Courses

Cardiff Open Art School opens its doors again in January 2022 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 16 or over, with the exception of courses using a life model, where the minimum age for participants is 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.

CERAMICS

Pottery: Learning to Throw on the Wheel

Date: Mondays, starts 17 January 2022, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £195
Tutor: Margo Schmidt
Level: Beginner (all welcome)

Learn to throw on the potter's wheel! A step-by-step class learning how to hand throw pots. This class is suitable for both complete beginners as well as those who would like to improve their throwing skills.

Beginners will learn how to throw cylinders and bowls, and those who already have some throwing skills may want to explore handles, lids and other embellishments - whether thrown or hand built.

This fun-packed class will also give the choice of learning a wide variety of surface decoration techniques that can transform even the most basic pots into unique pieces!

Together we will glaze the pots at the end of the course, and they will be kiln fired for you to take home and keep at no extra cost.

Students should bring with them: Remember to bring a small towel/t-towel (we provide aprons), and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty as pottery is messy!

Book Now

Pottery: Learning to Throw on the Wheel

Dates: Tuesdays, starts 18 January 2022, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £195
Tutor: Margo Schmidt
Level: Beginner (all welcome)

Learn to throw on the potter's wheel! A step-by-step class learning how to hand throw pots. This class is suitable for both complete beginners as well as those who would like to improve their throwing skills.

Beginners will learn how to throw cylinders and bowls, and those who already have some throwing skills may want to explore handles, lids and other embellishments - whether thrown or hand built.

This fun-packed class will also give the choice of learning a wide variety of surface decoration techniques that can transform even the most basic pots into unique pieces!

Together we will glaze the pots at the end of the course, and they will be kiln fired for you to take home and keep at no extra cost.

Students should bring with them: Remember to bring a small towel/t-towel (we provide aprons), and wear something you don’t mind getting dirty as pottery is messy!

Book Now

PAINTING

Beginner/Intermediate Painting in Oils and Acrylics

Date: Thursdays, starts 27 January 2022, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Course length: 10 weeks
Price: £180
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: Beginner/Intermediate

This course will provide learners with the technical and theoretical tools to paint still life and landscape paintings.

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 that 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, in fact, a whole new appraisal of how we see things, and translate this experience onto canvas is needed. You will leave with the tools at your disposal to embark with confidence on your own painting projects.

Students should bring with them: students can choose whether they bring 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. 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 also need to bring in a range of medium and large brushes and a good size plastic or dis-posale 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.

Book Now

Intermediate/Advanced Painting in Oils and Acrylics

Date: Mondays, starts 24 January 2022, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Course length: 10 weeks
Price: £180
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Building on the knowledge and skills covered in the beginner/intermediate painting course you will practice techniques to increase your control of rendering colour and form. By investigating how hue and value can be identified to construct a convincing visual statement you’ll modulate colour by a subtle manipulation of contrast in order to bring forms to life and create a mood.

You will continue to deepen your understanding of colour palettes so that your paintings tell a convincing visual story. From here you will expand your practice of brush technique, composition and rhythm to turn paintings from descriptions into expressions that can retain the viewer’s attention.

This will be done within an art historical context that will open up a fuller understanding of contemporary painting practice.

We will have frequent discussions on the decision-making process that accompanies the creation of a painting and see how to intervene at each stage to harmonise it. As the course progresses it is expected that the support and encouragement you provide your peers will resolve technical painting issues using the specific tools and language of painting theory.

Throughout the course you will be supported in developing your own style and refine your visual vocabulary to expand the horizons of your painting practice.

Students should bring with them: Oil or acrylic paints, which need to be of a reputable make (Windsor and Newton, Rowney etc.) but can be “student quality”. The colours required for this course are Titanium white, alizarine crimson, cadmium red, lemon yellow, yellow ochre, viridian green, ultramarine blue, payne’s grey and raw umber. Canvas boards or PVA sealed thick paper or card are all suitable for painting.

Students also need to bring in a range of medium and large brushes and a good size plastic or dis-posable 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.

