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BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Overview

Our BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking programme is one of only a few programmes in the UK to offer specialist technical and critical study in painting, drawing and printmaking. 

This dynamic programme is aimed at students who are excited by the prospect of a rigorous materials-based and process-driven education in art practice.

Painting, Drawing and Printmaking students take part in Crit Club.

You’ll study materials and techniques, while also developing and contextualising your own professional practice within the arts. 

Based in large open-plan studios with double height ceilings and north light windows, you will develop an ambitious working practice across all three disciplines. 

Your progress throughout the three years is driven by a comprehensive series of technical workshops, underpinned by the teaching of drawing as a core component of your studio practice.

Students exhibit in our annual Graduate Shows, open to the public for two weeks. 

You’ll also gain a thorough critical understanding of the key theories in contemporary art as they relate to your emerging practice, and you can take part in live exhibitions and projects, preparing you for your professional career after graduation. 

Students organise and host Crit Club at Tate Modern, London. Photo © Laura Palmer

What will I achieve?

You will study painting, drawing and printmaking, whilst also learning about the professional strategies of the art world. 

You will develop an ambitious working practice based on an investigation of the material and technical possibilities of your creative work, with drawing at the centre of all you do and make. 

We will encourage you to think through making, with your own studio work providing you with a centre of enquiry and a point of departure through the deep learning of a core discipline.

As well as working on their technical painting skills, our students also get the chance to exhibit at and curate shows at Plymouth’s many professional galleries and art spaces.

 

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Highlights:

  • Benefit from the unique experience of working alongside professional artists in their own studios, take on a two-month residency in an artists’ community, work in a Spanish art school as part of the Erasmus programme, or find out about teaching drawing and painting in our own Creative School for 4-to-16-year-olds. 
  • Learn drawing in taught sessions on a weekly basis during your entire three-year degree. 
  • Develop essential techniques, taught by practising artists, in oil painting, water-based painting, drawing and fine print. 
  • Experience freedom to pursue your own creative voice and work in a group of like-minded students who all share your commitment to painting, drawing and printmaking. Work in your own creative space in our purpose-built studios, which are some of the most inspiring spaces to practise art in the UK. 
  • Gain a high-quality, critical and technical education in painting, drawing and printmaking. 
  • Exhibit and curate, with frequent shows throughout the programme and encouragement to develop your own gallery opportunities, as well as build connections with other professional galleries and art spaces. 
  • Leave with a deep understanding of your own art practice, its techniques and the theories behind it, along with an ability to collaborate across other creative disciplines. We’ll teach you to reflect critically on your own professional identity as an emerging artist, and equip you with the skills to step forward into your creative future.

Have a question for our team? Email: PDP@pca.ac.uk

Students and the public come together in our annual Drawing Festival.

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Modules

Year 1 (Level 4)

You are introduced in the first module, Introduction to Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, to fundamental concepts, processes and working practices underpinning these disciplines. This is a studio based drawing module that will encourage experimentation and extension of skills and knowledge within an exciting and dynamic environment. You will also be encouraged and supported to reflect on your experiences and develop critical thinking as part of your introduction to work at degree level. The module is mainly delivered in studios and workshops and runs intensively full time for five weeks.

You will also begin your theoretical module, Contexts of Practice 1. This will run in parallel to the studio teaching during your first year and will introduce and unfold the core cultural discourses informing your studio modules and wider contemporary practice culminating in a written or presented outcome.

You will then embark on two studio-based modules which run concurrently: Painting and Drawing aims to develop awareness of the self and identity in contemporary practice whilst Printmaking and Drawing negotiates the importance of social context in art production. Both of these modules further extend the range of media specific workshop inductions and further enrich your developing studio practice. There will be regular critiques, seminars and specific material workshops involving students from the different levels and disciplines of the programme, as well as a regular programme of visiting professionals and artists.

As Year 1 progresses you will revisit the materials and processes of Painting, Drawing & Printmaking at a more advanced level and your creative concerns are challenged with an emphasis on collaborative practice in the module Introduction to Collaborative and Professional Practice. The teaching will build on the focus on personal and professional practice in your first year through an investigation of the professional, innovative and entrepreneurial aspects of creative industries and by providing opportunities for a live project or exhibition. You will give a presentation at the end of this module as part of your contextual studies module: theoretical and critical elements will constitute approximately 20% of the module assessment total for the year. You will also undertake your Interdisciplinary Studies module in this part of the year, with a choice of short courses to extend and enrich your main practice in the programme.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Whilst in the First Year the agenda is mainly set by the staff, Second Year practice begins to develop the your ability to research, reflect, develop and analyse your practice. You will begin Guided Studio Practices 1 engaging in a  personally-driven studio practice facilitated by staff in Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, with specialist workshops and practitioners delivering material-based and process-led teaching. You will gain a deeper understanding of the technical skills materials and processes in each discipline necessary for professional creative practice.

