Material Techniques – 2021

“A very rich and comprehensive learning. Teaching style is encouraging and paced. At whatever level you are at there is much to learn as much from one another as from Brian”

Nicky O


I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and supporting my group of students over the 10 weeks of this Material Techniques course.  I was inspired by how readily all the students involved themselves in the projects and the time spent exploring the different materials, even if sometimes they felt a specific material or technique felt challenging to them. They never shied away from the creative challenges put to them each week!  The ‘art crits’ or critiques that  started each session when students shared the work they had completed at home were inspirational.  Understandably not everyone had the time every week, but mostly all students found the extra time most weeks to bring something back to share. The constructive feedback and encouragement shared between the group was outstanding. making and teaching art is such a personal thing, it was sad to say goodbye after such a successful and rewarding time together – I hope to see them again on a future course.

Read further to find out what the students thought of their experience.

Student Comments

“Every week was something fresh, challenging and unpredictable. I’m always curious on the way in. I’ve learnt a lot about the potential of different media and how to use the art elements in a composition.” My course highlight was “the freedom and encouragement to explore new ways of making pictures.” [The course] has given me some structure and motivation to developing my art. Seeing other’s work and hearing feedback has been helpful. I shall miss the Monday morning class… the best way I can think to start the week.”
Kathryn F

“A great course that covers lots of different materials and techniques, in a paced way. Tutor is friendly and approachable. Tried materials I have never tried and actually enjoyed them – also artist’s examples [were] really helpful to be introduced to.” My course highlight was “being able to share and discuss everyone’s work. I really enjoyed sketching and inks.” [The course] really has [met my expectations] – it’s helped me regain confidence and passion in art which I haven’t been able/headspace for it in a long time. I’ve enjoyed the classes so much I have signed up for the drawing class.”
Sarah H

“It’s a fun and informative experience in a friendly atmosphere. Top notch time spent being creative in a inclusive and informative space. Brian has been a fantastic teacher throughout.” [I have learnt and] “experienced a new way of looking at mediums. And had the chance of learning the historical background of them, looking at different ways of executing the mediums was well.” My course highlight was “the group of lovely people, the brews and all the knowledge gained.” The course met my expectations as I “really enjoyed each session, even the ones I found challenging. I found it informative each week and was always excited to come back.”
Emiko M

“A very rich and comprehensive learning. Teaching style is encouraging and paced. At whatever level you are at there is much to learn as much from one another as from Brian. I am a novice and have felt very comfortable learning amongst some far more experienced colleagues. I have learnt techniques of using different media in different ways to express my art and to emphasize a mood/theme. It has given me the confidence to experiment further and explore my preferred media.” My course highlights were that “I loved seeing other peoples’ work and different interpretations of an assignment. The diversity is amazing. The friendship and support in the group also very encouraging and I have made friends for life.” The course has met my expectations as “the course has structured my learning and given me the traction and discipline to keep focused, as well as the confidence to continue to explore my love of art. I also enjoyed the teaching of different artists which has really broadened and deepened my appreciation of different art styles.”
Nicky O

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. Brian is so experienced, knowledgeable, passionate and a really nice person. He made me feel at ease and that I could accomplish anything and everything I tackled. I also met some lovely [students] along the way. I learnt to think outside the box, broaden my ability, experiment more, not be so narrow minded in my thinking. Going forward it will help me be more equipped/have better understanding in how I work and the finished product. I realised I was better than I thought – me saying this is a very rare thing! Has given me more confidence.” My course highlight was “meeting new people, trying different mediums, realising I actually can do this!!”

The course met my expectations as “I was quite apprehensive (although very excited) before starting the class. Didn’t really know what to expect. It has been so many years since I put pen/paint to paper so my confidence was low. I now know I can do it! I want to do more. I WILL do more! Thank you, I have learnt so much”
Jane S

“Been such fun. Great to experiment and try new ways of working. Brian is so encouraging and supportive, that allows you to have the courage to try something new.” I have learnt “great range of materials and new ideas in using those materials and approaching how you work creating a piece of art.” My course highlights were “Loads! Great group to work with – like minded people. The chat [art crit] over homework and the coffee breaks, pace of the course, examples of different artists, the background to the materials, the topics we worked on. Everything!” The course has met my expectation as I “Loved it! As always. So many ideas to take forward and try out.”
Ailsa O

“This has been a fantastic experience that has led us up and down unexpected pathways, helped us to develop skills with materials and techniques and explore ways to use them more creatively. We have been taught by a master. Thank you Brian. We have learned; how to use graphite stumps, pencils, charcoal to create tones and explore the different effects possible using plastic and kneadable erasers, how to make use of soft pastels to paint still life arrangements; how to use oil pastels with pencils, to use a knife to scrape away, to use baby oil for different effects; to explore and develop the use of inks. Brian has inspired, encouraged and taught us individually.” My course highlights was that it was “all wonderful” and “my expectations [of the course] were met!!!”
Sue M