Master watercolours whilst exploring Cecily Brown’s paintings in a six week course led by Gail Astbury.
The Courtauld Institute commissioned Cecily Brown to create a large mural for the stairwell. We will work on a series of watercolour paintings, based on classics, using stretched paper, and washes. There will be the opportunity to revisit and rework previous week work throughout the term and choose your own favourite classics to follow.
Tuesdays 2 – 4.30pm
22 February – 29 March
Course Fees: Full £150 ; Retired £125 ; Concession £100
Pay As You Go Rates: Full £30 ; Retired £25 ; Concession £20
Brown is known for her large-scale pieces that straddle the border between figuration and abstraction,
capturing the sensations of the body through lush applications of paint. Simultaneously channelling the Old
Masters and Abstract Expressionism, her paintings combine rigorous compositional structure with a sense of
In the last decade, Brown’s work has matured from hedonistic abandon into more serious dialogues with
other artists like Hogarth, Degas, and Delacroix often taking on difficult subjects. She works in watercolour to
prepare for her larger works, these are sometimes based on well-known classical paintings and are a great
resource for us to follow on from last terms Post Impressionists. More El Greco than Degas, Brown’s writhing
figures are somehow compelling.
22 Feb : Week 1
Monochrome multiple figure work after Brown’s shipwreck series – Delacroix, Gericault
1 March : Week 2
Continuing with the shipwreck series in colour
8 March : Week 3
Class visit to the Courtauld Institute Gallery to see Cecily Brown’s commission and sketch from several works in the gallery (please bring your sketchbooks and dry materials.)
15 March : Week 4
Use your sketches from the gallery visit to make a painting
22 March : Week 5
Selecting a favourite old master painting to rework in the spirit of Cecily Brown
29 March : Week 6
Consolidation and finishing the series
Each week we provide support notes for you to keep, so that you can master watercolours whilst exploring Cecily Brown’s paintings and the people who influenced her at home. We send them to you before the class so you can bring the right equipment. Don’t worry we also give you a hard copy for the session. We also share any links of video clips that Gail shows in class so you can refer to them again.
You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the course , but you’ll get more from it if you have some experience in painting with watercolours. We limit our class sizes to twelve. This means that you not only benefit from personal tuition but also enjoy peer support.