The Alchemy of Colour

Subject: Painting
Dates: 11 February 2019 - 15 February 2019
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts
Tutor: Dr David Cranswick
Full price
£ 385

The earth is the natural apothecary of the arts; hidden within its depths are all the variety of pigments as seen in the great paintings and galleries of the world. During this workshop students will explore the traditional processes by which these pure pigments are extracted from their natural sources in the form of earth, rocks, roots and berries, and how these are transformed into pure pigments.

The traditional methods used to transform these raw materials were, in earlier times, a natural part of the traditional training of the artist; the process of preparing these natural materials was seen as an integral part of the painting process and was not separate from the painting. These craft practices are a journey into the very heart of the creative process, preparing the artist both outwardly and inwardly.

Working with the semi precious rocks Malachite, Azurite, Cinnabar and Chrysocolla, as well as certain plant colours (Madder roots and Persian berries), students will discover first-hand the miraculous processes by which these raw materials are ground, washed, purified and, in some cases, heated and precipitated, and slowly transformed into luminous jewel like pigments.

In the second part of this five day workshop students will be taught about traditional recipes and how these pure pigments can be made into handmade paints using gum arabic, egg tempera and oil.

Who is this course for?

All levels of ability and familiarity are welcome. This course will be especially useful to painters seeking deeper understanding of methods and materials.

What should I bring to class?

Students should all bring a 1 number 3 pointed sable brush per student, an apron and 5 glass jars. Students might find it useful to bring a notebook and camera for note-taking. Students should all bring a small sketch or note pad for doing samples of colours.

What days do I attend?

Monday - Friday

Do you offer concessions?

Yes, we offer concessions for full time students and OAPs.

To receive a concession, please apply via our online form.

By booking this course, you agree to our terms and conditions. Click to view.

What if I need to cancel or change my booking?

You can view our policy here.

Tutor biography

Dr David Cranswick

David Cranswick trained at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He received a doctorate for his research into traditional painting materials and techniques in 1999 through The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts. David has taught traditional painting materials and techniques since 1979. He is an MA tutor at the School and is also a PhD supervisor and examiner.

Dr Cranswick is currently writing a book on traditional painting techniques and their underlying craft practices as expressed through the Alchemical tradition.

Upcoming Courses with Dr David Cranswick