consolidating what they have learned. This course is suitable for students with some previous knowledge of drawing or painting. 


Brigid Collins:

Portfolio Preparation Summer School 

8th to 12th July, 2019


This short course will introduce students to and encourage experimentation in a range of interesting and exciting activities, based on a first year foundation course at art college. By initially exploring ways of finding inspiration, as well as how to look and to think creatively, students will learn how to make considered and personal visual responses to a subject. Using sketchbooks and through group discussion, while also exploring how other artists approach the research and development aspect of making work, each student will be encouraged to uncover a personal direction for potential subsequent development. 

Examples from sketchbooks and portfolios will be shown and guidance given on what is required for a successful UCAS application, with the intention of demystifying the process. This is an ideal course for anyone interested in studying art and design and who would benefit from being guided in the direction of making work that could become part of a portfolio supporting an application to art college. 


Celia Forestal Smith:

Intuitive Abstract Painting

22nd to 26th July, 2019


Intuitive Abstract Painting with tutor Celia Forestal Smith BAHons. Ad Dip. MA

We will explore the Primary picture elements such as line, tone, shape, space, texture, colour and composition throughout the week in order to loosen up, letting the mind drift focus and allowing responses to your experiences to flow intuitively without judgement or expectation. The excersises Celia teaches are a lot of fun and will expand, deepen and enrich your painting practice. 

We will look at the work of other abstract artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, William De Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Gillian Ayres, Albert Irvin, Nicholas De Stael and Gerhart Richter and others, in order to put your work into context. 

Materials: Pencils, graphite, charcoal, pastels, black ink, acrylic paints, collage and gelli printing.


Kenneth Le Riche:

Expression and Observation in Oils: 5 Paintings 5 Days

5th to 9th August, 2019


“Colour is not a physical reality; it is the reality of what is in the painter’s mind”(Matisse). The Fauves painters simplified lines, exaggerated perspective and used brilliant colours. They valued spontaneity and freshness over finish. During this workshop, students will be taken through a journey into colour while responding to the landscape. The rudiments of using colour to describe form will be explored as well as formal qualities such as line, tone, colour, texture, glazes, proportion, perspective, negative space and composition. The emphasis will be on students making a painting a day that is a personal response to the elusive light and landscape in, and around, Findhorn. Students will be encouraged to tap into their sense of self-expression to convey the observed. Each day will start with a brief slide lecture and end with a group crit. This will be an intensive but fun week of prolific painting. Suitable for all levels. 


Randy Klinger:

Still-Life Drawing: Reflection, Refraction & Transparency

1st to 5th July, 2019


A straightforward approach to learning to see more accurately and to creating a stronger 3 dimensional presence in 2 dimensional arts  through clarity of form, as a way towards greater beauty.

Through pencil drawing from still-life objects, you will learn and gain clarity of perception, accurate depiction of what you see, and begin to understand and master form; the clear depiction of three-dimensional form. Participants will begin to gain greater visual acuity, sensitivity to the use of line, with the aim to advance your most authentic expression and inspired imagination. 

Through the observation of nature, and use of perspective and the depiction of form through light and cast shadows, you will create a stronger depiction of the natural world - creating the presence of a form in a palpable way – with the object's volume and weight that 'enters' the viewer’s space. 


Paul Mowat:

From Landscape to Studio 

15th to 19th July, 2019


In this one-week intensive course, students will be coached through the various stages of making paintings from sketchbooks to canvas.   

Using the beautiful landscape around Findhorn, students will spend a day drawing on location and gathering source material from which they will work in the studio for the rest of the week. 

The drawings will be developed into prints, collage and small studies before being reworked into more resolved paintings.  We will discuss line and tone, colour and composition, mark making and surface.  Students will be encouraged to develop their own personal response to the landscape and to take away with them a series of studies  reflecting their time spent in this environment. 

Throughout the course we will look at the work of contemporary artists in conjunction with our studies. 

Over the course of the week students will have learned how to… 

 *undertake research and location drawing, 

*develop sketches into paintings 

*prepare surfaces and grounds 

*work with monotype printing 

*Use acrylic paint and understand colour palettes 

*work in series 

*produce resolved studies in paint 

All levels of experience are welcome. 



Jonathan Shearer:


12th to 16th August, 2019


The aim of this workshop is to explore the versatility of painting and drawing through the process of mark making and how to translate our direct response to the landscape .Working directly in the landscape we will explore ways of working in sketchbooks upto how to work on a large scale outdoors. During the workshop i will do a variety of demonstrations on different techniques.

The workshop is run a friendly and informal manner with the focus on individual development.

Please can participants bring whichever paint they wish to use(oil,acrylic,watercolour)brushes,palette,stretched canvas or surface to paint on,rags and suitable clothes to paint in.Could you also bring sketchbooks.


Alan McGowan:

Expressive Figure Painting

8th to 12th July, 2019


Under Alan’s guidance, students will concentrate on developing the relationship between life drawing and painting whilst considering mark-making, colour and the handling properties of paint. The consideration of accuracy of observation and measurement will be looked at in relation to freedom of expression, exploration of materials and engagement with an expressive and individual painterly language. Students will receive regular one-to-one guidance throughout the course.

The figure painting workshop will begin by looking at how we approach creating the figure on canvas through drawing - firstly making several drawn studies in both dry materials and oil paints, followed by a one day oil painting and finally two paintings over the last three days. The topics I will focus on in the class will include composition; drawing and measuring; mark making; tone; and the differing qualities and characteristics of paint. Other topics will inevitably crop up, such as colour palettes, and these will be discussed on an individual basis as they arise.


Susie Wilson:


15th to 19th July, 2019


Printmaking is an exciting discipline offering unexpected results through experimental approaches.  The week will begin by a walk around the surrounding environment and using this landscape as the starting point to gather visual information through drawing. Trace monotype and direct drawing onto printing plates will encourage expressive use of line.  

Back in the studio students will interpret and transform these initial drawings into a series of prints through various printmaking techniques such as Trace Monotype, Dry Point and Collograph. Each technique will be demonstrated and students will then be encouraged to experiment with mark-making either through the rich velvety tones of collagraph or the fine detail of dry point.  Over this 5 day course different methods of inking up will be shown in order to introduce colour to the final work.  


Olivia Irvine:

Imaginative compositions

5th to 9th August, 2019


Have you ever wanted to break away from painting what you see and work more from memory and imagination? Do you want to make things up, but still retain a sense of structure? Do you want to be figurative and abstract at the same time?

Using acrylic paint, monoprinting and collage you will work from memory, imagination and on the spot drawings to create imaginative compositions that straddle the figurative and the abstract. A series of experimental exercises will lead into a personal project which will open up new directions. Expect a playful yet structured week.

This course is suitable for experienced artists as well as those who have had less or no experience, but have a spirit of adventure. 





Coming soon

Moray Art Centre, The Park, Findhorn, Scotland, IV36 3TA | +44 (0) 1309 692426 |

Charity Ref: SC028270