Contemporary Painting: Responding to Images of the Body


COURSE DATES: Wednesdays, 18th September – 27th November 2024

TUTOR: Sadie Lee

DAYS: 10

TIMES: 10:30am – 4:30pm

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Ages 18+, Intermediate

FEE: Early Bird: £607.50 / Standard Price: £675

LOCATION: Bankside Campus, 185 Park Street, SE1 9SH

Using a range of contemporary source materials, such as digital images, the moving image and images from social media, you’ll consider and explore how artists re-work, subvert and re-contextualise existing images and how this impacts on the representation of the contemporary body in painting.

Throughout this course we will analyse different types of image and how they are viewed and consumed.  Considering the work of contemporary and modern painters, you’ll study a range of approaches to using or viewing the body that  have been adopted by artists.  Through initial discussion followed by practical activities, you will explore the language of paint and its dialogue with found images. You will consider how painters have employed migrating photographic and cinematic tropes and techniques in their paintings, such as zooming, blurring, cropping, pixelating, etc. Through discussion and practical experimentation, using a variety of different paint applications that ‘re-materialise’ the body, you will examine how these techniques and effects impact on the representation of the body in your own work.

Please note that these sessions are structured as a morning powerpoint presentation which explores an array of contextual and historical references related to contemporary figurative painting, and then practical exercises and activities in the afternoons. 

Students will be able to:

  • Analyse the work of others, applying findings to the development of their own work. 
  • Analyse images of the body in contemporary society and how these images are viewed and consumed, applying findings to the development of their own work. 
  • Apply a range of contemporary painting techniques, processes and approaches through the exploration images of the body in their own painting.
  • Create a series of paintings in response to contemporary stimuli and discourses.  
  • Create collages as works in their own right and as starting points for paintings. 
  • Create paintings that explore and utilise photographic and cinematic tropes and techniques. 
  • Research, plan and complete a self initiated project.
  • Apply safe working practices at all times.

This course is part of our Elective Skills Workshop series. You will be studying alongside students from our pre-degree and degree programmes. Check out the Elective Skills Workshops currently available.

*The Early Bird discount ends on the 8th of July and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Recommend booking by: September 4, 2024


All attendees must be aged 18 and over.

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.


The Academy is a white spirit and turpentine free environment and only odourless spirits, such as Zest-it or Sansodor, are permitted on the premises. Students must provide their own spirits, which can be recycled for longevity. 

We request that you bring 2 small jars (one with a lid, one without) to hold your spirit, and a few cloth rags for brush cleaning (such as an old cotton t-shirt).

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
    8 Daler Rowney Georgian Oil paint tubes in: Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Alizarin Crimson, French Ultramarine Blue, Coeruleum Blue.

An Acrylic Painting Pack (£60.00) 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 10″x 12″ canvas board
  • One 10″x 14″ canvas board
  • Two 12″x 16″ canvas boards
  • 8 Daler Rowney (System 3) acrylic tubes: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red Hue, Ultramarine, Sap Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Mars Black.

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 have this in stock.

Materials and equipment students need to provide

You will need to bring your own painting materials to the class. If you do not have your own materials, we recommend you order an Oil Painting Pack or Acrylic Painting Pack at the time of booking, which will be available when you arrive for your first class. 

Sadie Lee is an award-winning British figurative painter. Her challenging paintings focus on a range of subjects, including the representation of women in art, sexuality, gender and the ageing body. She has been selected to show work in many group shows including exhibitions at The I.C.A. and Museum of London. Solo shows include exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery (London), Manchester City Art Gallery, Schwules Museum (Berlin) and Museum of Modern Art (Slovenia).

Sadie Lee has lectured on her paintings at institutions including The National Portrait Gallery London, Manchester City Gallery, Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Walker Gallery, Liverpool. Since 1998 she has worked as a freelance art educator at the National Portrait Gallery, London and regularly teaches life drawing at The Wallace Collection.

Sadie Lee’s paintings are in private collections including those of Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell, Hugh Cornwell – lead singer of seminal Punk band The Stranglers – and the renowned American collector Candice B. Groot.

Instagram: Sadieleeartist 

Bankside Campus

185 Park Street,London SE1 9SH

tel: +44 (0) 207407 6969

This is our new purpose built accessible campus. Find more information here

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

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



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

You are also welcome to make tea or coffee.

Terms and Conditions

  • By booking onto one of our courses you agree to our Short Courses Terms and Conditions.
  • 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.

Materials & Equipment

  • 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 booked on our Materials Page or on this page when you book the course
  • 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 at the Academy MUST be taken home at the end of each session where possible, with the exception of oil paintings and sculpture works.
  • We cannot store materials at the Academy, so please take these to and from your sessions.
  • 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 a week before the start of your course.

Concessions and Discounts

We offer a number of concessions and discounts, please find more information on what we offer here.

Gift Vouchers

If you would like to purchase a gift voucher to be used on our courses then you can purchase these here.

£607.50 £675.00

Contemporary Painting: Sadie Lee - Concealer

Early Bird discount available until 8th July