Painting the Light

Ref: C2339068

Noticing the quality of light within a painting is often the most component which first draws you in. This new course focuses on creating specific lighting effects within a given painting, for example the optimism of a sunny Impressionist style, or the subtle mellow lighting of an atmospheric dusk. The subject is open, be it landscape, portraiture, an interior or abstract painting, but the qualities of light will be paramount.

Course aim

This practical painting course focuses on the quality of light in your painting whatever the subject.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Whilst this course would be possible for beginners to learn from, some prior experience in painting in oils or acrylics would be useful as how to handle paints and materials isn't the main focus.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand how different directions of light source affects the atmosphere of a painted subject
  • Know how to create different intensities of lighting within a painting
  • Use glazes and veils to modify lighting with subtlety
  • Use successive paint layers to adjust qualities of lighting

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Learning through doing – practicing different techniques to get different lighting effects. PowerPoint and other images to supplement learning.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions
  • 1:1 tuition, optional presentation of work in progress to the group

What else do I need to know?

  • Please bring painting equipment and a surface to paint on. E.g. acrylics or oils, variety of brushes, palette, canvas. A sketchbook is useful to try out initial ideas.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Progression may be sought via Foundation at Loughborough University School of Art and Design, or through the Richard Attenborough Centre in Leicester University.

Download full Course information sheet

Painting the Light


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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