Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about our online videos, live streams or your Raw Umber Subscription, click here.

See below for our FAQ. If you need more information, take a look at our student handbook.

Who are you?

We’re a non-profit based in Stroud. We ran a couple of courses and then set up a permanent space in Stroud in November 2019. Our aim is to provide high-quality art education by inviting exceptional artists and tutors from across the world to teach short workshops. For more information, check out our about page.

Where is the studio based? Do you have car parking?

We’re based in central Stroud. You can see more about our location, parking and how to find us here.

Where can I stay in Stroud?

Check out our student handbook for recommendations from past students of where to stay when attending a workshop with us.

What physical upcoming workshops do you have?

Stay in the loop about our upcoming events by visiting our upcoming workshops page, signing up for our newsletters, or following us on Instagram.

What materials do I need?

The materials you’ll need to bring will depend on the course you are taking, and the tutor who is teaching. For a list of the materials you’ll need to bring, please look at the course page you’ve booked.

What should I wear?

Old clothes and shoes are best, especially for oil painting. You might find an apron useful.

What time do I have get to the studio?

The courses start at 10:00, so please arrive by 9:45 to give yourself time to set up. The studio opens at 9:30. There are regular breaks throughout the day, including an hour for lunch at 13:00.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you cancel more than 3 weeks before a course starts, we will refund 100% of the course fee. Unfortunately, if you cancel under 3 weeks before the start date we cannot refund any of the fee.

Can I pay in instalments?

Unfortunately not.

How much experience do I need? Are your workshops suitable for me?

Most of our workshops are suitable for all levels. We keep student numbers small, typically fewer than 12, so the tutors are able to customise the classes based on your individual needs.

Having said that, painting is harder than drawing, portraits are harder than figures, and figures are harder than still life. Depending on your confidence and your level of experience, that might affect which course you choose to attend. If you’ve got any questions about this, then contact us and we’d love to recommend you a course.

What methods and techniques do you teach?

Our tutors tend to work using the sight-size method or comparative measurement: this provides a framework for learning and teaching. We teach a structured way of drawing and painting, breaking down a complex painting into simpler, more manageable steps. For painting, this would typically involve a pencil sketch or study, then a raw-umber wipe out, then a colour study, then a block-in, and then working up the block-in to a full painting.

Depending on your level of experience, you might skip on or more of these steps – see our tutor Lizet Dingemans’ article in Artists and Illustrators magazine.

Our tutors also tend to teach alla prima, or direct painting. This is a more straightforward, quicker approach than indirect painting.

How much can I really learn at a workshop?

Learning to draw or paint competently and confidently can take several years of training: you need to master drawing, learn about values, edges and colour, and study anatomy. What you get out of our workshops depends on what level you’re currently at. If you’re a beginner, then we can help get you started: you’ll complete a drawing or painting in a relatively short amount of time and, very importantly, understand the process, see what skills you’ll need to learn in the future. If you’ve got some experience, then our tutors will help you improve and you’ll learn valuable skills and techniques.

The workshops are short, but they’re intense and highly personal: whatever your level, you’ll get a lot out of them.

I really enjoyed my workshop! What course should I do next?

All the courses are self-contained, and are repeatable – each time you do them, you’ll learn more. That means you’re welcome to repeat the class, or to choose a different class. It’s practice, repetition and critiques from the tutors that will help you improve your skills, and you can’t have enough of those!


Want to access SEVEN of our previous sessions for FREE? Subscribe to our mailing list and we’ll keep you informed about upcoming workshops, events and online sessions too.

We won’t sell or share your data and you can unsubscribe at any time. You can see our privacy policy here