Running concurrently with this module is PD&P Professional Practice 2 embodying a range of experiences designed to develop your knowledge and practical expertise in a range of issues and strategies used by artists to present, distribute, and promote themselves within the art world, including exhibition strategies, extended networks, conference and advocacy skills. Business information and skills are a focused part of this module, with the opportunity for a Student Conference event during the second term.

The second major studio module Guided Studio Practices 2 in the second term further explores your studio practice in the distinct strands of Painting, Drawing and Printmaking together with a focus on external opportunities raised by emerging events regionally, nationally and internationally. Project work is developed within the module across student groups or individually, giving you  the responsibility for initiating, planning and realising a Fine Art project outside the College enabling participation in activities such as: international partnerships, competition opportunities, industrial links or offsite exhibition opportunities.

The contextual and theoretical module Contexts of Practice 2 runs in close parallel to these studio modules to develop your material art practice alongside an understanding of theoretical models of contemporary practice. You will begin to take more responsibility for decision making and referencing the theoretical models that inform your written work, culminating in an oral presentation of your proposal for the dissertation or extended essay in the final year.

Year Three (Level 6)

At the beginning of the Third Year you will establish your critical position as an emerging professional through the Research and Experimentation module, a period of exploratory studio practice and reflection during which you will negotiate your final project with staff and peers and confirm its relationship to your dissertation proposal.

You will also undertake the Creative and Professional Development module in the second term which aims to develop relationships with the creative industries and cultural environment, enabling you to position yourself at a professional level for progression to employment, self-employment or post-graduate study. It will also encourage exploration of exhibition practice with an emphasis on preparation and marketing for your final degree show exhibition at the end of the year.

You will undertake your Creative and Professional Conclusion module that represents the culmination of knowledge, skills and understanding you have acquired throughout the programme. You will engage in a project that is the result of a self-initiated brief in the form of the final exhibition (the degree show). You are expected to develop an independent practice, synthesise prior learning and present a public realisation of your work.

Contexts of Practice 3 aims to provide you with the opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area of interest related to an area creative practice. The module supports the development of independent critical thinking and requires you to consider and contextualise your practice by situating it within a wider set of historical and contemporary discourses and contexts. You are required to produce a research outcome in the form of a written research project (dissertation) or a practiceled research project, with critical commentary.

Part-time study

Students will follow a six-year programme of study with daytime attendance and some twilight teaching. The commitment would be to approximately one core teaching day per week with identified tutorial/seminar hours at other times. The flow of learning is designed to parallel the full-time mode at key points of assessment or delivery as far as is practicable, particularly around dissertation teaching, exhibition and assessment. There are no optional modules in the programme.

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Staff

Stephen Felmingham – Programme Leader BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking

Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Programme Leader Stephen Felmingham

Stephen Felmingham is a visual artist with a practice that engages with contemporary drawing and its expanded possibilities. He works with ideas of place, perception and memory: his current research is focused on the remains of the Cold War, its sites, bunkers and social memories for his practice-led PhD at the University of Leeds.

He is also an educator and has lectured extensively in drawing, painting, print and contemporary art practice on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the UK, including University College Falmouth, Norwich University College of the Arts and Leeds College of Art.  He studied at Middlesex University and the University of the Arts London (Wimbledon) where he completed an MA in Drawing in 1999.

He was nominated a member of the LAND2 Research Network in 2009, was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in the same year and was a finalist in the Celeste Art Prize, New York, in 2010. He speaks regularly both on drawing and art and design pedagogy and his work is represented in collections nationally and internationally. He is represented in Europe by Galerie Lucy Macintosh.

In January 2014 Stephen exhibited The Violet Club in the college's Gallery, a body of work made in response to the Cold War bunkers of the Royal Observer Corps that still exist, abandoned, across the UK. Watch our Gallery Short of Stephen's exhibition in the video above.

Russell Frampton – Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Lecturer
 

Russell Frampton – Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Lecturer

As a painter one aspect of Russell’s practice involves an articulation of the expression of landscape, not through the analytical and ultimately illusional process of actual depiction, but rather to give the sense of a perceptual experience itself through the same sensual processes with which we understand and process the complexity of the subject matter.

