Take your portraiture and figurative work to a new level by
learning the methods and techniques of the old masters in a
way that enables you to enter the new and exciting world of
Contemporary Realism.

Contemporary Realism

Contemporary realism

At The Painting School, you will not be taught to be a slave to the methods and techniques of the old masters, but to learn from them, to apply them in a way that meets the expectations of modern realism and further develop your unique personal style.

As with the The Sculpture School, The Painting School’s ethos is excellence. The focus is on mastering contemporary and traditional painting and drawing skills; learning how to ‘see’ shape and form, understanding anatomy and proportion, learning how to use light, value and tone. Importantly you will discover how to apply the well proven methods of the old masters in a Contemporary Realist style.

Our tutors are at the top of their profession and dedicated to teaching and enabling students to produce work beyond their expectations.

Meet the tutors

  • Andrew Gow

    Andrew Gow

  • Stuart Elliot

    Stuart Elliot

Contemporary Realism

Andrew Gow

Andrew is one of Europe’s most reputable portrait painters. He studied in the U.S., Italy, France and the UK before settling in London where he has been a professional painter and artist for over 15 years.

Andrew’s work hangs in important private collections across the world; his recent commissions include Ratan Tata GBE, Chairman of the Tata Group and the inaugural official portrait of Cardinal Pell, the Prefect for the Secretariat for the Vatican Economy. His portraits are not just a likeness of the subject, but a carefully composed and considered study.

Andrews’ passion for painting is evident in his teaching. His talents and experience make him the ideal tutor to teach our painting modules where he will cover subjects such as the sight-size method, colour orchestration, creating focus within the composition, use of edges and designing with colour. His paintings are an example of classical training in the well proven methods of the old masters but applied in a Contemporary Realist style.

Stuart Elliot

Stuart Elliot, a teacher of artistic anatomy and figure drawing for over 10 years, is also the author of 'Drawing the Nude: Structure, Anatomy & Observation'. He lectures on the history and theory of art at Central St Martins, London. His paintings are exhibited internationally and he also writes about contemporary art.

Stuart’s exciting approach to teaching is relevant to all artists, whether they are a novice, an experienced figurative artist, as well as to those working within the visual effects and film industries.

His approach is thoroughly in tune with our ethos of excellence, using informed observation and anatomical understanding, grounded in the traditional concepts of art theory. By using direct and concise charcoal drawings, employing gesture drawings, and musculo-skeletal studies, Stuart’s innovative use of digital sculptures of human anatomy brings a new approach to the teaching of drawing.

Contemporary Realism


The Painting School workshops are designed for both the
professional and amateur artist who are serious about enhancing
their capabilities. Although workshops are designed for artists
with varying experience and professional training, they are unlikely to
be suitable for beginners. If you are not sure if a workshop will be
suitable for you please contact us.

Portrait Anatomical Drawing

Stuart Elliot

An exciting 4 day course for the experienced painter designed to provide a solid foundation to your work will give you that capability all professional painters seek, the capability to reliably create a likeness and invent characters from imagination which have the authority of true human anatomy.

Portrait Anatomy and Drawing
Figurative Painting

Figurative Painting

Andrew Gow

This fascinating 4 day workshop will focus on painting the figure from life, covering the important skills of how to ‘see’ shape and form, understanding anatomy and proportion, and the use of light, value and tone. For the experienced painter, the methods taught will help you achieve a contemporary feel in your paintings of this classical subject.

Other Information

Refreshments and daily lunches are provided. Please note that certain materials are required for these workshops and you will receive a complete list on application.

Information on local hotels and B&B’s is supplied with each application.

Call 01837 82879 to book via the phone or use the buttons above to book a course online.

Card payments are accepted.