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Frequently asked questions

Richmond School of Painting established in 2006 by Guy Shoham.  Guy is a practicing artist who deal with colour, paint, figuration and abstraction. Guy hold qualifications in Fine Art, and have been teaching adults since 1998.

I am not sure if I can draw.  Can you advise me?

Don’t worry. Imagine that drawing is like playing a violin- you are not expected to know how to play before attending a class. It is our job to teach you how to draw, how to start a drawing and what to look for. 

Join us for a trial class at the start of the term. This will allow you to decide if it is the right class for you.


What will I learn?

We will start with a drawing session or two and you will learn the basics. This will help you with the painting. 


I am not a beginner. Can I still join?

Yes! We are here to support your practice and will be interested to meet you and see how we can help you. Please arrange to come for a trial class and bring images of your recent paintings. We will be happy to discuss your aims needs and wants.


How much does a term cost?

A full term consists of 10 classes and costs £280  or £260 concessionary rate for pensioners and unemployed.

Fee for the life classes - £320 / £300 concessionary rate. The fee for the life classes includes additional model's fees.

What does the fee include?

The fee includes some drawing materials, one or two sessions with a life model, and refreshments during the coffee break.  Each term we will have a visit to an exhibition, or a drawing session in a museum (entry ticket to be paid by students) or an outdoor activity during the summer term. We also provide students with a student card that may give you discount in art shops and discounted entry tickets to exhibitions.


Where is the school?

We are based in a St. Richards Primary School,TW10 7NL.

Access to the hall is from the back entrance, left of the church. Opposite the car park which is in front of Tesco.


Any parking?

There is unrestricted free street parking around the school.

Should I bring any materials to the first class?

All materials will be supplied for the first drawing class. If you already have materials you could bring them with you and we will be happy to advise on recommended items. 


Should I buy materials in advance?

Please wait for instructions from your tutor. We will give you a list of materials and information about art shops in the area. We could also give you some materials if you are not sure that you would like to paint with oils. This will allow you to try it before committing. 

What if I miss a class?

Students who miss a class may attend another class at a different time, subject to availability and with prior notice. 

Do you have life models?

Life painting classes are running on Wednesday evenings.

We also have models coming for one or two sessions per term on our regular classes, depending on numbers of students attending per class and the programme for the term. 


Can I work on my own projects?

Yes you can. We are here to help and to support you, if you are interested you can work on your individual project.


Should I practice at home?

The more you practice, the more experienced you will become. It is not obligatory, but it will help you to develop new skills faster. It is interesting to note that recent brain studies suggest that just imagining that you are doing the activity will make you better at it. On your way to work, on the train (but not while driving) look at something and imagine that you are drawing it.


What kind of paintings I will paint during the first term?

  • If you are beginner it is really important to learn from the basics. So we will work with a still life which will be composed of simple objects arranged on a table. 

  • We will create a drawing with line and tone. 

  • We will create a painting with monochrome which is painting with black, white and greys. 

  • We will paint with colours and learn about colour mixing. 

  • The main aim is to learn how to start a painting and how to plan the composition, what to look for and how to use the various materials in the right way. 

  • The paintings that we will produce will be the building blocks for future paintings. 

  • They might be a bit simple or not very interesting but the process of painting will teach you a lot. 

  • Later, you could use that knowledge for more advanced and personal paintings. 

  • For me, the result paintings are not important. The important thing is your experience and knowledge that you will acquire. 

  • If you compare it to learning a new language- you will learn single words. Later you might write a whole sentence. In the future you might write poetry but it would be almost impossible to write poetry in the first few sessions. 


What is the difference between (free) youtube online learning and your class?

Learning to draw (and paint) is learning to see. For us it is not by learning how to paint a tree or how to paint water: we believe that we can give you the tools to understand for yourself and discover a personal way for how to paint anything you like- by the power of observation and understanding of what make good painting.

Learning to paint one thing or another will teach you just that.  It will not necessarily help you find your unique voice.  You have the power to discover the right thing for you.

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