The Alchemy of Colour : Lapis Lazuli

Subject: Painting
Dates: 19 August 2019 - 23 August 2019
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: The Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts
Tutor: Dr David Cranswick
Full price
£ 385

During this workshop students will learn the traditional practice whereby lapis lazuli and other precious rocks - Azurite, Malachite Chrysocolla and cinnabar are prepared. Students will discover first hand the miraculous processes by which these raw materials can be transformed into pure pigments, purified and made into paint. Using methods which go back to the 14th century and earlier students will be taken through the stages of this ancient craft tradition.

We live in a period dominated by industrialisation; a period in which the earth is no longer understood as sacred but as an exploitable commodity. Traditional craft practices, which once lay at the heart of traditional art, are being destroyed in the name of ‘progress’; and yet it was through the crafts that traditional knowledge was revealed and transmitted.

During this workshop students will learn of the close connection art has always had with the Hermetic tradition, revealing within its practices a profound cosmology; how the pigments evolve within the earth out the seven metals, and their correspondence with the seven planets as expressed through the alchemical tradition.

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?

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 should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting slightly messy.

Avoid wearing:

  • Baggy clothing (especially sleeves)
  • Loose jewellery
  • Short sleeve t-shirts (when there is a chance of contact with hazardous materials)
  • High heels or open toed shoes

Health & Safety

When mixing pigments:

  • Wear the dusk mask provided by the tutor. These masks are disposable masks and are intended to be used for a day at most
  • Wear disposable nitrile gloves should be worn
  • Tutors and students must wash their hands and forearms regularly to avoid cross contamination ie. after mixing pigments before eating, drinking, smoking, using the telephone or going to the toilet.
  • Food and drink must never be consumed in the basement workshop or studios.

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.

What if I need to cancel or change my booking?

You can view our policy here.

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

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