art4you Scotland

Summer Art Course – Drawing & Painting

Explore different ways of working with drawing and painting materials during art4you Scotland’s popular 5day drawing and painting summer week.

art week

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 12 people

The bright art studio provides a relaxing, creative atmosphere only 18 miles north of Glasgow

Each day runs from 10-4pm. All materials, lunch and refreshments are provided in the course fee of £395/week. 

The summer art week is suitable for both beginners and more advanced artists who want to expand the knowledge.

Ewen at studio room 1

To find out more about the drawing and paintng week or art4you scotland, please call 07981768081 or email

Ceramic workshop – from conception to completion

Sunday 19th May 2019 – £115, 10am-4pm
materials, firing, lunch and refreshments provided

Handbuilding techniques will be demonstrated and students will be encouraged to explore these techniques, guided by their individual vision for the work they wish to produce.

Through this journey from conception to completion you will learn:

• The properties of clay
• Preparation of clay
• Techniques of pinching, coiling & slap building
• Application of coloured slips

The completed work will be fired and glazed ready for collection in two weeks (postal delivery can be arranged).

Booking Contact: Claudia Duncan         e-mail:
Tel: 07981 768081

Life Painting Day, Sunday 12 May – capture relationship of body & shape

This Sunday 12 May, 10-4pm, we focus on human proportions, values and colour in the full day life painting workshop. Aim of the day is to improve the observational and painting skills, to understand the proportions and structure of the human body and to complete a life painting by the end of the day.

Throught the day Ewen Duncan will support, guide and structure your process.

Date: Sunday 12 May 
Time: 10am to 4pm
Price: £95pp – all materials, lunch and refreshments included
Level: some experience

To buy tickets contact Claudia

Colour theory workshop

with Artist Ewen Duncan – Sunday 10th March, 10-4pm, £95
book here

The colour theory workshop will be a practice-based look at the three properties of colour, hue value and saturation, how these properties relate to each other and interact.

colour theory workshop

The workshop will briefly look at Munsell’s colour theory which first identified the three properties model of colour before looking at more contemporary ways of understanding how colour interacts and how paint colours can be understood in order to mix them in a methodical way to control as much as possible the paint mixing process.

Colour exercises will be created to be saved in a sketchbook for later reference. This theoretical and practical workshop is a great way to learn how to use colour with intention and learn to mix them with the desired result.

The workshop will give a framework to enable participants to continue colour exercises and experiments independently.

The workshop is very suitable for both beginners and more advanced artists who want to expand the knowledge of how to mix colour for their artwork.

Garden Design and Plant Drawing workshop

with Garden Designer Holly Nairn and Artist Jill Dow – 2nd March, 10-4pm, £95

Do you have a passion for plants, gardens and art? This is the workshop for you at our new studio at Oakwood Garden Centre, Killearn.

Holly and Jill are combining their knowledge and passion for both subjects. The day is presented by them with their overlapping skills of gardeners, artists & designers. Holly will start the day with a presentation on what to grow –  plants for pollinators to suit our Scottish climate, a season by season guide followed by Jill’s exploration of the structure and form of the plant models through simple pencil studies moving on later in the day to watercolour or gouache in a more expressive way to capture the particular beauty of these plants. This workshop is suitable for total beginners to advanced artists and gardeners. Select here for more info.

Talk – The Master’s Secrets with Prof Erma Hermens

Date Wed 21st Nov, Time: 7 – 8.30pm, £12

@ art4you Scotland, Oakwood Garden Centre                            
Book now

The Master’s Secrets: On how to paint flowers, lemons and much more in Dutch Golden Age Painting

Curious on why and how the Dutch Golden Age Painters were the best in rendering all kinds of materials, such as glass, gold, silver, velvet, fur and feathers, and fruits and flowers in their still life’s? What kind of technical tricks did they use and how did they make and manipulate their paints to utmost effect? In this talk we will look at some great examples of the immense skills of these artists gained through both art historical research and technical analyses that allows us to look through the painting layers, to get a better understanding of how they achieved their characteristic textures and colours.

