What have our students been saying about our courses?

“Hearing the artist talk about his artistic process - very liberating - inspirational!”

“I loved the initial talk and the 1:1 tutorials plus the tutor’s capacity to engage and really see where I'm coming from - very intuitive and encouraging/supportive teaching. Thank you.”

“I enjoyed the talk and demo very much and found the tutor’s comments helpful.”

“The tutor’s initial talk offered real insight into his creative process and talked about the ups and downs of painting in a realistic and reassuring way. As a tutor he seemed to tune into the individual student and offered advice that was tailor made for that student. I discovered new ways to stimulate ideas and was pointed in clear directions towards other artists from whom I could learn.”

“I was expecting a disaster and to throw away what I have done - as has happened previously on other courses. I actually want to keep what I have done as it captured the feeling that I wanted.”

“More than I expected even - a great deal of food for thought.”

“I wasn't expecting such a high standard of teaching - thanks.”

“I found this one of the best courses I have attended because the artist was so generous with his time and information.”


A new course:


Approaches to Portraiture

with Sandy Moffatt OBE, RSA

Former Head of Painting at Glasgow School of Art


The Essential School of Painting is pleased to present a rare opportunity to do a painting workshop with Sandy (Alexander) Moffatt. The course is for one weekend only on Saturday and Sunday 16th -17th March 2013 and is suitable for all levels of experience.

Sandy Moffatt (left) in conversation with the artist and playwright John Byrne

Poet’s Pub, by Sandy Moffatt,1980 , oil on canvas,183 x 244cm

Sandy Moffat studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 64. Alongside his friend John Bellany, Moffat emerged as one of the Scottish Realists, so-called because of their social awareness and rejection of the decorative principles that defined much Scottish art during the first half of the twentieth century. Moffat was particularly close to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid and his literary circle. From 1979 Moffat taught at Glasgow School of Art where he mentored a new generation of Scottish figurative painters including Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Steven Campbell, Alison Harper and Debbie Lee. He was Head of Painting at GSA  from 1992 – 2005.

To see more of Sandy’s work follow the link:


After a brief introduction to his work, Sandy will demonstrate how you can develop images from initial drawings and paintings from the model into imaginative and vibrant portraits. There will be a model on both days. Cost is £170 for the weekend with all materials (choice of oil or acrylic paint)  plus canvas included. Small class size max 10 students



The London Buddhist Arts Centre, Eastbourne House, Bullards Place, BethnalGreen London E20PT Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green. See further venue and travel details see bottom of this page

  • · Large, bright, warm studio
  • · Small class (maximum 10 students)
  • · All materials included with a choice of either oil or acrylic paint plus two canvasses, small and medium
  • · Plenty of space for students to have their own work space
  • · Lots of natural light
  • · Tea/coffee/biscuits provided but bring your own lunch or buy food at local cafes.
  • · 10am to 5pm (please arrive at 9.45 on first day to complete administration)
  • · Initial talk and demonstration
  • · During the day: 1:1 and group tuition
  • · A collective crit at the end of each day
  • To enquire about the course or to book a place please contact:

    Alison Harper

    Telephone: 07906189855 (if I am unable to answer the phone please leave a message and your contact details)



    Map link: MAP




    Director:  Alison Harper



    Venue and details

    The London Buddhist Arts Centre, Eastbourne House, Bullards Place, BethnalGreen London E20PT Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green. For further venue and travel details see bottom of this page


    For directions see below.


    Venue: London Buddhist Arts Centre, First floor and (not to be confused with London Buddhist Centre nearby on Roman rd.)

    Eastbourne House

    Bullards Place, (off Morpeth St.)

    Bethnal Green

    London E2 0PT


    Map link: MAP


    Nearby underground stations:

    Bethnal Green (on Central Line) 0.34 mile (6 minute walk)

    Stepney Green (on Hammersmith and City and District lines) 0.41 miles

    Mile End (on Central, Hammersmith and City and District lines) 0.64 miles


    1) Directions from Bethnal Green underground station (Central line), take the left hand exit then a six minute walk down Roman Road, turn right into Morpeth Street, then second left into Bullards Place.


    2) Overground to Bethnal Green, walk up Wilmot Street, then right into Bethnal Green Road, straight on into Roman road, (ten - fifteen minute walk)


    3) Buses D6, 8 pass by near the centre, alight on Roman Rd opposite Post office.


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