Courses

Cardiff Open Art School opens its doors again in Spring 2023 with a whole range of fantastic learning opportunities available. From pottery to painting, drawing to design thinking, photography, printmaking and craft courses, there is something for everyone.

It doesn't matter if you're an experienced artist or designer, are preparing a portfolio to apply for a degree or Foundation programme, or if you've never picked up a pencil before, the courses and workshops are a great way of both trying out new skills or further developing your practice.

Please note that, unless otherwise stated within the course description, our courses are open to those aged 18.

All courses are available to book now.




You can book directly onto any course you like via the Cardiff Met online store, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and places are on a first come, first served basis. We will still be able to help process bookings over the phone on weekdays, during office hours, if required.

Please note that bookings for all courses will close exactly one week prior to the start of the course.

Courses run throughout the year at our Llandaff campus, typically starting each Autumn, Spring and Summer Term. The most up to date information about what we are running and when will always be found on the courses section of the COAS website.

To sign up for our mailing list and receive updates on our programme of courses, email your contact details to coas@cardiffmet.ac.uk.

PAINTING

Beginner/Intermediate Painting in Oils and Acrylics, Thursdays from 19 January 2023

Date: Thursdays, starts 19 January 2023, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 weeks
Price: £205
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Painting is harder than it looks! In fact, a whole new appraisal of how we see things, and translate this experience onto canvas is needed.

In this course you will learn the basic theory of how to relate colour and light, define objects through contrast and design a dramatic composition. By the end of this course you will have learned that there is a structure to figurative painting and also a reason why paintings are attractive. Many of these theories will surprise you and will make you approach the painting process in a new way.

In this course we will look at the mechanisms paintings of the last 400 years have used to make them great and we will be taking practical measures to build their discoveries into our painting practice. Every week we will have a new focus of paint application, theory and subject matter to challenge us.

By the end of the course you will see that the whole process of painting goes far beyond copying and you will now have the tools at your disposal to embark with confidence on your own painting projects.

What do students need to bring with them?
Students can choose whether they bring in oil or acrylic paints which need to be of a reputable make (Windsor and Newton, Rowney etc) but can be “student quality”. The basic colours needed are Red, Blue, Yellow, black and white (primary colours). If students want a fuller palette the following colours are recommended: Titanium white, lemon yellow, cadmium red, ultramarine blue, Payne’s grey, burnt umber.

Students need to bring in a range of medium and large brushes and a good size plastic or disposable palette. If using oil paint LOW ODOUR solvents are to be brought such as W & N “Sansodor” or “Zest it”. For oil painting hogs hair brushes are recommended over synthetic brushes.

Rags, small sealable pots, palette knives and A3 size (approx.) canvas boards will also be needed.


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Portraiture and Life Model Painting, Fridays from 20 January 2023

Date: Fridays, starts 20 January 2023, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 weeks
Price: £205
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

By the end of this course you will feel comfortable painting a portrait from a photograph as well as painting the human figure from life.

We will look at the decisions that will allow you to paint convincing portraits and figure paintings, alternating between portraiture, using carefully chosen digital images, and life model figure painting. The challenges and advantages of painting from life and from flat images will increase your experience and understanding of controlling form while also extending your expressive capabilities.

We will look in depth at appropriate colour palettes to strengthen your composition and how to control colour and value contrast to make the model appear grounded “in space” as opposed to floating on the canvas. We will constantly refer to examples of how this has been achieved by great artists and investigate how to simplify and dramatize the outcome.

What do students need to bring with them?
Students can choose whether they bring in oil or acrylic paints which need to be of a reputable make (Windsor and Newton, Rowney etc) but can be “student quality”. Your palette will consist of titanium white, zinc white, ivory black, raw umber, cadmium red, yellow ochre and ultramarine blue. Paper will be provided but students are encouraged to bring in some recycled cardboard primed with PVA sealant. A3 canvas boards or oil/acrylic pads are a good alternative.

Students need to bring in a range of medium and large brushes and a good size palette or dish for mixing colours. If using oil paint LOW ODOUR solvents are to be brought such as W & N “Sansodor” or “Zest it”. For oil painting hogs hair brushes are recommended over synthetic brushes.

Rags and small sealable pots will also be needed.


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DRAWING

Introduction to Drawing, Wednesdays from 18 January 2023

Date: Wednesdays, starts 18 January 2023, 7.00-9.00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £190
Tutor: Christopher Holloway
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Develop your drawing skills within a studio setting by exploring a range of different methods and approaches to drawing, in a creative and supportive environment.

Working from observation, the course will cover a study of line, tone, shape, texture, scale and composition. Subject matter will include still life, the figure, interior space and a range of observational drawing scenarios. This course will focus on the principles of drawing and developing our skills in observation and ways of seeing.

Students should bring with them: One box of willow charcoal, some drawing pencils and an eraser for the first session, A1 white cartridge paper will be available at the class. Tuition will be provided with regard to materials, so it is advisable not to purchase unnecessarily before the course commences.


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Life Drawing, Tuesdays from 17 January 2023

Date: Tuesdays, starts 17 January 2023, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £205
Tutor: Christopher Holloway
Level: All levels

Life drawing offers the opportunity to draw and study the human form over ten focused classes. This is an open to all class, which will appeal to all levels including beginners.

The classes are structured to give a diverse range of poses to draw from, both short and extended. The course will include set exercises which will give you the opportunity to experiment and engage in a range of approaches to drawing. Each session will give you the opportunity to develop and refine your own response to drawing the figure.

This is a taught class within a studio environment, whereby experimentation is encouraged and where you can learn through drawing itself. One to one tuition and feedback will be provided throughout.

