Alchemy of Colour: lapis lazuli & more

Subject: Painting, Dunhuang
Dates: 12 June 2017 - 14 June 2017
Time: 10:00 - 16:30
Location: The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, 19-22 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3SG
Tutor: David Cranswick
Full price
£ 230
Student and pensioner concession
£ 180

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 and rocks and how these are transformed into pure pigments. The course will focus on the precious pigment Lapis Lazuli, through which we can explore the many cultural transmissions and transformations of the Silk Road.

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, students will discover first-hand the miraculous processes by which these raw materials are ground, washed and purified and slowly transformed into luminous jewel like pigments.

All materials will be provided on this course.


Tutor biography

David Cranswick

David Cranswick began painting in 1972. He was awarded his M.A. from the Royal Academy of Art in 1981, and was later apprenticed to artist Cecil Collins. In 1999 David was awarded his doctoral degree for practical research into the traditional painting materials and techniques as practiced by master European painters from 13th to 17th centuries. David continues to teach at the School within the M.A. and PhD departments as well as on the public programme, and is currently writing a book on traditional painting materials and techniques.

Upcoming Courses with David Cranswick