art4you Scotland

Exhibition supporting Cancer Research UK

This years summer art exhibition is supporting Cancer Reseach UK – a cause close to our heart.

Our exhibiting artists are Ewen Duncan, Claudia Duncan, Frances Douglas, Lorna MacKay and many of our students.
We have a great selection of work. Different mediums and subjects will offer beautiful pieces of art at affordable prices. Many of the work you will have seen over the last few weeks on facebook in our daily posts.
Calligraphy Artist Iain Howie will deliver workshops throughout the exhibition on Saturday and Sunday.
We look forward to welcoming you, your friends and family – please spread the word.

Opening times are:
Friday 25th August (opening night): 7pm-9pm
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th August 10am – 4pm

All welcome!

SIX reason why drawing is great for children

“Every child is an artist” Picasso
SIX reason why drawing is great for children
1. Learning to plan and execute their ideas
2. Improving their fine motor skills
3. Increasing their ability to observe and monitor the world around them
4. Developing more awareness of spatial relationships
5. Strengthening critical thinking and problem solving skills
6. Building self-confidence and independence

kids drawing class

10 skills any fine art artist should have

Below are some of the most useful skills a fine art artist should have. These are skills and techniques which help you to understand and improve the outcome of your work.

  1. Realistic drawing
  2. Constructive drawing
  3. Drawing from life
  4. Drawing from memory and imagination
  5. Know your art materials and how to use them
  6. Learn the rules of perspective
  7. Get familiar with proportions
  8. Develop an eye for composition
  9. Study the techniques of rendering tonal value
  10. Get to know the colour theory

All these techniques are covered in art4you Scotland’s regurlar art classes. With simple steps, we help you to draw and paint what you see or feel. With sometimes challenging exercises but supportive teaching techniques we will encourage you to grow your abilities.

Enrol in one of the art4you Scotland course now!

Summer Art Course – book now

This years Summer Art Course dates: 17th – 21th July 2017, 10-4pm

Portrait in Oil

A different way to discover Scotland – book a summer art course in Scotland

“Just to thank you for a great week: I left feeling encouraged, inspired and relaxed. I’m looking forward doing another course soon.” Joy Hardy

Treat yourself to a week of art and enjoy drawing and painting in a relaxed, creative atmosphere in our country studio near Glasgow. During the summer art course artist and art lecturer Ewen Duncan will work with complete beginners to experienced artists. Days include drawing & painting with various mediums – the choice is yours.

What we offer during the summer art course:

  • all materials are provided
  • high level of personal attention
  • main drawing & painting techniques covered
  • practical tips and advice
  • freedom to develop own style
  • friendly relaxed atmosphere
  • spacious bright studio
  • teaching artist Ewen Duncan
  • max 10 people

You will have many opportunities to exchange your experience with like-minded creative people and learn how to draw or paint landscapes, portraits and more.

At our art short break we will provide you with lunch, refreshments and all materials. Just bring yourself and we take care of everything else so you can enjoy your art retreat. Weather permitting, some painting and drawing work might take place outside at the nearby river or on Ballochruin Farm.

Reflective Objects

How to draw or paint reflective objects

We all know of the challenge of reflective objects or surfaces. It can be daunting to reflection exercise3master this skill but with a few simple pointers anybody can achieve this ability.

  1. Basic shape
    Using simple geometric shapes will help you to construct the drawing. Draw lightly so that any initial, unwanted lines can be erased easily.
  2. Contrast and lines
    Look at the boundary line around the subject and use high contrast and hard lines. Reflective surfaces rarely have smooth gradations in value. Dark and lights are often positioned directly next to each other with no transition between them.
  3. Draw what you see not what you know
    Focus on the negative spaces, focus on the jigsaw puzzle presented by light and dark shapes. Don’t draw what you see reflected.
  4. The surroundings
    Don’t ignore whatever happens to be around the reflective object. Take a look at what is to be seen in the reflection. The bigger the object to more likely other objects appear.
  5. Mid-Tones
    As a rule the majority of the painting or drawing will be mid-tone. Only about 10% of if will be the darkest darks and brightest lights.
  6. Contour the surface
    Consider directions of your marks and how these will define final tones. The eraser can be used to pick out or strengthen any highlights.

Want to find out more visit one of our painting and drawing class and receive in-depht advice in a fun creative environment.



There is an interesting article in the Artists & Illustrators Magazine this month by Roxana Halls. Here is a little extract:

“See yourself in a different light

With their narrative potential, self-portraits can allow you to explore personal desire in paint while improving your practice.”

