Course Code E2302P017
Tutor Nicholas McLeod
Course Dates Thursdays: 11th January to 21st March 2024
Times 10:30AM - 4:30PM
Experience Level All Levels
Fee £630 + £7 materials fee

This course is part of our Elective Skills Workshop series. You will be studying alongside students from our pre-degree and degree programmes.

Develop your approach, understanding and engagement with painting through the genre of Still Life. You’ll look in-depth at the work of both contemporary and historical artists for whom still life is a major focus and discuss why the genre is still relevant today. You’ll consider the use of objects for their symbolic value as well as their aesthetic properties. Throughout the course students will examine the abstract forms, shape, colour and tone of the objects and explore how to use all of this information to create interesting and contemporary paintings. Working in oil, you’ll be encouraged to approach the act of painting with a balance of instinct and analysis, growing your technical understanding of a variety of mediums and materials, whilst also developing observational, critical and creative skills.

By the end of the course you will be able to: 

  • Analyse the work of others, applying findings to their own work
  • Apply observational drawing and painting skills
  • Create still life paintings using a variety of approaches to motifs and subject matter
  • Apply colour mixing techniques
  • Apply a range of paint application techniques
  • Research, plan and complete a self initiated project

This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish.

  • Beginner

    Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.

  • Beginner +

    Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.

  • Intermediate

    Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.

    These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.

  • Advanced

    Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.

     Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.

All attendees must be aged 18 or over.

Nicholas McLeod graduated with an MA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016. He has won the Threadneedle Prize Visitors Choice award and his work has been selected for numerous exhibitions across London. Nicholas has also had his work included in various publications including, A Brush With The Real: Contemporary Figurative Painting (Laurence King Publishing) and Imagine Architecture (Gestalten, Berlin)


  • Drawing equipment (inc. 2B & 4B pencils), rubber, charcoal, putty rubber
  • Burnt Umber and Titanium white acrylic paint
  • A3 pad oil painting paper
  • Brushes – Hogs hair brushes (Filbert no. 7 & 10, round no. 4, flats), acrylic brush round §(no. 2)
  • Only odorless spirits, Sansodor or Zest-it (the Academy is a white spirit free environment)
  • Liquin Original
  • Jam jar x 2
  • Tear-off paper palette
  • Oil colours:  Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue*, Paynes Grey*, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre*

           * If you buy the Art Academy Oil Painting Pack, please be aware these colours are required in addition to the pack.

  • Apron or old shirt
  • Old rags
  • Baby wipes
  • Surfaces (specified each week)

There will be a materials cost of £7 for the following mediums used throughout this course:

  • Lukas painting medium No.5
  • Sand
  • Marble Dust
  • Wax (Beesw
  • Liquin
  • Linseed oil
  • Glaze Medium

If you do not have your own painting materials, there is an option to order an Oil Painting Pack at the time of booking which will be available when you arrive for your first class.  

An Oil Painting Pack (£75.00) contains:

  • A set of bristle brushes, both flat and round, suitable for either oils or acrylics
  • One tear off palette (9”x12”)
  • One palette knife
  • One bottle Zest-it (250ml) 
  • One 10″x 12″ canvas board
  • One 10″x 14″ canvas board
  • Two 12″x 16″ canvas boards
    6 Daler Rowney (Georgian) oil tubes: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber

Certain materials can also be purchased from the Academy shop during shop hours. Please check in advance of your class if the item you require is available, as the Academy may not stock all items listed above.

Mermaid Court

165A Borough High Street
London SE1 1HR
tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

Nearest Tube/ Rail: London Bridge or Borough (both a 5 minute walk).

Please note that London Bridge has two exits, the most direct route is to follow signs to “Borough High Street”.

Students are welcome to use our Common Room/ The Barn during break times, where you can prepare hot drinks and/or food.

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

  • You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
  • If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be purchased on our Materials Page or on the individual course page when you make your booking.
  • Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
  • All artwork MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of. Paintings that need to dry should be collected within a week. For clay sculptures that need hollowing and firing, you will receive a separate email when they can be collected.
  • Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
  • Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
  • Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some images of our classes in progress. We will typically inform you beforehand if photography is taking place during your class; if you do not want to be photographed please let the photographer know!
  • To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.
  • If you would like more information or advice please contact
  • For further details please see our Short Courses: Regulations & Policies page.


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