A word from the Art School Director
The Art School has a proud history in quality art education; a warm and friendly atmosphere with classes in four, ten week terms, using medium, such as oil, acrylic, watercolour and pastel. Subjects ranging from life drawing/painting, portraiture, still life, botanical and plein air, to expressive classes all taught by our team of very talented and dedicated artist teachers.
Our programme offers a ‘Diploma’ course for the dedicated student wanting a more complete art education in a wider range of painting and drawing disciplines. On successful completion the student is recognised as a member of the Royal Art Society.
Regular ‘Sketch Clubs’ (no tuition) offer a safe supervised venue for life drawing and portraiture in the spacious, well equipped studios.
During the year we hold workshops by specialised guest teachers who are all experts in their chosen field.
The highlight of the Art School year is the “RAS Art School Exhibition”, where all students are invited to participate in this annual exhibition with a full gala opening including awards and prizes.
Greg Hansell FRAS - Art School Director
A friendly class from pastel specialist Greg Hansell, developing skills of colour and layering of colours, painting still life and plein-air with a new subject each week, highlighting different aspects for the student to observe. A class with a strong link to examples in art history and the way many artists observed and expressed many varied subjects.
The class has a strong emphasis on the student finding their own language in pastels.
A course specialising in the basic tradition of drawing line, perspective and observation of tonal values. Each week a new task expressing different aspects of still life, learning the know3lexge required for accurate and fun drawing.
A very handy course for any emerging artist to get the right foundations and confidence for sketching, drawing and drawing for painting.
Greg teaches pastels on Thursdays 9:30 - 12:30 and Drawing on Tuesdays 6pm - 8pm
John Haycraft - Drawing and Watercolour
John has been a professional artist since 1971. Trained as a perspective artist he has over the years developed his interest in watercolour as a medium for expressive painting particularly well adapted for plein-air work. He believes in the fundamental importance of good drawing as well as knowing the rules of figurative painting before you go out and deliberately break them. Grounded in sound technical knowledge, John encourages his students to look for the mood and atmosphere in a picture rather than recording scenes with no emotion.
You will learn how to draw rapidly and accurately, how to manage your palette, the principles of composition, handling washes , wet-in-wet technique, with critical analysis of your work and study the work of masters.
He is an experienced teacher running workshops, and teaching regularly at summer and winter schools throughout the country and overseas. John provides thoughtful notes and references with every class.
John teaches on a Thursday, 9:30-12:30
Alan Somerville - Drawing
Alan Somerville is a figurative artist, whose sculptures and drawings are steeped in the expressionistic style of Rodin, Degas and Daumier.
His body of work is both broad and critically acclaimed. His numerous public works include the two iconic Bronze Diggers on Sydney’s Anzac Bridge, the Bull at World Square, Sir Henry Parkes in Centennial Park, Sir Roden Cutler, at Manly, and the three bronze sculptures at the Australian War Memorial, plus countless private commissions in Australia and abroad.
Alan teaches drawing with Pam Irving on Thursdays, 1.30 - 4.30pm
Julie Simmons - Watercolour, plein air
Julie has developed her own unique style, pushing the boundaries of the watercolour medium to produce works full of light and depth of tone whilst maintaining the transparent quality of the medium.
Although Julie paints in oils, pastels and mixed media it is the medium of watercolour that excites her the most. She paints en plein air regularly and her classes are always popular.
Julie teaches on a Friday, 1.30 - 4.30pm
Mellissa Read-Devine - Exploring Acrylics
Join artist Mellissa Read-Devine and explore this versatile and exciting medium. Beginners to Advanced tuition. This class encourages students to explore their own techniques and creativity. An enthusiastic and contemporary tutor, Mellissa aims to bring out the best in each student; encouraging personal development at their own pace. Subjects will be varied, elements of composition will be explored, colour and brushstroke will be encouraged! The class will cover many aspects of the medium and techniques, including the addition of mixed media and acrylic mediums.