Roxana is asking the questions “Who would I be, had I never seen the eyes of those who lived before me?” She continues “As an artist who has often used myself as a subject, I am drawn to the self-portraits of some of the great artists I return t for inspiration and guidance. Some are so intense in their execution that it is hard to resit the idea that we are staring far beneath the layers of paint. As an artist, there are moments when I’ve wondered who I might be had I not studied their gaze and hoped for some disclosure of their knowledge. But beyond such speculation, when we paint ourselves, what are we really searching for? The fact is that to make use of our reflection is a pragmatic choice, free and available to ourselves as we are. But what might we look for beyond the planes and hues of one’s face? ….. When it is our own reflected image which is most familiar to us, is it possible to re-see ourselves, to find something we had never known? The first time I positioned the mirrors and saw the back of my own head with clarity it felt revelatory, despite the simplicity of the intention. How could it be that there was a part of me so exposed yet unknown to me?”

These are just a few questions that will spring to your mind when observing yourself, looking deeper, during the process of self portraiting.

Self portraits are a great exercise and a fantastic journey – give it a go!

Rozana Halls self portrait

January – new ideas, new projects, feeling full of inspiration – or not?

January, the month of new ideas and inspiration. Have you made a list of your new painting projects or are you suffering from the January blues as so many artists. Are you stuck for inspirations. You just don’t know which subject to start next? Here are some ideas boosting your inspiration many of them Hill, Clouds and Buttercupscollected by Danielle Krysa interviewing 50 artists around the world:






Seeing the banal objects around you in a new light can be a good brain boost

Turn off your brain and just play with a repeated form and let your mind see where it takes you – draw the same object with different mediums

Push through the resistance you’re feeling and stick to your project even if you feel uncomfortable for a while.

Through work comes new ideas, and the spark to either follow and develop the idea or develop and then abandon it.

Painter and photographer Chuck Close summarised it beautifully in when he said: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Getting past a creative block means stepping outside your comfort zone. If you feel uncomfortable, you’re pushing your boundaries. And that’s where good ideas start to take shape. Ask someone close to you to give you an assignment,

Key questions: What story are you trying to tell? What is that story? How can you tell it in a new way?

Try to do something unfamiliar or unrecognizable to the work you’ve done in the past. This exercise might help to break out feeling bored.

Going to an unfamiliar surrounding can be a useful way to train your brain to recognize new details around you and can also have the effect of re-energizing you in unexpected ways.

Do a big clear out and start fresh. Clean walls, clean palette, new paints can work wonders for new inspiration entering your world.

If something scares you, instead of avoiding it, try getting as close to it as you can. Fear can be a powerful motivator and embracing your fears can help you get over a block. Make a list of the three creative things you’re most afraid to try and then forcing yourself do those three things.

Sandy Monday evening

Mastering Still Life

I recently read Hazel Soan’s new book, Learn Oils quickly and a summary of your tips of how to simplify still life

  1. Understand the form your are about to paint
  2. Use outline, light and shade to describe it
  3. Most objects are basic shapes such as sphere, cube, cone or cylinder

Below are some examples of basic shapes found in day-to-day objects as explained by Hazel

A bowl is often a conical shape. On a cone, the light and shadow shows itself in triangular shapes, so the best way to describe the light and shade on the bowl is to use a flat brush and triangular or diagonal strokes

A book is a flattened cube. Cubes exhibit gradual, even blends across their flat surfaces. Use flat brushes and parallel brushstrokes to suggest the flatness of cuboid shapes and their surfaces.

Mugs are cylindrical. Cylinders are described by grading brand of light and shade. You can paint these kinds of shapes with a flat brush and parallel brushstrokes.

A lemon is roughly spherical; the lights and shades on spheres are shaped by crescents, so a round brush and curved brushstrokes will help to describe the form of a spherical-shaped object.

For more details: the book is published by Batsford, RRP £9.99 or come and join one of our art classes.

Amazing experience + unforgettable memories = great Christmas present

christmas-gift-voucher-ad-2016Give the gift of experience this year Christmas and not just stuff.

Don’t take our word for it; check out our visitors reviews to confirm the unforgettable experience feeling.


The fascination of linocut printing

It can be mind boggling and confusing but the reaction of people’s faces who attempt this technique for the first time is a joy each time over.

