Contemporary still life

Re-interpreting still life - oil pastel drawing

Contemporary still life. Explore ways of creating the pictures you want. Gain control of how you use your page and be inspired, not restricted, by what you see in front of you.

Working from still life objects you will be encouraged to rigorously re-imagine and re-interpret the display in creative and personal ways.  The weekend involves a variety of exercises and techniques to enable you to free your approach and develop a personal response to the objects on display.

We will be working on still life images but what you learn can equally be used when creating landscapes or figurative work.

Manchester is an art destination
Stay a little longer | City Art Break >


“Don’t hesitate to book it. You’ll meet all abilities there and Brian matches his approach to your skill level.  All levels of experience are catered for in a welcoming and small group.”
Neale G

“Very intense, but light-hearted – very focused.  A good pace – gently challenged! I became more courageous.”
Barbara B

“Second day I felt locked unable to do anything and with help from Brian moved through it to complete a full picture.”
Ruth J



Sat + Sun


Includes most materials


10 – 4pm

Adult Beginner, Improver, Intermediate

Dates not yet decided

Email me to be added to the waiting list

Course details

All too often we simply draw what we see in front of us rather than search for that personal viewpoint to make a drawing that expresses your ideas and unique view of the world.  You will learn techniques that will help you ‘mix things up a bit’, and through a variety of drawing, painting and mixed media techniques create very personal responses to a variety of still life themes.  By the end of the 2-days you will have learnt a variety of techniques and have taken a significant step towards finding your own voice as an artist.

Click the green Materials to bring tab
to see what you need to bring.

Day 1
The course begins by looking at other artists still life drawings and paintings.  Through talking about the art works we will begin to learn how other artists create unique looking images.  You will then work through a creative process to enable you to discover unexpected ways of ‘seeing’ the still life in the centre of the studio.  This process will result in a completed mixed media drawing by the end of the day – that will capture a unique version of the real thing!   

Day 2
How do we find the artist’s voice within, that will enable us to express our own unique view of the world?  Today we will look a little deeper to find ways of making images that are highly expressive and personal.  I will encourage you to create drawings that express more about how you feel than describe the still life you are drawing.  This process will culminate in a drawing that represents the beginnings of a journey that, over time, will ultimately enable you to find your own unique artists voice.

  • Essential items to bring

    1. Pencil: 4B, 6B, 8B or 9B
    2. Plastic erasor
    3. Kneadable ‘putty’ rubber
    4. Drawing paper
      choose either;
    • Daler Rowney: A2 size
      Fine Grain heavy weight drawing pad
    • Winsor + Newton: A2 size
      Medium Surface cartridge pad

    Optional items to bring
    Baby wipes (hand cleansing tissues)
    Rag (old cloth) for smudging charcoal or paint when drawing
    Wear old clothes or bring an apron
    Pen and notebook for taking notes during the course

  • Group Size
    Min 6 – Max 10

    Course includes tea, coffee & biscuits. Please provide your own lunch on full day courses,workshops and classes.

  • Brian has a background as a fine artist, community artist and adult tutor. 
    Brian is passionate about teaching and enthuses his students with excitement for creativity and making art.  His teaching style is supportive, relaxed and friendly, yet focused on ensuring everyone is able to progress to their potential.  He is Lead tutor at Creative Art Courses.

    More >

  • Diaries from all previous courses


  • Future course dates


What can I expect

Structured learning
Carefully structured teaching that will lead you step by step, giving you the confidence to try new things.  

Individual attention
Loads of individual 1:1 encouragement to explore, experiment and discover.

Inclusive + personalised learning
A teaching style that focuses on your individual needs and is fully accepting of your individuality.

Creativity and technical skills
Teaching that allows you to learn new technical skills and develop your creativity, and leave inspired to continue to develop your skills further at home.

Welcoming studio
The Gallery Studio is a warm, creative and friendly space offering a relaxed informal, yet focused, teaching style.

Choose this course if you want to learn how to create contemporary playful and self expressive still life drawings

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“A very enjoyable experience where I learned so much.  Brian is a great tutor and the environment is inspiring.  I’ve learnt how to structure drawings but also how to find my own style.”
Chris C

“Extremely informative and challenging.  The textures exercise was particularly good fun. 
Stephen C

Choosing the right course

Courses are grouped into 4 strands, each with a different focus. 
Create your own patchwork of courses depending on your interest and availability. 
There is no specific starting point.


Fundamental building blocks applicable to all art styles


Materials + techniques to fall in love with


Stand out – learn to develop a strong artistic voice.


Ongoing development away from formal courses


  1. Karen Badat
    16 January 2018 @ 10:07 am

    Can I please join the wait list for this course.

    With thanks


    • artfulantics
      17 January 2018 @ 9:30 pm

      HI Karen
      Thanks for your interest in this course. The next course runs on 19-20 may 2018 and booking is now open. many thanks for your interest. Kind regards, Brian


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