What to expect in Observation to Abstraction workshops

  • Workshop-style classes, and opportunity to focus on your painting in friendly and welcoming like-minded company.

  • Content-rich tutor input on the theme for the day and mix of imaginative structured exercises and more independent work.

  • You book per term. A term consist of three intensive one-day workshops, about a month apart with homework in between.

  • Term 1 runs each autumn. Term 2 runs after Christmas and up to Easter. Each term can be booked separately.

  • You join a group for a term, meeting on the same day of the week.

  • Maximum of 5 people per group.

  • Each workshop is repeated for all the different groups.

  • Now in its eleventh year (2019-20), each season has a new theme/subject.

  • The course title is a starting point for tutor input and student development.

  • Students work in a wide variety of styles from realistic (figurative), through loosened up/relaxed interpretations of the subject and ‘non-real’ abstract. There is no pressure to work in a particular style or to imitate Ella’s work or that of any other artist.

  • Subject matter varies, between still life and students’ own drawings and preparatory work.

  • All materials are included, so you don't have to remember what to bring. However, you do bring your own rags/paper towels, apron and packed lunch.

  • All levels are welcome, including beginners, rusty returners and experienced painters. However, Faster Friday groups are only for experienced and confident painters already very familiar with Ella’s approach and methods.

  • Workshops run 10am to 4pm in a light, warm, private studio in York Avenue, Headington, Oxford, with all materials, equipment and refreshments included, and easy parking right outside.

  • Constructive and generous feedback and dialogue, tailored to your aims and experience.

  • Input about managing the highs and lows of developing your painting, and taking your work to the next level, wherever you start from.

  • Tutor with twenty years' teaching experience, including as Visiting Lecturer in Life Drawing at Winchester School of Art in 2011.

  • Taster days: you can sometimes take a single, one-off workshop if there's a spare seat left somewhere. Taster days can be arranged from September onwards for Term 1 and from January onwards for Term 2.

  • To hear about future courses, please join the mailing list and tick the box for Headington classes.

  • Observation to Abstraction is not suitable for people who’d prefer to copy photographs, tutor demonstrations or the work of well-known artists.