Prof Erma Hermens is a leading scholar in the field of Technical Art History. After nine years at Glasgow University as senior lecturer, and although still partially based in Scotland, she is now a senior researcher at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, working with the museum’s curators, conservators and scientists, and occupies the Rijksmuseum Chair in Studio Practice and TAH at the University of Amsterdam. She is delighted to talk about her work as she examines the way paintings are made; investigating historical painting techniques and materials, and looking over the shoulder of the painter during the actual painting process. She works largely with interdisciplinary teams, combining contextual research of objects with scientific analytical data, revealing many fascinating practices and the Masters’ secrets and tricks of the trade.

To book select book a course and choose ‘Talk – The Master’s Secrets’ on the drop down list.


contact  Claudia Duncan,      07981 768081

NEW LOCATION – Oakwood Garden Centre, Killearn – opening 19th October

Opening Exhibition


NEW art4you studio & gallery


We would like to invite you, your friends and families to our opening exhibition of the new studio
at Oakwood Garden Centre, Killearn

Evening reception: Friday 19th October, 7-9pm

Launch weekend continued: Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st, 10-4pm with the art exhibition
and presentation of the new studio and gallery space.

Classes start at the new studio week beginning 29th October

art classes – good, good, good

Why is art good for you?

Energising, confidence building, self-improvement, personal growth, inspiring, social, expressive, relaxing, fun. The list can go on.

All these positive attributes can be triggered by practising art every week. Health professional are recognising the positive impact on both individuals and societies art can have. Daisy Fancourt demonstrates and describes it in one of your publications “Arts in Health”

New art classes start next week and we offer taster sessions on all classes for you to try to experience the positive impact of art. Book here or get in touch for taster session. Call or email Claudia 07981 768 081

Day & Evening Classes
Date Time Price Book
4th Block 2018, 20/08 – 12/10/2018 (8wks)
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 20th Aug 10am – 12noon £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 20th Aug 2pm – 4pm £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Monday, start date 20th Aug 7pm – 9pm £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Tuesday, start date 21st Aug 10am – 12noon £140 book
Watercolour – Tuesday, start date 21st Aug 2pm – 4pm £140 book
Life Drawing – Tuesday, start date 21st Aug 7pm – 9pm £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Wednesday, start date 22nd Aug 10am – 12noon £140 book
Adult Drawing class- Wednesday, start date 22nd Aug 1.30pm – 3.30pm £140 book
Kids art class (primary school P5-P7) – Wednesday, start date 22nd Aug 4.30pm – 6pm £88 book
Calligraphy – Wednesday, start date 22nd Aug 7pm – 9pm £128 book
Portrait – Thursday, start date 23rd Aug 10am – 12noon £140 book
Portfolio & Developmen (high school S1-S6), Thursday, start date 23rd Aug 4pm – 6pm £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Thursday, start date 23rd Aug 7pm – 9pm £140 book
Painting & Drawing – Friday, start date 24th Aug 10am – 12noon £140 book
Portfolio & Development (high school S1-S6) – Friday, start date 24th Aug 4pm – 6pm £140 book

Sketchbooks – how to choose one?

There are many sketchbooks to choose from and you might need more than one type to cover the variety of your work and techniques.

Sketchbooks are useful tools to

  • Record useful reference material
  • Plan your ideas for painting
  • Improve your drawing skills

Good paper quality is preferable – minimum of 160gsm cartridge paper or watercolour paper of 300gsm are ideal.

Two main points to consider are size and quality of the paper. An A4 sketchbook is not too overwhelming in size, but large enough to develop ideas. A good addition is a pocket-sized sketchbook – A6 – which can be carried in almost every pocket. Use it to jot down those spontaneous ideas, inspirations and ideas.

Many artists find a portrait format sketchbook easier to hold and work in than a landscape one. When wanting to capture something on a larger scale working across a double page works well.

Spiral-bound books have the advantage to open us easily and allow any used sheets to be folded over. Books with a stiff backing cover will provide a firm support to press down on.

To hold a page of the sketchbook in place whilst working in a windy environment a large, strong elastic band proves very useful. Slip it over the page and around the rest of the sketchbook.

The sketchbook is your personal visual notebook. Keep in mind that every sketch will add to your experience and learning. There are no bad sketches – consider your sketchbook as a working record of your thoughts, ideas and experiences. Resist the temptation to tear out any sketches you don’t like. You can also add photos to your sketchbook or other supporting reference material.

Sketching is a great way to help to understand a subject. Want to know more about sketchbooks and drawing classes get in touch.

