Everyone is an artist...

If you can see, you can paint. Pablo Picasso said, “I am always doing things that I don't know how to do, that's how I get to do them.

Summer Studio offers you an opportunity to follow your own artistic direction and subject matter with an expert tutor, Brenda Holtam, on hand to help you, advise you and inspire you.

Each session will include a lesson on colour harmony based on simple logical methods, developed from Brenda’s own interests and experiments in colour theories. Equipped with this new knowledge, you will feel more in control of your materials.

The aim of Summer Studio is to create a space where you feel supported to be brave, to experiment and, most of all, to surprise yourself. No one will be judging you. These sociable, evening workshops will give you a space to see what happens if...

Bring your own passions and paint: oils, watercolours, gouache, acrylics, inks – the choice is yours.

Painting takes as many forms as there are artists; it is a personal language which allows you to express how you see the world around you.

Over the course of the term you can:

  • Learn the theory of colour harmony: valuable and useful knowledge that you can apply to any artistic practice.
  • Be more in control with your favourite paint and discover new artistic materials, including inexpensive ones you might never have thought of.
  • Try things out in a supportive, friendly environment – play and experiment with an expert guide to hold your hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why sign up for this course? 

  • You are nervous about painting or not sure whether you can do it and want individual support from an expert tutor...
  • You want to connect with others, to be inspired through shared time; to be stimulated and recharged...

  • You want to build up your confidence as an artist in an encouraging environment, to develop your painting skills and to explore new methods...

  • You want a place to start exploring your creative ideas, or to help you get started again after a break, when ideas have dried up...

  • You want to experience the buzz of making images...
  • You have limited time and space but are looking for a way to discover the fun of being creative..

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for beginners and improvers in painting alike. The lessons on colour harmony will help beginners become confident playing with materials, and will give experienced painters a new way of looking at colours. The atmosphere will be relaxed and supportive, with personal guidance from your tutor. All are welcome.

Do I need special equipment?

You will need to bring your own materials: oils, watercolours, gouache, acrylics, inks – the choice is yours. A small, core collection can be obtained inexpensively at local art shops.

If you are an absolute beginner, you can attend the first session and try out some different materials before buying your own. 

The course will also include tips on how to prepare your own media using regular household items.

Brenda not only shares her brilliant techniques with us, she also gives us the confidence to find our own style. The lessons fly by. Brenda shares her own talents generously.
— Rosalind Clayton

Meet your tutor

Brenda Holtam

Brenda Holtam is a portrait artist based in Richmond. She has been drawing and painting as long as she can remember, constantly practising techniques, experimenting with colour combinations and capturing ideas. She has been teaching since 1989 and especially loves helping complete beginners to get into fine art. Brenda studied painting at Falmouth School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. She is an elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society.


Brenda Holtam

Brenda Holtam

How to book

Reserve your place for this unique course

  • This course will run on Thursday evenings from 7.00pm to 8.30pm, starting on 27 April 2017, with a week's break at half term
  • Fee: £150 – covers the whole term's classes
  • Suitable for adults aged 16+
  • Numbers are capped in order to ensure personal attention from the tutor, so we recommend reserving a place soon
  • The first class is a taster session; if you decide that the course is not for you, we offer a full no-quibble refund