Mellissa teaches on a Wednesday, 10am - 1pm
Joseph Bezzina - Plein Air Landscape
Joe is an experienced landscape and figurative artist with an ability to capture the rugged Australian bush in acrylic and oils. He encourages students to gain knowledge on tonal construction, composition and atmospheric perspective while letting the individual's style develop. Materials list - speak with tutor who will advise you.
Joe teaches on Saturday 9:30am - 12:30pm
Mondays 9:30am - 12:30pm and 1pm - 4pm
Patrick Blake - Life Drawing
Patrick taught at the National Art School and became Head of the Fine Art Department for over 20 years. He has run private painting and drawing classes and taught at the University of NSW College of Fine Art.
"I see drawing as a creative adventure. Drawing is the most direct expression of reality or of an idea. My aim is to teach individually within a class situation. Essential aspects of drawing will be highlighted to expand students' perception and practice. Whether beginner or advanced, students will be guided using examples, references, demonstration and occasional exercises in practical ways to achieve accomplishment in life drawing".
Patrick teaches on Thursdays 1:15pm - 4:15pm
Materials: charcoal, pencil, eraser, A1 pad to begin with.
Denis Clarke - Expressive Compositional Drawing/Painting
Denis Clarke is an established artist who exhibits and teaches in Australia and the UK. He studied at the National Art School Sydney, St Martins School of Art, London and has judged several prestigious art awards including the British Art Show, Alexandra Palace, London and the Lloyd Rees Youth Art Award, Sydney.
Denis has lectured at several art schools and universities, including The National Art School, and Charles Sturt University in Australia, and the Camden School of Art, London. Denis is also renowned for devising and delivering innovative master class courses linking observational drawing to creative and experimental methods with drawing and mixed media.
Denis’s work is characterized by expressive use of colour, movement and intense observation of everyday subjects. He is represented in public collections including The Art Gallery of NSW and Lloyds of London and has been the recipient of major awards and residencies including The NSW Travelling Art Scholarship, The Cite Internationale des Arts Studio, Paris and Wollombi Valley Arts Council, NSW. Denis has exhibited widely in galleries and art fairs in London and Switzerland, and is currently represented in Sydney by the Stanley Street Gallery.
Denis teaches on a Tuesday 9.30am-1.30pm
Barbara Duckworth - Botanical Drawing/Painting
Barbara has a Diploma of Art from Central Technical School Toronto, Canada and studied Natural History Drawing at the British Museum of Natural History, London. She has worked for the Australian Museum and at the Macquarie University as Biological Illustrator/Artist.
"Plants come in a rainbow of colours! Have a favourite flower you've always wanted to paint but don't know where to start? Acquire skills to visually record the magic of the botanical world around you. Everyone can draw - individual attention in the exploration and use of the fundamental principles of line, shading, composition and the effect of light to define the form, shape and texture of the specimen".
Barbara has two classes on a Wednesday: 10am-1pm and 1:15-4:15
Yve Close - Portrait and Still Life
Yve is a highly respected artist who has spent a lifetime devoted to the arts and teaches traditional portrait and still life in oils and pastel.
Yve teaches on a Wednesday afternoon, 1:15 - 4:15
Pamela Irving - Portrait
This portrait class focuses on developing simple tools for painting or drawing representational portrait in a gestural, realistic, impressionistic or expressive manner. We will be concentrating on the drawing and tones in order to have a better understanding of portrait painting, while exploring a variety of different pallettes and media including charcoal, pastel and oils.
Pamela teaches on a Friday: 1:30 - 4:30
Patrick Siu - Chinese Brush Painting
Patrick teaches all skill levels (beginners welcome). He will demonstrate the use of Chinese ink and watercolour on rice paper and various drawing and painting techniques.
Patrick teaches on a Wednesday evening, 7 - 9pm
Marilyn Hay - Drawing and Watercolour
Marilyn P. Hay began her formal studies at the National Art School. She studied during a time when traditional values and classical notions of drawing, composition and colour were still taught while more experimental trends were being introduced, and the experience of straddling these two schools of thought still informs and underpins her work.
Marilyn teaches on Mondays; 9:30-12:30 and 1-3:30
This page is a work in progress. Check back soon for more information or phone our Secretary Christine for more details: 9955 5752