Life Painting Day – 12th May 2019

The 17th June 2018 was a great day – good work and lovely company. Next date is orgainsed for 12th May 2019. Time will fly – make a note so you won’t miss it. 

You will get the same support as during our regular Life & Portrait Drawing Classes but with much more time available to practice
and experiment.
Date: 12th May 2019
Time: 10-4pm
Price: £95 incl. lunch and material
.The day will start with 45min drawing exercises. For the rest of the day the model will hold the same pose with short breaks in-between. You can select the medium of your choice (oil, acrylic or drawing mediums). We will have a lunch break at around 12.30pm.All the drawing and painting materials are as always included in the course fee of £95 as well as lunch and refreshments. 
Please tell us, email or text us to book a place.
01360 449 101 or 07981 768 081

Still Life – the fun and the challenges

The attraction of still life over landscape – the arrangement of objects, lighting and also the viewpoint is your choice.

If you are ne to the subject of still life, it pas to begin with some simple arrangements. You don’t even have to leave the house to find something suitable to paint. Interesting items can be found in the kitchen, toll shed or garden.

Start with an initial idea and make a number of small design sketches to clarify and solidify the idea. Drawing helps to familiarise yourself with the arrangement, shapes, light and tones. It leaves a footprint and muscle memory which will help during the painting process. Once you are happy with an arrangement, set about drawing the final composition before you start to paint.

Light and Shadows

One of the great benefits of painting still life is the opportunity to study closely the effects of light, especially in areas of shadow. Remember that shadows are not just grey. When light hits an object, such as an orange, some of the colour will be reflected into the shadow. Also keep in mind that bright, direct light creates hard-edged shadows while indirect, soft light will cause the shadows to be more diffused and less obvious.

Contour drawing

Once you are happy with the arrangement, make a contour drawing. Keep the drawing fee by holding the pencil loosely in your hand and keep it moving on the paper without loosing contact – also called one-line-drawing. Standing up whilst drawing gives you a more overall view and allows you to move the entire arm and step back to observe.

Imagine the tip of the pencil tracing the outline of the object as it moves across the paper. Focus on the negative shapes – the spaces you see between objects. Draw what you see not what you think you know. The negative objects are just as important as the physical objects. It helps with the proportion and relations of the objects.


Once you’re happy with the outline, begin to use the paint. Start by focusing on the largest areas, building the painting up in stages. Block in the composition, add lighter areas, create contrast and refine effects.

Towards the final stages of the painting, add the smaller details. This is the stage where most of the damage can be done resist the temptation to overwork the painting.


Colour creates the mood and generates the excitement in a painting but how do we get the colour we want?

Everyone knows the three primary colours are yellow, red and blue. Going by the colours available these days we find that many primary colours have a bias towards another colour – below a few examples:

Cadmium red – yellow bias

Alizarin crimson – blue bias

Ultramarine blue – red bias

Cerulean blue – yellow bias

Lemon yellow – blue bias

Cadmium yellow – red bias

The above six colours are a good starting point in developing a colour palette, as they represent a cool and warm variant of each of the primary colours. If you want pure mixes then mixing colours with the same bias will achieve this; ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson, for instance, will give a good purple, whereas cadmium red mixed with cerulean blue will make mud – try it and see!

Three further useful colours are:

Raw sienna

Burnt sienna

Cobalt blue

These three are great for a vast range of subjects.


The three properties of colour

Hue – Value – Saturation

Green, orange, yellow, and blue — each of these is a hue, a colour or a shade that’s true. A rainbow shows the melting of one hue into another, from red to violet, and all shades in between. The noun hue means both a colour and a shade of a colour


Value is defined as the relative lightness or darkness of a colour. It is an important tool for the artist, in the way that it defines form and creates spatial illusions. Contrast of value separates objects in space, while gradation of value suggests mass and contour of a contiguous surface. Another word for value is the luminosity which refers to the amount of light reflected or absorbed by a colour i.e. white reflects and black


Saturation is also referred to as “intensity” and “chroma.” It refers to the dominance of hue in the colour. On the outer edge of the hue wheel are the ‘pure’ hues. As you move into the centre of the wheel, the hue we are using to describe the colour dominates less and less. It can sometimes be very difficult to distinguish saturation from value.

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