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Contemporary Drawing and Painting (Online Short Course)

Contemporary Drawing and Painting (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Guy Noble


This contemporary drawing and painting course is for passionate painters and artists who want to dedicate time to improving their skills and techniques. It will inspire you to build on existing knowledge and techniques so you can create with confidence, and take your art to the next level.

The course is led by a professional artist, and centres around three fundamental topics:

  • Subject matter – what we paint
    Contemporary art presents a spectacular array of subjects but this doesn’t mean that any every subject will work for you. How do you choose subjects with the most potential for you to express your ideas?

  • Imagination and observation – how we see things
    The act of perception is at the root of our aesthetic response. Together, we will look at understanding the relationship between the imagination and visual appearance and how it is used in an artwork.

  • Technique and language – the way we work
    Colour, light, space and form are the essential pillars of the language used in painting and drawing. Here, you will learn to control these elements to help you further develop your own work.

You will be working with acrylic, oil and pencils as well as a variety of other mediums. You will also learn many other skills such as painting in one sitting, finding abstract art, and making effective compositions. Your work will be critiqued in a constructive and supportive way, by a professional artist as well as others in your group. Feedback from other students as well as your tutor will help your work progress and blossom by the end of the course.

This short course is ideal if you want to achieve real progress in your paintings, and invest in yourself to learn new techniques and develop your own individual art style. It is also ideal if you are looking to create new compositions and to help find your response to contemporary life. This course is taught by weekly online sessions with dedicated projects each week.


  • Why we paint and your response to contemporary life
  • Objective, abstract and expressive art
  • How to find subject matter
  • Technique and language
  • Effective compositions
  • Graphics and visual art
  • Using Acrylic vs Oil
  • Space, form, colour and light
  • How to work from photographs
  • Alla Prima (painting in one sitting)
  • Abstract values and surface quality
  • What makes a good subject
  • Understanding the relationship between the imagination and visual appearance
  • Practical techniques for space
  • How to work as part of a creative group and evaluate your work

Student Reviews:

"The best online course ever!" - Yu Ching Chiu, former student based in Taiwan

Course Outcomes:
By the end of the course you will have an understanding of;

  • Understand technical language for contemporary artwork
  • Produce artwork that you can build up into a portfolio
  • Deepen your understanding of artwork
  • Understand how you can progress with your artwork in the future
  • Evaluate your work and others from your creative circle
  • Received and researched contemporary artists and understand their work
  • Understand how to work from your subject matter

Who is Contemporary Drawing and Painting (Online Short Course) for?
The course is ideal for part time creative individuals who are looking to expand their skills and techniques. It is ideal for anyone who is looking to build up contemporary knowledge about their own and other’s work.

Level: All Levels.

Why choose an CSM Online Short Course
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include;

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Guy Noble is an experienced tutor and a practising artist who has exhibited internationally. He studied at the Byam Shaw, Spain and Italy. Guy teaches a number of painting and drawing courses at Central Saint Martins, including Abstraction Painting, Painting and Personal Inspiration and Introduction to Drawing. You can check his website at


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

  • A3 sketchbook
  • 2B pencils
  • Putty rubber
  • Willow Charcoal
  • Fixative
  • Gesso Primer
  • Assorted paintbrushes (atlas two large)
  • Drawing board
  • Good assortment of coloured oils and acrylics
  • Turpentine

Available dates