Brief history about linocut art:

Lino or the official word Linoleum was invented in the late 1800s as a floor covering material and rediscovered shortly after as a printmaking material.linocut print

Linoleum was first used in Germany in the early 1900s for making patterns on wallpaper, and became widely used amongst the German Expressionist and Russian Constructivist movements at the same time. It became popular amongst woodcut printmakers as a less expensive option and – owing to its softer, non-grainy texture and ease of use – it subsequently gained widespread use in printing schools.

Picasso and Matisse began using linoleum for printmaking in the 1950s which contributed greatly to the growth of its popularity. Today it is considered one of the most enjoyable printmaking techniques – simple set up, easy to use and very quick first results. The more sophisticated prints require obviously more practice and patient.



preparing the linoWhat is linocut printing

Linocut printing is a form of relief printing – and therefore belongs to the same printing family as woodcut and metal block printing. Relief printing is ‘subtractive’ in nature, since the artist must cut away at the material to create a raised design. This is where the way of thinking must switch. The sketched image on the lino must be treated as the negative. Instead of carving out the drawn lines these have to stay to create the desired print. Many of our students discover this challenge during their first attempt despite demonstration and explanation found themselves struggling with this concept. Especially after weeks of painting or drawing. But once mastered the fascination kicks in and linocut printing has captured them.



How a Linocut is Madeusing colour with linocut printing

The artist carves a design out of the linoleum using a handheld gouger; the remaining raised areas correspond to the design in the final print. The sheet is then covered with ink using a roller and pressed onto a piece of paper or fabric by hand or using a press. This transfers the design of the inked lino onto the paper, creating the final print. Multi-colour linocuts can be achieved through the re-use and re-inking of a block or by using multiple blocks for each colour.

For further info or if you would like to learn this fascination technique please get in touch.


Contemporary vs Modern Art

  • Modern Art:  Art from the Impressionists (say, around 1880) up until the 1970s
  • Contemporary Art:  Art from the 1970s up until this very minute

The most important thing anyone should know about Modern Art is that it’s different from Contemporary Art in the art world. It has its own separate definitions for both contemporary and modern times. In almost any other instance, the English language pretty much allows for “modern” and “contemporary” to be swapped at will eg for current events, furniture, fashion, or hair styling.

Modern Art means the point at which artists:

  1. felt free to trust their inner visions
  2. express those visions in their work
  3. use real life (social issues and images from modern life) as a source of subject matter
  4. experiment and innovate with different subject matters and mediums as often as possible

Contemporary art just means

  • art that has been and continues to be created during our lifetimes
  • it’s contemporary to us
  • it started in/around 1970

Around 1970 the terms “Postmodern” and “Postmodernism” appeared. It seems the art world has had its fill of Modern Art. 1970 also seems to be the last bastion of easily classified artistic movements.  Look at the outline of Modern Art, and compare it to the outline of Contemporary Art, there are far more entries on the former page.

“Strictly speaking, the term “contemporary art” refers to art made and produced by artists living today” (1). The definition of what is contemporary is naturally always on the move, anchored in the present with a start date that moves forward.

‘Questions such as “What is art?” and “What is the function of art?” are relatively new. However, artists of all eras are products of their relative cultures and time periods.’ (2)


Last block of art classes for 2016 starting 17th October

Art + Autumn = Creativity
Next block of art classes starting 17th October – for subjects, dates and times see below.
We provide all the materials, you enjoy the process of creating whilst guided by our teaching artists.
All classes are suitable for beginners to advanced artists.

5th Block 2016 – 17th Oct – 16th Dec 2016 (9wks)
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 17th Oct 10am-12noon £149
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 17th Oct 2pm-4pm £149
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 17th Oct 7pm-9pm £149
Painting & Drawing – Tuesday, start date 18th Oct 10am-12noon £149
Watercolour – Tuesday, start date 18th Oct 2pm-4pm £149
Life Drawing Tuesday, start date18th Oct 7pm-9pm £149
Painting & Drawing – Wednesday, start date 19th Oct 10am-12noon £149
Kids drawing class P5-P7 – Wednesday, start date 19th Oct 4pm – 5.30pm £89
Portrait – Thursday, start date 20th Oct 10am-12noon £149
Art Development S1-S2, start date 20th Oct 4pm-5.30pm £112
Painting & Drawing – Thursday, start date 20th Oct 7pm-9pm £149
Painting & Drawing – Friday, start date 21st Oct 10am-12noon £149
Portfolio Class S3-S6 – Friday, start date 21st Oct 4pm-6pm £149

Come and see – art4you the friendly art school on your door step.
Click here to book a course.