Book Now

Still Life in Acrylics

Date: Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April 2022, 10:00am-2:00pm
Course length: 2 sessions
Price: £95
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: All welcome

This course aims to explore the many decisions that need to be made to achieve a harmonious painting and to communicate form, distance and mood. This course will reinforce the practice of using values to describe how light creates form but then move on to see how an understanding of colour “temperature” and “saturation” will determine the effectiveness of what we aim to achieve.

We will do exercises to test out theories and see how we can make the inherent properties of colours work for and not against us. We’ll be using still life objects in the studio as studies that will clarify how colour is an effect of light rather than an inherent property and will be comparing our findings with painters both before and after the discoveries of impressionism.

The workshop will introduce us to principles of colour mixing and the advantages of using a limited palette so that we begin to deepen our understanding of how colours react visually by isolating the characteristics that we want to employ. By concentrating on focused studies, we can engage with painting terminology that helps us make sense of colour and begin to develop our own preferred palette.

Students should bring with them: Colours: Titanium white, zinc (mixing) white, Cadmium red, alizarin crimson, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, Pthalo or Prussian blue (green shade), Ultramarine blue, black. Palette, synthetic brushes. Thick cartridge paper (300 gsm) or canvas boards minimum A3 size

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch.

Book Now

DRAWING

Introduction to Drawing

Date: Wednesdays, starts 19 January 2022, 7.00-9.00pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
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.

We will be experimenting with observational practice, drawing inspiration from still life, the figure, and a range of observational drawing situations. Incorporating and experimenting with a range of different materials and looking at artist examples for inspiration.

The course will cover a study of line, tone, composition and working with scale. This will be introduced through taught method and questioning practice.

This course will lead us to a greater understanding of the principles of drawing, with a mind-set towards responding and discovering further how drawing can develop for you individually. This is supported with one to one tuition and feedback 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.

Book Now

Contemporary Still Life in Soft Pastels

Date: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 February 2022, 10:00am-2:00pm
Course length: 2 sessions
Price: £95
Tutor: Sebastian Aplin
Level: All welcome

This course aims to develop your ability to draw a still life in soft pastels. You will develop knowledge and understanding of tonal value, negative/positive space, light and local colour, measurement and proportion, warm and cool colour contrast and optical colour mixing.

Cézanne said he would astonish Paris with an apple, and he did. We can astonish ourselves by painting a toaster or espresso maker. It doesn’t matter what you paint, but how you paint it.

This course aims to tackle the basic issues that make representational drawing and painting successful. We will use pastels to explore how the effect of form, distance and the relationship between objects is achieved by controlling the colour we use in drawing. Once we have understood how to guide what our audience sees we will be ready to jump on the backs of the masters to create our own still lives, full of the things that surround us in our day to day lives. Soft pastels are versatile enough to test out the basic theories behind the practice in a manner which is quick and efficient.

Through this course you will learn to recognize the mechanisms which have made great drawings and paintings so alluring and will develop the skills to be able to try them out yourself. By reducing the amount of colours used, we will be able to concentrate on how to model form with light and create an illusion of pictoral space. We will also explore techniques to help up observe forms accurately and work through tasks that will allow us to bring shapes to life.

Students should bring with them: A set of soft pastels. If buying your pastels individually please include the following Burnt Umber (brown), Payne’s Grey (bluish grey), raw sienna (similar to yellow ochre), lemon yellow (cool yellow), crimson (cool red), ultramarine blue (warm blue).

Lunch: Please note that the cafes on site are closed at weekends so it would be good idea to bring a packed lunch.

Book Now

PRINTMAKING

Screenprinting

Dates: Mondays, starts 17 January 2022, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Nigel Bowles
Level: All levels

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 materials will be supplied but printmaking can be messy, so either wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or bring along an apron.

Book Now

PHOTOGRAPHY

Introduction to Photography

Dates: Mondays, starting 17 January 2022, 6:30-8:30pm
Course length: 10 sessions
Price: £180
Tutor: Rory Buckland
Level: All welcome

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.

Book Now