Russell’s work takes place in the studio, either in Mid Devon or a workspace a studio he uses coastal West Brittany, the two spaces being at the heart of their respective elemental locations, reflecting the duality of the maritime and the moorland.  Russell is interested in the edges of things within a painting and this zone of ‘betweeness’ is often at the heart of where the paintings fundamental structure occurs.

Other aspects of Russell’s work include the more process-based paintings of allowing paint to move across a surface, often producing a network of stripes which again relate to time and the structure of landscape, and grid paintings which allow marks to be selected, isolated and locked within a formal structure somehow heightening their presence and creating images with great internal balance and authority. Painting is one aspect of Russell’s creative practice and he is also actively involved in digital film making, multi media installations and music.

highgateart.com/artist/Russell_FRAMPTON

Majella Clancy – Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Lecturer
 

Majella Clancy is a visual artist whose practice explores painting and printmaking in expanded ways. Working mainly with large-scale inkjet prints and paint she also incorporates screen-printing, monotype and collage. Her work examines social, cultural and geographical space. She explores an Irish rural history by re-using old found photographs. In particular she explores those images that depict specific class and gendered spaces and their surrounding environment – the West of Ireland landscape.

She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: The Faraway Nearby, FE MacWilliams Gallery, Co. Down, (2014), Irish Wave, Shanghai University, China, (2014), Irish Contemporary Works on Paper, The Lockhart Gallery, State University of New York, USA, (2014), (re)viewing, (solo), The Project Space, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, (2012). Forthcoming exhibitions include: In-Stream, an expanded painting show, QSS Gallery & Ulster University Gallery, Belfast, (2016).

She completed a BA in Fine Art at Limerick Institute of Technology, Ireland and in 2006 gained an MFA in Fine Art at Ulster University, Belfast. In 2013 she completed a practice-led PhD also at Ulster University. Her research examined Contemporary Women’s Painting Practices. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, including The Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, annual conference, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, (2011). Her research is published in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Routledge, USA, (2012). Her work is held in public and private collections including: Queens University Belfast, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Ulster University. She has worked in Higher Education since 2006 teaching across Painting, Drawing and Printmaking areas. She has worked at Ulster University, Belfast and the Open College of the Arts, UK.

James Brown, Contextual Studies Lecturer

 
India Ritchie - Workshop Coordinator Printmaking
 

India is an educator and practicing artist based in Devon, UK. She works primarily with printmaking, installation, drawing and painting, and has exhibited her work all over the world – including the UK, USA, Japan, Canada, Italy and Pakistan. Her role at the College involves instructing undergraduate and postgraduate students in the practical application of printmaking techniques.

India gained a BA in Visual Arts (Textiles) at Goldsmiths in 2005, an MA in Printmaking at Camberwell College of Art in 2009, where she won the Printmaking Student Award in her graduating year, and an MPhil from Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2011.

Her practice responds to notions of order and disorder, from the everyday habits and behaviour that we develop in response to the space around us, in essence how we 'order' ourselves in response to our environment, to more extreme occurrences of disorder, such as the death of someone close, and how we attempt to gain an understanding of these occurrences through the objects, places and ephemera associated with the deceased.

Recent visiting artists include:

Matt Roberts, Critic and Curator - www.mattroberts.org.uk

Galerie Lucy Macintosh - www.lucymackintosh.ch

Sarah Rowles, Q-Art - q-art.org.uk/about

Juliette Losq (RA artist, winner of Jerwood Drawing Prize 2005)

Sameer Gujral (surgeon, anatomical drawing)

Meg Buick (MA, Prince's Drawing School)

Jake Howell (UWE Drawing and Applied Arts)

Iavor Lubomirov (Artist/Curator Lubomirov-Easton)

Helen Billinghurst (artist)

Meryl Ainslie (director Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre)

Hadas Auerbach (Royal College of Art)

Lisa Lee (Royal College of Art)

Robert Manners (artist and founder of Spike Island Print Workshop)

Sarah Downham-Lotto (artist)

Matt Thomas (artist)

Bella Easton (RA Artist/Curator Lubomirov-Easton)

Lee Maelzer (painter)

Zebedee Jones (painter)

Frances Richardson (artist)

Michael Stubbs (painter)

ATOI (artists)

Grant Watson (painter)

Jayne Wilton (artist, MA, Slade School of Art)

Ruth Simons (artist, MA, Courtauld Institute)

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Student Work

Oona Wagstaff

Faith Pallett

Oona Wagstaff

Oona Wagstaff

Alex Lee

Oona Wagstaff

Julie Ellis

Sam Akroyd

Julie Ellis

David Muddyman

Gemma Louise Prouse

Julie Ellis

Helen Skidmore

Sam Akroyd

Dawn Trewhella

Julie Ellis

Ratna Saksena

Jane Pine

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Students Say

Julie Ellis, BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing and Printmaking

"I chose Painting, Drawing and Printmaking at Plymouth College of Art because I was really impressed with its vision. There aren’t many other places in the country where you can do this course so I was excited to be one of the first on it!