Students should bring with them: One box of willow charcoal, some drawing pencils and an eraser for the first session, A1 white cartridge paper will be available at the class. Tuition will be provided with regard to materials, so it is advisable not to purchase unnecessarily before the course commences.


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PRINTMAKING

Screen Printing, Mondays from 16 January 2023

Date: Mondays, starts 16 January 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £205
Tutor: Nigel Bowles
Level: Beginner/All welcome

This ten-week programme will introduce simple techniques of screen printmaking on paper by hand, for those students with little or no previous experience of the medium. The emphasis will be on developing drawings, photographs, or any other two-dimensional designs into works produced on paper.

There will be opportunities to discuss your prints with the tutor, and to attempt more complex projects that require some knowledge of image manipulation software like Adobe Photoshop.

Students should bring with them: all specialist materials for the course will be provided.


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Experimental Lino Printmaking, Thursdays from 19 January 2023

Date: Thursdays, starts 19 January 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £205
Tutor: Tom Martin
Level: Beginners and artists who wish to learn and add some alternative techniques to their practice

During this 10-week course you will explore the many unusual ways that lino can be used, from reduction technique, using power tools to make marks, caustic etching to 'bite' blocks, Chin collé (the use of collage), multi-block printing, plaster casting and unusual inking methods such as rainbow rolling. You will create exciting and dynamic prints that perhaps break the traditional view that lino is a black and white/graphic process.

You will also be introduced to many artists who use lino in unpredictable ways and will have the opportunity to see examples of their work.

This course is aimed at beginners and also those who wish to develop their existing skills.

All materials will be supplied.

We have a lovely printmaking studio with plenty of room to work in plus you will have the chance to use our ‘Albion’ and ‘Columbian’ presses that date from the 1800s!

Students should bring with them: all specialist materials for the course will be provided.


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PHOTOGRAPHY

Introduction to Photography: Get off auto and onto manual settings for your photography, Mondays from 16 January 2023

Date: Mondays, starting 16 January 2023, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £195
Tutor: Rory Buckland
Level: All welcome

Get off Auto and onto manual settings for your photography.

This course is aimed at beginners who having been using auto mode on their camera but would now like to start using the manual functions for better control of their picture taking. This course will teach students introductory theory and practice of manual photography, and instruct students how to create better photographs, giving them an understanding of lens and camera combinations.

The course will teach students how to set a manual camera to take competent pictures in a range of situations and environments, as they gain an understanding of the effects of light, colour and temperature on the picture taking process.

By the end of the course, students will have obtained the knowledge and confidence to develop their craft through their own initiative and will have the skills to take pictures the way we visualise them.

Students should ideally have access to a camera / camera phone (film or digital, but preferably digital) which allows at least some manual override and preferably the instruction manual for that camera.

Students should bring with them: A camera / camera phone (film or digital – preferably digital) and ideally its instruction manual, a notebook.


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TEXTILES

Intro to Stitch for Repairs, Making and Art Textiles, Mondays from 16 January 2023

Date: Mondays, starting 16 January, 7:00-9:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions*
Price: £205
Tutor: Karen O’Shea
Level: All welcome

Learn to sew from the very basics of hand sewing and embroidery right through to fashionable visible mending, darning and garment alterations to putting in a zip and using a machine for applique and art textiles techniques using dissolvable fabric. This course has everything for the complete beginner!

The course is designed for complete beginners who have always wanted to learn to sew, or who would like to know how to repair or make garments, and even those with an artistic streak who fancy learning art textiles techniques. No prior sewing experience is necessary, and all skillsets are welcome.

The course offers an introduction to hand and machine sewing and embroidery, for functional creation and repairs and for decorative techniques used in art textiles. By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Operate a sewing machine and other stitch related tools safely
  • Perform a range of functional hand sewing stitches to decorative hand embroidery stitches
  • Make repairs and adjustments to garments, including blind stitch hemming, attaching buttons and darning
  • Use a simple pattern and insert a zip to create a lined 3D item using a sewing machine
  • Perform applique and freestyle machine embroidery for art textiles
  • Use dissolvable fabric to create a 3D item for the home


Students should bring with them:

  • A notebook and pencil
  • A simple sewing kit comprising pins, a household hand sewing needle, a size 1 and size 3 embroidery needle
  • A pair of small sharp embroidery scissors (nail scissors will do)


*Please note that the course will commence on 16th January and will contain 10 sessions in total. No session will be taught on the week commencing 20th February and (in line with Schools Half-Term) the last session will therefore take place on the week commencing 27th March.


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DESIGN

Branding Design; from concept to completion, Tuesdays from 17 January 2023

Date: Tuesdays, starting 17 January, 6:00-8:00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £190
Tutor: Jaime Fitzgerald
Level: Beginners/All welcome

An effective brand identity communicates how an organisation, product or service wishes to be perceived.

Learn with practical exercises, how to communicate a brand idea through its identity.

This course covers the subject from creative brief to final execution and implementation. It’s a fun-packed creative and inspirational course and students will be expected to share their understanding of the subject through interactive workshop exercises.

Students will consider how each element of the identity contributes to the brands perception: name, strapline, logo, mascots, colour, typography, and aesthetics. They will research successful brands, create mind maps, mood boards and visual concepts in order to come up with a logo to answer a creative design brief.

They will learn software skills in order to execute their final design to answer a specific design brief.

This course is designed for people interested in branding, graphic design and the effective communication of a brand.

Students should bring with them: A USB stick to save work on, pencils, pens, and any other mediums that they feel will be a benefit them within a creative setting. An A4 or A3 sketchbook is advisable although paper will be provided.


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