My tutor has been brilliant at guiding me and I’ve had a couple of great things happen, such as having my work displayed in an open art display in the city centre which I applied for on my own and was lucky enough to be selected for. I won the Corporate Student Prize this year as well, so was really over the moon with that.

"At the moment, doors are opening and opportunities are coming along all the time. Professional development is an important part of our course, and that’s all about getting your work out there, networking, meeting people, and exhibiting your work. I would love that to be my job but I’m also really passionate about art education for children, so that might be the path I go down.

Painting, Drawing and Printmaking student Julie Ellis (right) with Foundation Diploma in Art & Design student Prerana Kirat Rai (left).

Sam Akroyd, BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing and Printmaking

Sam recently kickstarted a series of mini-residences at creative, college-sponsored free school Plymouth School of Creative Arts, as well as a project on Bretonside in Plymouth.

He said: "It was a tremendously positive experience being in such an inclusive and caring school and I would recommend it to any student hoping to be involved in education.

"And I am extremely grateful to have been invited [to do a project on Bretonside] because it gave me the opportunity to talk about my current work with the outside world and engage with the last generation of people likely to remember Bretonside as it is now.”

Read more about Sam's work with Plymouth School of Creative Arts here.

Sam Akroyd – Painting, Drawing and Printmaking student

Katie Shore, Extended Diploma year 2

"I feel welcome here. Three of my favourite things in one course! Everything I need is here – brilliant teaching, excellent equipment and freedom to do what I want to do with all the help I need."

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Careers & Alumni

We have an impressive roster of visiting artists and professionals who can give you the benefit of their industry experience.

The programme has a strong network of industry contacts, such as art suppliers Winsor & Newton, Art Mill Gallery, who host yearly exhibitions with our students, and with Q-art, who frequently collaborate with students for their renowned Crit Club, most recently at Tate Modern.

You will have the chance to show your work right from the beginning of your first year, in a professional exhibition open to the public, organised, curated and produced by your group.

Students exhibiting their work at Artmill Gallery.

There is also the possibility of studying abroad for a semester or a year at one of our Erasmus partner universities.

Current students are given the opportunity to visit Madrid for the ARCO Art Fair, to work with and gain experience at Port Eliot Festival, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth contemporary art space KARST, Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Maker Heights, and also visit the Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre.

Archive sketching at Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery.

Graduates become:

  • Painters
  • Studio-based Artists
  • Illustrators
  • Art Therapists
  • Public Artists
  • Printmakers
  • Gallery Owners
  • Lecturers / Teachers

‘Careers in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art = The Three E’s (Employment, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise)

Through consistent, embedded participation in professional practice throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to engage with the key professional, transferrable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially working in partnership with other sectors either locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to curating, exhibiting, or volunteering, the acquisition of professional skills has been designed and written in to the programmes of study by staff teams with ‘real world’ experiences and supported through engagement with Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

Graduates of BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking will have a broad portfolio of expertise to accompany specialist knowledge in a particular field. The majority of graduates will progress to art-related employment or self-employment, whether as a studio-based artist, public artist or through employment in the realm of arts management or arts administration. The course also attracts many students wishing to pursue a career in teaching.

The MA courses at Plymouth College of Art provide logical progression routes for BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking graduates. All Plymouth College of Art graduates receive a tuition fee discount if they choose to continue with their postgraduate studies at at the college.

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Entry Requirements

 You will be expected to have obtained qualifications in a relevant subject at advanced level equating to 200 UCAS points (e.g. BTEC National Diploma, Foundation Diploma, A-levels etc) and / or have relevant vocational experience. This can be assessed from a portfolio at interview.

BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking — Resources

Currently the programme is situated in 5,500 square feet of open-plan, double-height, north light studio space.

That’s enough space to stack 33 London buses with room to spare. We have technicians and tutors who are active, professional practitioners, making and exhibiting their own work, alongside a range of visiting artists from painting, drawing and printmaking disciplines. 

And our professional fine art printmaking studios offer a range of relief and intaglio processes, taught by highly experienced technical staff.

Facilities at the college include:


Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

The Print Lab and Equipment Resource Centre

The Print Lab offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. And our highly experienced Equipment Resource staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our FabLab.

Our Photographic cove.

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